F.E.O Chicken

People often assume I do all the cooking at our house and sometimes, when I am feeling especially like slack housewife, I let them. But during the week, at least in the horrible after-work rush, the Boy Wonder puts his pinny on* so when I get home from work dinner is already underway.
Last week he rang me at work, sounding rushed. I immediately envisaged the house being on fire or the Small Girl being in hospital but something much bigger was at stake.

Him: “I need to know the order again.”
Me: “What order?”
Him: “For the chicken. What do I do after the flour and before the oats?”
Me: “Oh. Egg. Flour, then egg (a beaten one), then – what? Oats? There’s some panko breadcrumbs somewhere I think…”
Him: “No, I’m going to use oats. Ok, so egg, then flour, then oats.”
Me: “No, flour, then egg, then oats. Flour, egg, oats. Do you really want to use oats? I think breadc…”
Him: “No, I’m going to use oats. Flour, egg. oats. F.E.O. Ok. Got it. Text me when you’re on the way.”

F.E.O Chicken
So, what I have learned from this is that a) I don’t always know best and b) my husband makes excellent fried chicken. This is – roughly – how he does it.

Chicken pieces – we use free-range, bone-in chicken thighs, because that’s what I buy at the supermarket
Salt and pepper
A beaten egg or two (also free range, see above)
Rolled oats
Peanut oil

Put some flour in a shallow bowl and grind in some salt and pepper.
Crack the egg(s) into a bowl and beat lightly.
Tip some rolled oats into a third bowl.
Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour, then egg, then oats (recite the F.E.O mantra if you are worried about getting confused). At this point you can set the chicken aside in the fridge if dinner is some time away.
Heat some oil in a large heavy pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook, turning occasionally, until the juices run clear. Turn the heat down once you have a nice golden crust and just be patient. “It takes a while, but you want it to be cooked,” says the expert.
Serve with homemade chips and salad made from the cos lettuces you grew yourself in the mini allotment at the end of the garden.  The little bits of oaty crust that get left behind in the pan are an excellent treat for whoever does the dishes.

*He doesn’t really wear an apron. He does have a high-vis vest though – but it might be a bit flammable to cook in.

Who does the weeknight cooking in your house?



  1. February 21, 2012 / 6:29 pm

    Just to let you know I have awarded you with a versatile blogger award and I have a link to your blog on my mine. But if you don't want to do it or accept that is absoloutly fine, but thought I would let you know! Amazing looking food by the way!

  2. February 21, 2012 / 7:01 pm

    Oooh, clever!
    I love Panko bread crumbs, but alas, yet again they are not easily found here in multi-cultural (cough cough) Belgium.
    But oats, I can find them! Though I have anzac biscuits stuck in my head right now, and am therefore struggling to imagine a savoury version of a crispy oat 😉
    I do all our weeknight cooking as I am the stay-at-home one, but husband does a lot on the weekend, and he is pretty good. Though he is notorious for making a ridiculous amount of dishes, and not being able to cook while there are any children in the kitchen….
    Sounds like you got yourself a good'un. x

  3. February 21, 2012 / 8:21 pm

    That reminds me of a conversation I had with my other half about salmon and mayonnaise! That chicken does look really tasty 🙂

  4. February 22, 2012 / 1:21 am

    I love when someone other than myself cooks a meal. Lucky you, the chicken looks delicious. Lots of compliments usually gets you a few more dinners cooked by the recipient of said compliment. lol !!

  5. February 22, 2012 / 11:35 am

    Looks lovely. But what is panko? I keep hearing about it. Is it better than breadcrumbs, similar to polenta? My husband is [whisper it] a far better cook than me. He loves to cook (whereas I love to eat) and at the weekend the kitchen is his. I do the rough and tumble day to day stuff, he does the show-y off stuff. But he never wears an apron.

  6. February 22, 2012 / 6:40 pm

    Looks wonderful FEO chicken. Well done BW! I also buy freerange. It upsets me to see piles of chicken in the supermarket. I can only see thousands of chickens of short life and no sun in barns. I walk up and down the isle and end up going to Nosh. I buy less but feel happy.

  7. February 23, 2012 / 5:28 am

    sometimes i have trouble remembering the order of dunking too, oats sound good, i do love love love panko though, would run away with panko if it offered

  8. April 24, 2012 / 1:17 pm

    Though he is notorious for making a ridiculous amount of dishes, and not being able to cook while there are any children in the kitchen

  9. April 24, 2012 / 2:36 pm

    That's just the sort of thing idea to make me feel better about stuffing down too many goodies…

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