In the 80’s, my parents were living in a little town called Hollywood, right outside of Miami. Their neighbor was an elderly woman named Lilian Israel. Over the years, Lily became somewhat of a “second mom” to my mother, and they spent most of their time in the kitchen sharing recipes. As my brother and I grew up in Texas, we would spend hours working on her Mother’s Day and Christmas cards, and every birthday we knew that we would receive a card in the mail with a crisp twenty dollar bill. She was always full of love and words of wisdom, and to this day her childhood jewelry box still sits on the top shelf of my bookshelf at home, a constant reminder of her giving heart.
Sadly, Lily passed away a few years ago, but it has never ceased to amaze me how a woman who happened to live in the house next to my parents turned into such an important and special person in my life.
One of her family recipes was a simple 3-ingredient baked chicken recipe. As a family we’ve eaten this meal countless times, but to this day it’s still one of our favorites. And after all these years we still refer to it by the name we called it as children: “Grandma Lily’s Chicken.”
- 4 leg quarters
- 2 cups Italian seasoned Breadcrumbs
- Zesty Italian Dressing
- Using a paper towl or rubber glove, pull the skin off the chicken. Place chicken in a large bowl, pierce the flesh with a fork, and pour dressing over as a marinade. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4-5 hours (this tastes best if marinaded overnight).
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Pour the breadcrumbs into a shallow bowl or plate, and carefully roll each piece of chicken into the breadcrumbs until evenly coated.
- Place chicken onto a greased sheet pan, and bake for 40-45 minutes or until the internal temperature is 165 degrees and cooked through.
- Serve over a bed of rice and a side salad.