Adapted from Blue Plate Specials and Blue Ribbon Chefs by Jane and Michael Stern (Lebhar-Friedman Books, 2001). Copyright 2001 by Jane and Michael Stern.
Serves 4 or 5
One of the all-time great chicken recipes was invented by Josie McCarthy, who had a regular cooking show in the 1950s on WRCA-TV in New York. Josie suggests that this syrupy sweet dish seems so much more difficult than it really is, and therefore makes a perfect entree if you want to impress your mother-in-law or the boss.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix lemonade concentrate and water in small bowl. Pour over chicken in larger bowl. Refrigerate 2 hours or longer. Drain chicken and retain liquid.
Mix together flour, salt, and pepper in a small paper bag. Add well-drained chicken, one piece at a time. Grasp bag closed and shake to flour chicken evenly.
Heat oil in a large skillet over moderate heat. Add floured chicken; cook until evenly browned, turning pieces over carefully.
Remove chicken and arrange in a single layer in a shallow baking pan. Brush chicken with melted butter. Add reserved lemonade.
Bake, uncovered, about 1 hour, basting chicken with lemonade from pan every fifteen minutes. About 15 minutes before chicken is done, drain off excess juice from pan.
Many well-known chefs work with food scientist Harold McGee, author of Keys to Good Cooking: A Guide to Making the Best of Foods and Recipes. McGee explains why thawing small cuts of meat in 100-degree water is perfectly safe.