3 August 2011

Serving up Oven Fried Chicken for a Cooking Light Beachcomber Picnic

Oven Fried Chicken

We are so glad you have decided to join us once again for our Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club. This is a monthly event where 5 ladies and one gent in two neighbouring countries, Canada and the United States, get together to create a delicious meal with a theme in mind. We are now in our second year and continue to share a love for Cooking Light magazine which has an emphasis on healthy eating and living. This is a team effort where we combine what Cooking Light readers like best...good food with great company!!! Every month millions of readers turn to Cooking Light for recipes, advice on nutrition and fitness.

August is the perfect month for outdoor eating. Invite friends and family to a picnic at the beach, in the park, on top of a mountain or even in your own garden. Today here at the Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club we are headed to the beach for a Beachcomber Picnic. We have searched for picnic recipes that both tantalize your taste buds and are nutritious and healthy. Is it just me, or does everything taste better when eaten outside? With plenty of refreshing drinks, and nutritious healthy food we hope these suggestions make your picnic with family and friends memorable.

My own picnic memories at the beach include my brothers and sisters playing in the sand building sandcastles and kids of all ages strolling leisurely, and spending hours scuffling along the water's edge, gazing at the waves, beach combing, swimming, or even fishing. Total relaxation!!! Today one of my favourite pastimes is to sit at "my beach" with a good book and my floatie.

Don’t forget to supply enough drinks like Fresh Squeezed Lemonade, Blackberry Limeade, Lemon Verbena Iced Tea, or Watermelon Margaritas. On a hot day we can dehydrate very quickly. Practice safe food-handling techniques and use a cooler for drinks, salads, salsas and dips. I hope you enjoy the month of August and have many memorable picnics! Spread your blanket out in the warm evening sun and linger until the fireflies flash in the dark. Sadly it's time to head home.........

Lets see what we have cooking up here at the Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club.
Jerry of Jerry's Thoughts, Musings and Rants  starts our beach party off with Grilled Pepper Poppers. The three-cheese filling is a nice complement for the spicy peppers.

What's a picnic without Oven Fried Chicken  so I included a tasty oven fried version coated with a crispy cornmeal crust from the pages of Cooking Light. A much lighter version of the classic. One thing I have learned over the years is that soaking the chicken in buttermilk overnight creates a moist and delicious fried chicken so I changed the recipe to adopt this step. I also added 11 herbs and spices to recreate the Colonels. The Colonel developed the formula back in the 1930s when he operated the Sanders Court and Cafe restaurant and motel in Corbin, Kentucky.  Is this his secret recipe, probably not, but it sure does make chicken delicious!

Roz of La Bella Vita 's Panzannella with Tomato, Bacon, and Basil Salad is a refreshing salad for our beach side feast.

They will be asking for seconds when Sandi of The Whistlestop Cafe brings her Orange Flavored Couscous.

Jamie of Mom's Cooking Club brings along a refreshing Spinach Pasta Salad.

And for a perfect ending to a perfect day Mary Ann of Meet Me in the Kitchen wowed us with a Lemonade Layer Cake. It's time to pack up the towels, blankets and chairs and head home. It has been a wonderful day!

If you would care to join in our beach picnic either link your light recipes or add your link to the Linky tool below.

Here's the recipe:

**Oven Fried Chicken**

1 cup low-fat buttermilk
2 large egg whites, beaten
1 cup all-purpose flour (about 4 1/2 ounces)
1/3 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (I also added 1/4 -1/2  teaspoon each of  ground oregano, chili powder, ground sage, dried basil, dried marjoram, paprika, onion salt and garlic powder like the Colonel)
2 chicken breast halves, skinned (about 1 pound)
2 chicken thighs, skinned (about 1/2 pound)
2 chicken drumsticks, skinned (about 1/2 pound)
2 tablespoons canola oil
Cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 425°.

2. (I soaked the chicken in buttermilk overnight)

3. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Put egg whites in a shallow dish; stir well with a whisk.

4. Combine flour, cornmeal, 1/2 teaspoon salt, black pepper, and red pepper in a separate shallow dish; stir well. Sprinkle chicken evenly with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Dip chicken in egg whites. Dredge chicken in flour/cornmeal mixture.

5. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Place chicken on prepared baking sheet; lightly coat chicken with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 30 minutes or until chicken is done.

Back to The Future

Over four years of blogging I have found many wonderful recipes to share on these pages. Some from my own kitchen, some from your creative blogs and web sites, and some from well known celebrities and chefs. I was feeling a little nostalgic and was browsing these very pages just the other day, creeping back to the very beginning in 2006 when More Than Burnt Toast was in it's infancy and no more than "knee high to grasshopper". We all have those stellar recipes from when we first started, when we were lucky enough to find one comment and have maybe one reader; in my case even before I was taking photos of the dishes I prepared.

So here are a couple of flashback recipes from the very first baby steps here at MTBT with...

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips


  1. Took me a second to comment because I had to print this out first! It looks absolutely fabulous and I cannot wait to make it

  2. Val your chicken looks delicious, I love all the spices you've added - Off to print this one right now!

  3. I think I may have to make this for dinner very soon. I love fried chicken, but I need to restrain myself a bit. I put on weight during vacation, so the oven method will have to be the way for me.

    My vacation was just last week and all of the beach references are making me tear up. ;-)

  4. Surely delicious! A great picnic item.



  5. A very nice take on fried chicken. And the herb mix sounds great!

  6. love the buttermilk in the recipe. gotta be a chemical explanation for what it does, but it escapes me, so i'll just say, it works!

  7. Looks awesome for a picnic!

  8. Dear Valli I want to make this oven fried chicken, look delicious!! gloria

  9. Oven-fried chicken is NOT that easy to get right, but this looks crispy and perfect!

  10. I love how you spiced up your chicken, Valli, and i agree that a good soak in buttermilk makes a huge difference. I'm all posted now! Hope you're doing well this summer!

  11. This sounds delicious with all of those wonderful herbs and spices! There is nothing like chicken in the summer and I love the oven-fried method.

  12. Your chicken looks delicious! Those grilled pepper poppers were amazing - I defy anyone to eat just two.

  13. This chicken looks wonderful and I know a few people in my family who would be really happy with me if I made it for them!

  14. There is nothing better at a beach picnic than fried chicken. And oven fried is so much healthier for you. I wish I could pick up a piece through my computer right now.

  15. Everyone needs a little fried chicken for a picnic. This looks like the real deal!!

  16. I adore fried chicken but seldom eat it because I feel so guilty. This is brilliant!!!

  17. This sounds delicious. I'm going to look back at your favorite recipes as well.


  18. Oven fried chicken makes me feel a lot better about myself, Val. I have an old recipe from one of Oprah's private chefs from way back. (who better for a lo-cal recipe? She's been dieting forever!) Going to dig it out and compare. I haven't made it in ages.

    And you're right, we posted some of our best recipes first when we had no readers.

  19. I never make fried chicken because I don't like frying in all that oil, but your oven-fried looks crispy, delicious and much healthier!

  20. This sounds really good, healthy and less messy than frying.

  21. This chicken looks so delicious, Val. :-) We're going picnicking this weekend while we go boating down the canals, and I can't wait to fix some yummy things like this. :-)

  22. Roz from la bella vita is on my blogroll and mentioned your picnic. I had to come for a visit. What a lovely blog and a delicious chicken recipe. I will be returning often.

  23. I've been planning a picnic for this weekend--despite the heat. I'm going to enjoy the outdoors no matter how hot it is. Your oven fried chicken looks great for an outdoor meal!

  24. I used to make fried chicken all the time when we lived in the US... For picnics. Haven't done it since we left.... Can't think of why not.. It looks delicious

  25. The chicken looks great, love the seashell garnish.

  26. Oh I love this! Am a little bit of a fried chicken addict but can't indulge too often... Love those grass underplates too - we brought ours from South Africa (where everybody has them) and people here in the Uk are fascinated as they have never seen them!

  27. Val - just thought I'd let you know I'm making this tonight! Can't wait to try it!


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