Tarragon Ranch Chicken will become your new favorite oven-baked chicken. The simple brilliant cooking method ensures you will get just the right amount of crispiness without frying. The combination of panko mixed with a little flour, Parmesan cheese, tarragon, and other spices makes the perfect coating mixture. The marinade helps break down tough dark meat fibers as well as adds flavor.
Tarragon Ranch Chicken Recipe
6 (about 3 pounds) skin-on chicken thighs, chicken legs, or a mixture of both
1/2 cup prepared buttermilk ranch dressing
1/4 cup heavy cream or milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 Tablespoon dried tarragon
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil
1-1/2 cups plain panko
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon table salt, or to taste
2 teaspoons dried tarragon leaves
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Place the chicken pieces in a zip-top bag. Whisk the heavy cream or milk, lemon juice, and tarragon into the buttermilk ranch dressing. Pour the dressing mixture over the chicken and seal. Turn the bag several times so that chicken is completely coated. Unseal, press out all of the air, and re-seal. Refrigerate 2 to 4 hours.
When ready to cook, remove the chicken from the buttermilk ranch marinade and let drain in a colander (discarding the marinade) while you prepare the coating mix.
Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a roasting pan with non-stick foil. Place the butter and olive oil in the roasting pan and into the oven to melt for a few minutes. Remove pan and brush the butter-oil over the bottom of the pan to coat.
Measure the panko into a quart-sized zip-top bag. Crush the panko into smaller bits using a rolling pin. Add the flour, Parmesan cheese, salt, tarragon, onion powder, paprika, poultry seasoning, garlic powdere, and black pepper. Squish to combine into a coating mix. Pour this coating mix into a shallow dish.
Dredge the drained chicken pieces in the coating one piece at a time. Place each coated piece in the prepared pan, skin-side down. Cover pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and turn each piece over. Return to the oven, uncovered, and bake an additional 30 minutes.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings