Old Fashioned Church Dinner Chicken – Just Like Mom Use to Make

This "church dinner chicken" is just like the recipe mom used to make - tender and juicy, nicely spiced and cooked until falling off the bone.
Recently I received an email from someone from my hometown that included: “Your family was a huge part of the St Peter and Paul church dinners, correct? I so miss that church dinner chicken. Do you recall how it was prepared by any chance?”

Working for church dinners and other church fundraisers such as the Easter bake sale (featuring grandma’s doughnut recipe) was definitely a huge part of growing up in our small town. My mom used the same recipe at home for chicken as we did for the family catering business and the church dinners, and I still use that same recipe today.

History sidenote – My summer job through high school and college was catering. My mom, my two sisters and I created Irene’s Custom Cakes and Catering. We served everything from candlelight dinners for two to buffet style picnics for several hundred. Here’s a shot of my mom, Irene (right), and my sister Lois, otherwise known as Alfie.

Irene-and-Alfie-catering

We served a lot of food over the years, but our chicken dinner was by far the most requested menu. Since the catering business has long since closed its doors, I can now reveal to you the family secret recipe for quite possibly the tastiest chicken you’ve ever eaten. This chicken is browned off on the stove top before being finished in the oven to moist and tender perfection.

Our special spice blend was named after my sister, and referred to as “Alfie’s Chicken Sh*t” at the catering business. (What can I say? Things were pretty rowdy cooking and baking for weeks on end.) At church it was just called the chicken coating.

Church Dinner Chicken Recipe

Makes enough for one whole chicken

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup flour (or gluten free flour blend such as Namaste)
  • 1 teaspoon season salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • pinch thyme
  • pinch poultry seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • One whole chicken, cut into pieces
  • Oil for frying such as lard, refined coconut oil or palm shortening

Mix all dry ingredients in a gallon baggie or bowl.

Rinse your chicken well and cut your chicken into pieces for frying. If you don’t know how to do this, this video provides a great step by step tutorial for how to cut up a chicken.

Don’t forget to tuck the wing tips in before frying to help them cook evenly.

This "church dinner chicken" is just like the recipe mom used to make - tender and juicy, nicely spiced and cooked until falling off the bone.

Preheat your oven to 350°F, and prepare a medium roasting pan by placing a stalk or two of roughly chopped celery and a little water in the bottom.

Place about 1 inch of frying oil (I prefer refined coconut oil, lard, palm shortening or schmaltz) in a large skillet and heat to around 350-375°F.

I never use a thermometer. I just set my burner to medium heat and keep an eye on it. When the oil melts, you’re getting closer. When you can flick a few drops of water into the fat and get a nice “sizzle”, it’s ready. Smoke is bad – too hot. Instantaneous vaporization of liquid equals too hot. No sizzle equals too cold. I usually get the oil heating while I prep the chicken.

As the oil heats, coat your chicken in the seasoning mixture, either by shaking it in the gallon bag or dredging it in a bowl. Shake off excess coating. I like to keep one hand messy and one hand clean. For example, I grab and dredge the chicken with my right hand and work the tongs with my left. Work from left to right or right to left, whichever is easiest for you in your kitchen, so you’re not crossing back and forth through your work area. I dredge right, fry center, and place finished pieces in pan on left.

Place piece skin side down in the hot oil.

You can see there’s some nice bubbling action as the chicken fries. You want the oil hot enough so it cooks without absorbing excess oil, but not so hot that it burns. As more solids accumulate in the bottom of the pan, the pieces will brown more quickly. You’re going for a light, golden brown color.

When the first side is nicely browned, flip over and repeat on other side.

This "church dinner chicken" is just like the recipe mom used to make - tender and juicy, nicely spiced and cooked until falling off the bone.

Placed browned pieces into roasting pan. Continue process until all pieces are browned.

This "church dinner chicken" is just like the recipe mom used to make - tender and juicy, nicely spiced and cooked until falling off the bone.Cover and roast in oven at around 350°F for one to one and half hours. Chicken should be tender enough to fall easily from the bone.

And there you have it! Moist, tender baked chicken just like my momma used to make.

This "church dinner chicken" is just like the recipe mom used to make - tender and juicy, nicely spiced and cooked until falling off the bone.

Do you have a favorite recipe that you grew up with that you still use? Let me know in the comments section.

Church Dinner Chicken 2016-05-06 15:00:56 This "church dinner chicken" is just like the recipe mom used to make – tender and juicy, nicely spiced and cooked until falling off the bone.

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641 calories
77 g
130 g
12 g
53 g
3 g
254 g
2645 g
1 g
0 g
7 g

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size
254g
Amount Per Serving

Calories 641
Calories from Fat 109

% Daily Value *

Total Fat 12g
19%

Saturated Fat 3g
16%

Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g

Cholesterol 130mg
43%

Sodium 2645mg
110%

Total Carbohydrates 77g
26%

Dietary Fiber 4g
17%

Sugars 1g
Protein 53g

Vitamin A24%Vitamin C1%
Calcium6%Iron22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Does this look wrong?

Ingredients

  1. 3/4 cup flour (or gluten free flour blend such as Namaste)
  2. 1 teaspoon season salt
  3. 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  4. 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  5. pinch thyme
  6. pinch poultry seasoning
  7. 1 teaspoon paprika
  8. 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  9. salt and pepper to taste
  10. 1 chicken, cut up
  11. Oil for frying such as lard, refined coconut oil or palm shortening

Instructions

  1. Mix all dry ingredients in a gallon baggie or bowl.
  2. Rinse your chicken well and cut your chicken into pieces for frying.
  3. Preheat your oven to 350°F, and prepare a medium roasting pan by placing a stalk or two of roughly chopped celery and a little water in the bottom.
  4. Place about 1 inch of frying oil in a large skillet and heat to around 350-375°F.
  5. As the oil heats, coat your chicken in the seasoning mixture, either by shaking it in the gallon bag or dredging it in a bowl. Shake off excess coating.
  6. Place piece skin side down in the hot oil.
  7. When the first side is nicely browned, flip over and repeat on other side.
  8. Placed browned pieces into roasting pan. Continue process until all pieces are browned.
  9. Cover and roast in oven at around 350°F for one to one and half hours. Chicken should be tender enough to fall easily from the bone.

By Laurie Neverman
beta

calories
641

fat
12g

protein
53g

carbs
77g

more

Common Sense Homesteading http://commonsensehome.com/
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Originally published May 2011, updated May 2016.

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