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.
When Von Diaz ended up with her grandmother's 1964 copy of the Puerto Rican classic Cocina Criolla, she decided to explore the recipes -- with her mother and grandmother at her side.