Mouthwatering Spicy Chicken: Perfect for Dinner Tonight

As the sun sets over the rolling fields of the South, there is one dish that never fails to satisfy my hunger and warm my soul: southern-style fried chicken. This recipe for the best ever spicy oven-fried chicken will transport your taste buds straight to a front porch in Mississippi, where the air is thick with the aroma of hot pepper sauce and crisp, buttery coating.

But let’s be real, frying up a batch of chicken can be messy and time-consuming. That’s why I’ve created this recipe – a healthier, easier way to achieve that crispy goodness without all the fuss. By using the oven instead of deep-frying, you’ll save yourself some calories while still enjoying a delicious Southern meal.

My secret ingredient for this recipe is cayenne pepper, which adds just the right amount of heat to each bite. The combination of spices in this dish gives it that classic southern flavor, while modern baking techniques give it that crispy bite we all crave.

Whether you’re hankering for a quick dinner or looking to impress guests at a barbecue, this recipe will become your go-to for all occasions. Embrace your inner Southern chef and whip up a batch of the best ever spicy oven-fried chicken tonight. I promise your taste buds won’t regret it.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Best Ever Spicy Oven-Fried Chicken - Southern
Best Ever Spicy Oven-Fried Chicken – Southern

This recipe is not for the faint-hearted; it’s for those who appreciate a good, old-fashioned southern-style chicken that’s crispy, spicy, and finger-licking good. If you’re looking for a baked chicken recipe that rivals the best-fried chicken in the south, look no further.

Firstly, the flavor combination of cayenne pepper, paprika, dried thyme, garlic, onion powder, and Parmesan cheese results in a lip-smacking explosion of flavor. The blend of herbs and spices will tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving more. The recipe also calls for hot pepper sauce and Dijon mustard which adds an extra kick to this dish.

Secondly, it’s healthier than traditional deep-fried southern-style chicken without sacrificing taste or crunch. By using boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs coated in flour and baked instead of deep-fried in oil, you save yourself from consuming unhealthy amounts of calories and saturated fat while still enjoying delicious crispy chicken.

Lastly, this recipe is incredibly easy to make. With just a few simple steps like mixing herbs and spices with the flour for coating the chicken pieces and whisking buttermilk with oil and sauce to marinate them adds incredible flavor elements to this flavorful recipe. These ingredients blend well in a large bowl which works wonders in saving time too.

In conclusion, if you are looking to enjoy a mouthwatering southern-style oven-fried chicken without compromising your taste or health goals, then try this recipe today! It’s tasty enough to be served at any occasion while avoiding all the fuss that comes with frying in a skillet. So prep your chicken strips or tenders with bread crumbs and half-baked harvest hot chicken seasoning mixture by following this recipe article and wait for 25 mins as it bakes crispy oven fried; then feel indulged like never before!

Ingredient List

 Get ready to spice up your life with my Spicy Oven-Fried Chicken!
Get ready to spice up your life with my Spicy Oven-Fried Chicken!

Here are the ingredients that you’ll need for the Best Ever Spicy Oven-Fried Chicken recipe:

  • Chicken Pieces: 3 lbs bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (legs, thighs, and/or breasts)
  • Buttermilk: 2 cups buttermilk
  • Hot Pepper Sauce: 1/4 cup hot pepper sauce
  • Dijon Mustard: 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • Garlic Cloves: 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Flour: 2 cups flour
  • Parmesan Cheese: 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Paprika: 4 teaspoons paprika
  • Cayenne Pepper: 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • Dried Thyme: 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • Onion Powder: 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • Garlic Powder: 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt: 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • Ground Black Pepper: 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Make sure you have all of these ingredients ready before starting with the recipe. You can find these easily at your local grocery store.

The Recipe How-To

 Can you smell the aroma of this crispy and flavorful chicken?
Can you smell the aroma of this crispy and flavorful chicken?

Now, it’s time to cook. Grab your apron and let’s get started with this Best Ever Spicy Oven-Fried Chicken recipe!


Make sure you have all of the recipe ingredients beforehand, so you won’t have to run to the store halfway through cooking. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Chicken pieces: You can use boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, or chicken drumsticks and wings, depending on your preference.
  • Buttermilk: This ingredient will help tenderize the meat and give your oven-fried chicken a tangy flavor.
  • Flour: All-purpose flour works for this recipe.
  • Parmesan cheese: Grated Parmesan cheese adds extra flavor and helps with browning.
  • Paprika and cayenne pepper: These spices add heat and smokiness to the crust of your chicken.
  • Garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme: These seasonings will give your chicken a flavorful kick.
  • Dijon mustard, extra-virgin olive oil, and hot pepper sauce: This mixture is used as a marinade for the chicken to infuse more flavors into the meat.
  • Salt and black pepper: To taste.


  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F (218°C).
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together buttermilk, Dijon mustard, hot pepper sauce, olive oil, garlic cloves, salt, and black pepper until well combined.
  3. Add chicken pieces to the marinade and toss well to coat them completely. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour or overnight (for best results).
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk flour, Parmesan cheese, paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, salt, and black pepper together until well combined.
  5. Remove chicken from the marinade and let the excess drip off.
  6. Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour mixture, make sure they’re well coated.
  7. Transfer chicken to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and make sure there is no crowding.
  8. Bake chicken for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.
  9. Serve hot.


  • Marinate: Marinating your chicken before cooking will help tenderize the meat and infuse it with extra flavor. Be sure to marinate for at least an hour or overnight for the best results.
  • Dredge: Coating the chicken thoroughly in the flour mixture ensures that it will be evenly coated and crunchy when baked.
  • Parchment paper: Using a baking sheet lined with parchment paper makes cleanup much easier and prevents sticking.

By following these steps, your oven-fried chicken should be juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside. This recipe is perfect for those who crave fried chicken without all of the hassle of deep frying.

Substitutions and Variations

 You won't be able to resist a second helping of this tasty chicken.
You won’t be able to resist a second helping of this tasty chicken.

If you’re feeling adventurous, there are several ways to switch up this southern style oven-fried chicken recipe.

First off, for those who prefer a milder flavor, you can adjust the hot pepper sauce and cayenne pepper to your liking. Use less or omit them altogether and add more sweet paprika for a smoky flavor.

If you want to try something new, consider substituting the chicken pieces with boneless skinless chicken breasts, chicken strips, or even chicken tenders. You can also use bread crumbs instead of flour to get crispy fried texture.

For those who want to add extra depth of flavor, try throwing in some onion or garlic powder along with dried thyme in the seasoning blend.

To make it crunchier without deep-frying, mix bread crumbs and parmesan cheese in equal proportion and use as a coating with olive oil instead of flour. For a variation of recipes, check out Half Baked Harvest’s version published on her blog!

Ultimately, this recipe is versatile enough for you to experiment with different variations and substitutions while still yielding delicious results.

Serving and Pairing

 Say goodbye to deep-frying with this oven-fried chicken recipe!
Say goodbye to deep-frying with this oven-fried chicken recipe!

When it comes to serving and pairing this Best Ever Spicy Oven-Fried Chicken, the possibilities are endless! You can serve it up for a delicious family dinner or a casual get-together with friends. I personally love to serve this southern-style recipe with some classic sides such as mashed potatoes, coleslaw, and macaroni and cheese. These sides complement the chicken perfectly, making for a hearty and satisfying meal.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try pairing this spicy oven-fried chicken with some tangy hot pepper sauce or mustard garlic sauce. The heat from the chicken pairs perfectly with the spiciness of the sauces, making for an unforgettable flavor combination. For added texture and crunch, I like to serve this dish with a side of crispy fried okra or green beans.

If you want to keep things light and healthy, pair this delicious chicken recipe with a fresh salad or some roasted veggies. The oven-fried chicken is already flavorful on its own, so pairing it with lighter sides will make for a well-balanced meal.

No matter how you choose to serve it up, this Best Ever Spicy Oven-Fried Chicken is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. So go ahead and dig in – you won’t regret it!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Nothing beats the sound of the crunch this chicken creates with each bite.
Nothing beats the sound of the crunch this chicken creates with each bite.

When it comes to enjoying this southern-style spicy oven-fried chicken, there are a few things you can do to ensure you have the most delicious and convenient experience.

First off, let’s talk about making ahead. While this recipe is best served fresh and crispy out of the oven, there are some things you can do in advance to save time on prep day. You can make the dry ingredient mixture by blending together flour, parmesan cheese, cayenne pepper, paprika, dried thyme, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and black pepper. This mix can be stored in an airtight container up to 3 months at room temperature.

Now on to storing leftovers. Whether you’ve made too much on purpose or have some extra chicken left over from your meal, fear not because this chicken reheats well! After cooking the chicken (following our recipe instructions) and letting it cool down completely, place it in a shallow airtight container or resealable plastic bag for optimal storage time. Store it in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze it for up to 2 months.

If you’re reheating frozen leftovers, no need to thaw them out first! Reheat the chicken pieces in the oven or toaster oven preheated to 350°F (180°C) for about 25 minutes or until crispy and hot throughout.

For a quick reheat of refrigerated leftovers, use your microwave for best results. Place a couple of pieces of leftover chicken on a microwave-safe plate and heat it on high for about 1-2 minutes (depending on the wattage of your microwave).

Overall, with a little planning and preparation these tips will help you enjoy this spicy oven-fried chicken Southern recipe at any time without sacrificing any of its deliciousness!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Make sure you have a glass of water nearby, this chicken is a bit spicy!
Make sure you have a glass of water nearby, this chicken is a bit spicy!

When it comes to making the best ever spicy oven-fried chicken, there are a few tips and tricks that can really make all the difference in ensuring perfect results. As a Southern chef, I’ve learned a thing or two about making fried chicken, and I’m excited to share my top tips with you.

First and foremost, it’s important to properly season your chicken pieces before breading them. Don’t be afraid to be generous with your spices – the more flavor, the better! I recommend using a blend of cayenne pepper, paprika, dried thyme, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Mix these together in a large bowl before adding in your chicken pieces.

To ensure that your coating sticks well to each piece of chicken, try using finely grated Parmesan cheese in your breading mixture. This not only adds an extra layer of flavor but also helps the breading adhere to the chicken.

When dipping your chicken into the egg mixture and then into the flour mixture, make sure to use one hand for wet ingredients and one hand for dry ingredients. This will help prevent clumps from forming on your coated chicken pieces.

Another tip for achieving crispy and evenly cooked chicken is to use a wire rack on top of your baking sheet. The rack allows air to circulate around each piece of chicken, which helps it cook more evenly and ensures a crispy exterior.

If you’re short on time but still want that deep-fried texture and flavor, try using panko bread crumbs instead of regular bread crumbs. They’re coarser and crispier than regular breadcrumbs when fried.

Finally, don’t forget to let your chicken rest for a few minutes after it’s been cooked. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout each piece of chicken for moist and flavorful bites.

Following these simple tips will result in an oven-fried chicken that is crispy on the outside, moist on the inside and bursting with spicy and savory flavors. Enjoy your delicious and perfectly cooked Southern-style spicy oven-fried chicken!


Now that we have covered all the details about making the Best Ever Spicy Oven-Fried Chicken, it’s time to address some of the most common questions that come up when it comes to this recipe. Here I’ll share some answers to frequently asked questions so you can troubleshoot any issues that may arise and get the best results every time. Let’s dive into item (9) FAQ.

What is the secret to making great fried chicken?

When preparing a dish featuring chicken, it’s important to ensure that everyone’s preference for dark or white meat is satisfied. To achieve this, start by cutting a whole chicken into pieces. Next, creating a delicious marinade is the key to ensuring maximum flavor. When it comes to cooking the chicken, patience is a virtue-avoid rushing the process to achieve the best taste. Don’t skimp on seasoning, generous amounts will elevate the flavor. Proper oil and temperature are critical for perfectly cooked chicken. Finally, ditch those paper towels and opt for a wire rack instead.

How to make Paula Deen’s fried chicken?

As a Southern-style cuisine specialist, let me share with you the secrets of making perfectly crispy and flavorful fried chicken. Firstly, prepare the seasoning by combining the spices and make sure to store in a sealed container for later use.

Next, grab two separate bowls. In the first bowl, whisk the eggs and water together until well-beaten. In the other bowl, mix the flour and pepper together, ensuring it is evenly distributed.

Now the fun part, let’s coat the chicken! Take each piece of chicken and dip it into the bowl of egg mixture, making sure it is coated thoroughly. After that, transfer it to the flour mixture, making sure every inch is coated in the mixture.

Take a deep pot and preheat the oil to 300 degrees. Once the oil has reached the desired temperature, carefully place the chicken into the pot. Make sure there is enough room for each piece to cook evenly, and to prevent overcrowding the pot.

Fry the chicken in the oil until it reaches a golden brown color, and it’s crispy enough for your liking. Take care not to overcook the chicken as that would result in dry, tasteless chicken. Once it has finished cooking, remove from the pot and place onto a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil.

Now, all that’s left is to serve and eat the delicious, soul-soothing Southern-style fried chicken!

What is the difference between fried chicken and Southern fried chicken?

When it comes to Southern-style cuisine, fried chicken is a dish that is well-loved and widely recognized. This delicious dish features chicken pieces that are coated in a seasoned batter or flour and then cooked using various methods such as pan-frying, deep-frying, pressure frying, or even air frying. The breading creates a crispy crust on the outside of the chicken while still sealing in the flavorful juices inside.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Best Ever Spicy Oven-Fried Chicken recipe is sure to satisfy your cravings for Southern-style cuisine. With its delicious blend of spices, crispy coating, and juicy chicken meat, it’s a recipe that will quickly become a family favorite.

Whether you prefer boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, chicken strips or tenders, this recipe can easily be adapted to suit your preferences. And while it may not be the traditional deep-fried version of Southern Fried Chicken, this oven-fried variation offers all the flavor without the added calories and mess.

So why not give this recipe a try and experience the best oven-fried chicken you’ve ever tasted? Your tastebuds (and your family) will thank you!

Best Ever Spicy Oven-Fried Chicken - Southern

Best Ever Spicy Oven-Fried Chicken - Southern Recipe

I love this chicken recipe--after messing around with oil fried chicken, I found this recipe and it's exactly what I was looking for, darn close to "real" fried chicken without the hassle of oil frying. There is marinating time, but otherwise super easy. Don't be intimidated by th amount of hot pepper sauce in the marinade, the chicken will pick up only some of the heat.
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Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine Southern American
Calories 283.3 kcal



  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons hot pepper sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 12 chicken pieces, with skin and bones (breasts, thighs and drumsticks)


  • 1 cup dry unseasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted


  • Whisk buttermilk, oil, hot pepper sauce, mustard, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in large bowl to blend well. Add onion, then chicken and turn to coat.
  • Cover, chill at least 3 hours or up to 1 day, turning chicken occasionally. I usually get a big gallon ziploc bag and place the marinade and chicken in the bag.
  • Place racks on 2 large rimmed baking sheets.
  • Whisk breadcrumbs, cheese, flour, thyme, paprika, cayenne and 1 teaspoon salt in large baking dish to blend.
  • Remove chicken from marinade, allowing, excess to drip off. Add chicken to breadcrumb mixture and turn to coat completely.
  • Arrange chicken, skin side up, on racks on baking sheets.
  • Let stand 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 425°F Drizzle butter over chicken.
  • Place chicken in oven and bake until crisp, golden and cooked through about 50 minutes.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 136gCalories: 283.3kcalCarbohydrates: 23.3gProtein: 7.5gFat: 18.1gSaturated Fat: 6.4gCholesterol: 22.2mgSodium: 1341.1mgFiber: 1.9gSugar: 4.9g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Chicken, Meat, Oven, Poultry
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