This is what you get:
I had planned to embark on this adventure with something simple. I should have known better. When my usually-wonderful boyfriend, Ben, volunteered to provide the first two ingredients for the inaugural mashup, I didn’t expect that he would throw me such a curveball right out of the gate. “fruit loops and chicken” he messaged me once he got to work. He was wise to drop that bomb from a distance.
FROOT LOOPS AND CHICKEN? Oh no.
At first I was very concerned. I began to think that maybe I should set some parameters for the suggestions I take. I don’t usually cook with ingredients that come in Technicolor.
But… I’m no chicken. I determined to take the challenge head on.
I decided that in order to maintain an appetizing appearance, I would use only the yellow and orange Fruit Loops. It gave the breading for my oven-fried chicken a more appealing color, and made the presence of the cereal less… terrifying.
I combined the Froot Loops with some bread crumbs to cut the sweetness and to give the coating some crumb-like texture. Plenty of savory seasonings and lemon zest gave it a nice tangy and spicy balance, and the results weren’t half bad.
- juice of 2 lemons (about 4 Tbsp)
- zest of 1 lemon (about 2 tsp)
- 4 tsp honey mustard
- 2 tsp spicy brown mustard
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 cups buttermilk
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp black pepper (preferably freshly ground)
- 1 dash hot sauce
- 2 shallots, sliced thinly
- 6 legs, bone in skin on
- 6 thighs, bone in skin on
- 2-3 cups Froot Loops cereal (I used just yellow and orange, but feel free to include them all)
- 1 slice sandwich bread, toasted (I used whole wheat)
- zest of 1 lemon (about 2 tsp)
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp black pepper (preferably freshly ground, though I know that’s a lot of grinding!)
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- In a large bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients for the marinade. Rinse the chicken and pat each piece dry with paper towel (this will enable the marinade to stick to and seep into the chicken). Place all of the chicken pieces in the marinade, making sure that all of them are completely covered. Let the flavors meld together in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours. You can do this ahead of time and let the chicken marinate overnight (I unfortunately didn’t have that kind of foresight and was too curious to see how this recipe would turn out to wait).
- While the chicken marinates, prepare the Froot Loop coating mixture. If you plan to sort the cereal, you’ll have plenty of wait time to do this now. Pulse the cereal in a food processor until it becomes powder. If you don’t have a food processor, you can do this by putting the cereal in a gallon plastic bag and crushing it with a rolling pin. Add the toasted bread to the food processor and pulse it to incorporate it with the Froot Loops. Pour the crumbs into a bowl and add the rest of the coating ingredients.
- After the chicken is finished marinating, preheat the oven to 425F. Then, take out two large baking dishes (like a lasagna pan). Into one (the smaller if there is a difference), pour the coating mixture. With one hand, pull out a piece of chicken from the marinade. Let the excess drip off, then place it in the coating mixture. Use your other hand to help coat the chicken completely, then transfer the chicken to the empty baking dish, skin side up. Repeat this until all of the chicken is evenly coated and snugly tucked into the baking dish. Discard any leftover marinade and coating mixture. Dot each piece with a little bit of butter (this will ensure a nice crispiness on top). Bake for about 1 hour, or until the chicken is browned and the skin is crispy.
I served the chicken with some collard greens (using a recipe very similar to this one, but adding about a head of roasted garlic in with the greens) which complimented it beautifully, but just about any side would be great.
Ben and his housemates were all pleasantly surprised that my Froot Loop Crusted Oven-Fried Chicken tasted… well… better than it sounds.