When I think of Southern cuisine, one dish immediately comes to mind – the classic fried chicken. It’s crispy, juicy, and flavorful, everything you could want in a meal. And while that iconic dish is a staple for many, it can also be intimidating to cook. With traditional deep-frying methods requiring a lot of oil and fuss, it can leave even experienced cooks feeling daunted.
But fear not! As a chef specializing in Southern-style cuisine, I have created an easy oven-fried chicken recipe that you will surely love. The result is the perfect balance between the beloved crunch of classic fried chicken and the simplicity of oven-baking. Trust me; this recipe is both easy and tasty.
With just a handful of ingredients and minimal prep work required, this chicken recipe makes for an excellent choice when you’re short on time but still craving that classic Southern flavor. So let’s get cooking! Gather up your ingredients and preheat the oven to 425°F. It’s time to make some delicious southern-style oven-fried chicken that is sure to knock your socks off!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Are you a fan of crispy and delicious Southern-style fried chicken but dread the mess and hassle that comes with frying? Look no further! This easy oven-fried chicken recipe is calling your name.
What sets this dish apart from other chicken recipes is the southern style oven-frying technique. Not only does oven-frying provide the same crispy texture as traditional frying, but it also significantly cuts down on oil and fat, making it a healthier option for you and your family.
The key to achieving that perfect crisp on your chicken is a blend of salt, pepper, paprika, thyme, and garlic powder in the seasoned flour mixture. Dip the chicken in buttermilk before coating it in the flour mixture to ensure maximum flavor and tenderness. The combination of savory spices and tangy buttermilk will leave you wanting more with every bite.
Not only is this recipe easy and healthier than traditional fried chicken, but it can also be customized to fit your taste preferences. Swap out chicken thighs for drumsticks or breaded chicken strips for a fun finger food appetizer.
With just a few simple ingredients and some easy-to-follow instructions, you can have a mouth-watering chicken dinner that will make all your dreams come true. So why not try this recipe tonight? Trust me, one bite of this crispy oven-fried chicken and you’ll never look back.
To make this southern-style oven-fried chicken, you will need the following ingredients:
- 1 cup of buttermilk
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 4 cups plain bread crumbs
- 3 lbs. bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or drumsticks
Note that you can use any cut of chicken for this recipe, but bone-in and skin-on chicken pieces like thighs and drumsticks are the best options as they retain their moisture and become crispy on the outside.
The Recipe How-To
Step 1: Preheat the Oven
Before we get started on making this easy Southern oven-fried chicken recipe, preheat your oven to 425°F. That way, the oven is ready when we’re done preparing the chicken.
Step 2: Prepare the Chicken Ingredients
First, let’s gather our ingredients. You will need:
- 4 chicken legs
- 4 chicken thighs
- 1 cup of buttermilk
- 2 cups of plain bread crumbs
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon of paprika
- 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of pepper
Step 3: Seasoned Flour Mixture for Chicken Flouring
We will now make the seasoned flour mixture for flouring our chickens. Take a pie plate or a shallow bowl and combine 1 cup of all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon of paprika, 1 tablespoon of garlic powder, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 1 tablespoon of pepper together.
Step 4: Dip in Buttermilk
Now, take your chicken pieces, dip each one in buttermilk and then coat with the seasoned flour mixture. Shake off any excess flour.
Step 5: Place Chicken in Oven Safe Dish
Next, place the floured seasoned pieces onto an oven-safe dish lined with parchment paper.
Step 6: Bake in Oven
Bake for around 35 to 40 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked through and crispy oven fried looking. After baking, remove it from the oven and let it rest for a couple of minutes before serving hot alongside your favorite side dishes.
Tip: This recipe can also be an awesome meal prep choice that can be kept in the fridge for a few days and reheated very nicely in the microwave or oven.
Substitutions and Variations
In the culinary world, it’s always fun to experiment with different ingredients and flavor combinations. For this southern oven-fried chicken recipe, there are a few substitutions and variations you can try to mix things up.
If you’re not a fan of chicken thighs, you can swap them out for chicken breasts or even chicken tenders. Just be mindful of the cooking time so your chicken doesn’t dry out.
For the seasoned flour mixture, you can play around with different spices depending on your taste preferences. Try adding a bit of cayenne pepper for some heat, or swap out the thyme for rosemary for a more herbaceous flavor. You can also use garlic powder instead of garlic salt if you prefer less sodium.
If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can make a quick substitution by mixing one cup of milk and one tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes until it thickens slightly before using in the recipe.
If you want to make this recipe gluten-free, simply swap out the all-purpose flour for a gluten-free alternative such as almond flour or rice flour, and use gluten-free breadcrumbs instead of plain bread crumbs.
Additionally, if you want to make this recipe more kid-friendly or party-friendly, cut the chicken into strips or bite-sized pieces to create chicken fingers. These are sure to be a hit among both children and adults alike.
By making a few ingredient substitutions and modifications, you can put your own twist on this classic southern-style oven-fried chicken recipe.
Serving and Pairing
– When it comes to serving and pairing southern-style oven-fried chicken, there are a few classic options that never fail to impress. For me, there’s nothing like serving up a big plate of crispy chicken alongside some macaroni and cheese and collard greens. The combination of textures and flavors is unbeatable, with the tangy, cheesy mac balancing out the savory chicken and earthy greens.
– Another delicious and traditional option is to serve your oven-fried chicken with biscuits, either plain or smothered in gravy. If you’re looking for a lighter option, consider pairing your chicken with a fresh garden salad dressed with a light vinaigrette or lemon herb dressing.
– As for drinks, iced tea is the quintessential southern beverage to serve alongside your fried chicken dinner. It’s refreshing, not too sweet, and complements the bold flavors of the dish perfectly. If you’re feeling fancy, you can also whip up a pitcher of spiked lemonade or mint julep for a little extra kick.
– When it comes down to it, the key to pairing your southern-style oven-fried chicken is to keep it simple and classic. Stick with tried-and-true flavor combinations and don’t be afraid to add your own personal touch. After all, cooking is all about making something delicious that you love!
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
Now, let’s talk about how you can make this southern oven-fried chicken ahead of time, store it, and reheat it without losing its flavor and crispy texture.
To make-ahead: You can prepare the seasoned flour mixture and the buttermilk marinade up to 24 hours before using. Once you’ve coated the chicken with the flour mixture, you can place it on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and keep it in the fridge for up to 4 hours before baking. This way, when you’re ready to cook, all you’ll have to do is preheat your oven and bake the chicken until golden brown and crispy.
To store: If you have any leftovers or want to store the cooked chicken for later use, allow it to cool completely before storing. You can keep it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. However, be aware that storing the chicken in the fridge may affect its crispy texture. When reheating it, either place it back into a hot oven for a few minutes or use a skillet and reheat on medium heat. Both ways will help restore some of the crispy exterior.
To reheat: As mentioned above, there are two methods of reheating your southern oven-fried chicken – using an oven or a skillet. To reheat in an oven, preheat your oven to 350°F and place your chicken on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Reheat it for 10-12 minutes or until heated through. For skillet method, use a non-stick skillet; heat over medium heat with a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Then add your chicken pieces and reheat for 2-3 minutes until cooked thoroughly.
These tips on making ahead, storing and reheating will ensure that every bit of your southern-style fried chicken tastes as good as the first time around!
Tips for Perfect Results
To achieve the perfect crispiness and juiciness in your oven-fried southern chicken, there are a few tips that I have learned through my years of cooking southern cuisine. Here are some helpful tips to ensure your chicken turns out perfect every time.
Firstly, use buttermilk to marinate your chicken. Buttermilk helps tenderize the meat and infuses it with flavor. I sometimes add a pinch of thyme or a dash of garlic powder to the marinade for extra flavor.
Secondly, be generous with the seasoning. Use a blend of salt, pepper, garlic salt, paprika, and other spices to season both sides of the chicken pieces before dredging them in flour mixture.
Thirdly, make sure to preheat your oven to 425°F before placing the chicken inside. A hot oven is necessary to cook and crisp up the crust without drying out the meat.
Fourthly, use panko bread crumbs instead of plain old breadcrumbs. Panko crumbs result in a crispier crust compared to regular breadcrumbs.
Fifthly, don’t overcrowd the chicken pieces on the baking sheet. Leave enough space around each piece so that they can get properly cooked and crispy on all sides.
Sixthly, flip the chicken pieces halfway through cooking for even browning and crisping.
Lastly, let the chicken rest for a few minutes after taking it out of the oven. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat and makes it more tender.
By following these tips, you’ll achieve crispy-on-the-outside-yet-juicy-on-the-inside southern fried chicken right from your own oven!
As we approach the end of our recipe article, you may still have some questions about the Southern Oven-Fried Chicken Recipe. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers to help ensure that your cooking experience runs smoothly.
What is the difference between fried chicken and southern fried chicken?
Southern fried chicken is a beloved dish that involves coating chicken pieces with a seasoned flour or batter before frying them in a skillet or deep fryer. This cooking method creates a crispy, flavorful crust on the chicken while keeping the meat inside juicy and tender.
Do you use baking soda or cornstarch for crispy fried chicken?
Achieve Maximum Crispiness in Fried Chicken Using Cornstarch.
Why put chicken in milk before frying?
Using milk, whether it’s dairy or non-dairy like coconut milk, in your chicken recipe can aid in tenderizing the meat by activating a natural enzyme and reducing acidity and heat.
What is the secret to making great fried chicken?
When preparing southern-style cuisine, it’s crucial to ensure that each dish has a balance of dark and white meat. To achieve this balance, I recommend using a whole chicken that’s cut into pieces. Before cooking, it’s essential to create a marinade that really brings out the flavors of the chicken. Don’t try to speed up the process by rushing it, either. Be patient and let the chicken marinate for as long as the recipe calls for.
Once you’re ready to cook the chicken, be generous with seasoning. Don’t be afraid to use a little extra seasoning than what’s called for in the recipe. To ensure that your chicken is cooked to perfection, use the right cooking oil and make sure the temperature is just right. A cooking thermometer is a handy tool to have in the kitchen to check the temperature of the oil.
When it comes to cooking the chicken, many people use paper towels to soak up excess oil. However, I recommend finding an alternative to this method as it can affect the texture and flavor of the chicken. Ditch the paper towels and instead use a wire rack with a baking sheet underneath to let the excess oil drip off. This will result in a more flavorful and crispy chicken.
In conclusion, this easy Southern oven-fried chicken recipe is undoubtedly a must-try for anyone who loves Southern-style cuisine. With its crispy and savory taste, this recipe is sure to become one of your all-time favorites, whether you’re cooking dinner for your family or impressing your guests.
So why not give it a chance and add some southern flair to your next dinner? Not only is this recipe simple to make, but it’s also incredibly versatile, allowing you to mix and match ingredients to make it your own.
In the end, fried chicken has a special place in Southern culture, and by using this recipe, you can recreate that classic flavor no matter where you are. So go ahead, grab those chicken thighs and get ready to taste the culinary magic of the South!
Easy Southern Oven-Fried Chicken Recipe
- 3 -3 1/2 lbs chicken, cut into pieces
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons oil
- 1 cup dried breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon thyme, dried
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Strip skin from chicken pieces.
- Pour buttermilk over chicken in plastic or glass container. turn chicken pieces to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven 425F Smear 9x13 with oil. set aside.
- Drainbuttermilk from chicken, place chicken on rack to drain. Combine bread crumbs with paprika, salt, thyme, and pepper roll chicken in bread crumbs. Arrange in single layer in prepared pan. Bake 30 minutes. Turn chicken. Bake 15 to 20 minutes longer.