Nut crusted Chicken Maryland for Christmas Day lunch
This recipe is for one of my nieces, M. We shared Christmas Day lunch and M was keen to know how I cooked the Chicken Maryland. This recipe is dedicated to Miss M who is a wonderful human being.
Unexpectedly, because of unusual family circumstances, I enjoyed Christmas Day lunch with some close family in Brisbane.
The tasking was clear. One brother cooked a 12-hour slowly roasted lamb shoulder, a butternut pumpkin, lamb jus, potato salad and roasted onions. My sister-in-law made a pavlova with mixed berries. My role was cooking chicken, buying prawns and preparing a salad.
I took easy options. I bought a few packets of coleslaw and garlic aioli for my salad. I was asked not to purchase my favourite kale coleslaw! Packet coleslaw is quick and it’s easy. I bought 1 kilogram of cooked unpeeled king prawns on Saturday and kept them cold in the refrigerator. After an hospital visit early Christmas Day morning all I had to do was peel the prawns and serve them with some purchased 1000 island sauce.
The only real effort was in cooking the chicken. I come from a family of dark meat lovers. We eschew the breast and crave the thigh. We want our meat to be tender, juicy and moist rather than dry and stringy.
- Chicken Maryland pieces
- Olive oil
- Iodised salt
- Black pepper
- Mixed dried herbs
- Queensland nuts
Heat the oven to 140 °C.
Line a baking tray with baking paper and place the tray into another baking tray which is slightly larger.
Place the pieces of Chicken Maryland into the lined baking tray and pour some olive oil over each piece.
Gently rub the oil all over the outer surface of each piece of chicken.
Sprinkle a little of the dried mixed herbs onto each piece of chicken.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Place some Queensland nuts and peanuts into a zip lock bag and then crush the nuts with whatever tool you have available.
Sprinkle the crushed nuts onto the chicken and gently press them into the skin to ensure the nuts adhere to the surface of the chicken.
Pour some water into the outer baking tray. I used enough so the water was about 1.5 cm deep.
Place the trays and chicken pieces into the oven and cook for 1 hour.
At 1 hour turn the oven off and keep the door closed.
Go and visit the hospital for a few hours safe in the knowledge the chicken will continue to cook for a little while, the water in the outer tray will maintain a humid moist environment and keeping the oven door closed with ensure the chicken remains warm and doesn’t go cold.
When you get home, prepare the Christmas Day lunch banquet and make sure everyone gets a piece of Chicken Maryland with a nut crusted skin.
Enjoy your Christmas Day lunch with family and good food.
I default to 500 Calories for the energy calculation for all my recipes.
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Questions and answers
Why dark meat?
It has more flavour and it’s more forgiving to cook. Breast meat can be tender and juicy but it requires a lot more attention to detail when cooking and life’s too short for that. Thigh meat will almost always be tender, juicy and moist.
Can this be applied to other poultry?
Yes. This advice is suitable for turkey and duck, although the fat content in a duck breast is higher and duck breast is more forgiving.
I thought breast was best?
Not when it comes to roasting a chook 😂