This week we’re spotlighting recipes from A Real Southern Cook in Her Savannah Kitchen by Dora Charles (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), a collection of authentic Southern classics. Try making the recipes at home and let us know what you think!
Chicken drumsticks with a potato chip crust. (Photo: Robert S. Cooper)
By Dora Charles
Serves 6 or more
This recipe sounds like it might be a joke, but it’s really dynamite. Chicken drumsticks with a potato chip crust — what could be bad? Crunchcrunchcrunch, with tender succulent chicken under the crunch. After I tasted it at my friend Dorothy Lee’s house, I had to get the recipe. It’s fun to make, fun to eat, and as addictive as potato chips. And, of course, kids just love it.
You have to use rippled potato chips, and not low-salt or no-salt. Then you’ll salt it all again—but don’t worry, it’s not too salty in the end.
12 chicken drumsticks, rinsed and patted dry
1 teaspoon Dora’s Savannah Seasoning (see below)
1 (9.5-ounce) bag rippled potato chips
2 teaspoons salt
½ cup self-rising flour
2 large eggs, beaten with
1 tablespoon water with a fork
Set the oven to 425°F and adjust the rack positions to the upper and lower thirds.
Massage the drumsticks with the Savannah seasoning and set aside.
Put half the potato chips into a food processor, along with 1 teaspoon of the salt. Grind into medium crumbs, about 15 seconds, stopping at least once to stir up the chips. Put the crumbs in a large shallow dish and repeat with the remaining chips and 1 teaspoon salt. Add to the bowl.
Now things get a little messy, so put down some newspaper on your counter. Put the flour in one large shallow dish and the beaten eggs in another. Make an assembly line, with the potato chip crumbs at the end. Have ready two baking sheets with racks perched on top.
Dip one drumstick in the flour to cover, shake well, and dip it into the eggs, turning to coat. Then, finally, the drumstick goes into the potato chip crumbs—press them in so the drumstick is well covered, and set it on the rack on one baking sheet. Repeat these steps with the remaining drumsticks.
Bake the chicken for 20 minutes and rotate the baking sheets. Bake for 10 to 20 more minutes, and then test one drumstick at the thickest point with a skewer. If the juices run clear, it’s done. If not, keep cooking and testing every 10 minutes until the juices run clear.
Serve hot or warm.
You can use 12 chicken thighs instead of drumsticks if you’d rather. The cooking time is the same.
My Savannah Seasoning
Makes about 2/3 cup
I keep this basic spicy seasoning mix in a little jar by the stovetop. I use it that often. It’s good with almost everything from eggs to chicken to pork and even some vegetables, and you can save yourself a little time making it up ahead.
Always taste what you’re cooking once it’s gone in, because you may find you need a little more of one or two elements to bring up the flavor.
1/3 cup Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
¼ cup salt
2 scant tablespoons granulated garlic or garlic powder
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
In a small bowl, mix everything together very thoroughly. Store the seasoning in a tightly sealed jar. It will keep for up to 3 months.
Reprinted with permission from A Real Southern Cook in Her Savannah Kitchen by Dora Charles (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).