Real Simple is offering a Guide to the Best Summer with perfect picnic recipes. I thought this gourmet "fried" chicken sounded perfect to go with a watermelon, potato salad, chocolate chip cookie and lemonade picnic.
1 3 1/2-to 4-pound chicken, cut up
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons gin (optional)
3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
Remove and discard the skin from the chicken. Combine the chicken, buttermilk, garlic, and gin in a large resealable plastic bag. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
Heat oven to 400° F. Lightly coat a large baking sheet with vegetable cooking spray. On a sheet of wax paper, combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan, salt, lemon zest, and thyme. Roll the chicken pieces in the coating and place on the baking sheet, bone-side down. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, turning the chicken halfway through, or until crispy and the juices run clear when the chicken is pierced with a fork.
Yield: Makes 6 servings