My fireman had a night shift and my roomie, Elissa, and I took the golden opportunity to have a ‘girl’s night in.’  As we are the sort of girls who wanted to learn how to split wood when we lived in the Sacramento area where we absolutely didn’t need it to keep warm and aspire to murder trout on any given weekend in summer, bon-bons and movies based on Jane Austen novels is not for us.

We ended up cleaning out the DVR of our primetime soap operas (We have become addicted to Nashville and Revenge, really the only difference is production value, it’s wonderfully trashy!) and chowing down on crispy chicken and oven fries with absolutely no vegetables!  It’s guy-food with just a fraction of the calories.


I think this one is a winner on all accounts.  The chicken is ridiculously juicy and flavorful.  Baking chicken is healthier than frying it and you don’t have to pay for all the oil.  Really, unless you have a deep fryer, it’s not worth it.  I used the portions of two pieces of chicken and one pound of potatoes per person, so you can feed as many people as you like with this dinner.  It’s actually all fairly easy, you just prep everything and pop it in the oven!  If you were so inclined to add a veggie side dish, coleslaw is quite nice.

Baked Crispy Chicken and Seasoned Steak Fries

Serves 2 – cost approx $.90 per serving


  • 2 lb russet potatoes ($.40)
  • 3 Tbs vegetable oil
  • salt
  • chili powder and paprika, to taste
  • 2 leg quarters, separated into thighs and drumsticks ($.89, I found a great deal of a whole chicken for $.67 per lb!)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 Tbs ranch dressing
  • 1/4 cup parmesan, it works best with a block of parmesan and a microplane to grate it, but the green can will do too. ($.25)
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs

Preheat your oven to 375F.  Wash the potatoes and poke them several times with a fork.  Toss in the oven for 20 minutes or so while you prepare the chicken.

Prepare two baking sheets to make them non-stick however you like: silicone mat, spray grease, or non-stick foil.  Pat the chicken dry and season it with salt and black pepper.  Using a basting brush or pastry brush, paint the chicken pieces all over with the ranch dressing.  Mix the parmesan cheese and bread crumbs together.  Coat the chicken in the breadcrumb mixture and put it on one of the prepared baking sheets.


Bake until fully cooked, about 30 minutes.


Take out the par-cooked potatoes and carefully (with a hot pad!) cut them into wedges.  Put them on the second prepared sheet and use a spatula to toss them with all the oil, salt and spices.  Lay the potato wedges out in a single layer.  Bake with the chicken, until browned and fully cooked 20-30 minutes.


If the chicken or oven fries aren’t as brown as you like, you can kick on the broiler and toast them to your liking.