Easy Baked Chicken _lowres

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- For a simple-to-make main dish, try Easy Baked Chicken.

My family likes just plain baked chicken. The kind that bakes long and slow and you keep basting with the pan juices. My brother calls it “sticky chicken” because the juices begin to thicken and the skin gets sticky.

I remember my mother seasoning the chicken the night before. I seldom do that since I’m much more last minute planning meals. Baking chicken is a breeze to do, but you do have to baste the chicken a few times during the cooking.

I do like to use rather plump fryers for baking rather than the smaller ones. You can bake the chicken whole, but I remember my mother baking a big pan of halves, so that’s what I do. If you have a whole chicken you want to halve, it’s easy to do. Remove the backbone or cut down the side of the backbone to cut the chicken in half.

I mix salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper together in a small bowl to season the chicken. I keep a bowl of that mix on the cook top and use that to season most of my food. Season the chicken generously on both sides.

If I have celery, I like to place the halves on a piece or two of celery.

Corinne Cook is a columnist for The Advocate. Reach her at food@theadvocate.com.