Oven fried chicken is a fantastic alternative to fried chicken. By "frying" it in the oven (oven fried chicken is actually baked!), you get all the great crisp and crunch of fried chicken, without the extra fat from frying it in oil. And, it's even easier to make!
This is one of my favorite meals. I love breading the chicken — I find it fun! I love the results. Crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside. Yum! And as a bonus, while the chicken is baking, you can make the rest of the meal, clean up, or just relax and anticipate a great meal.
Here we go!
Pick your cut
This part is easy. Pretty much any cut of chicken can be used for oven frying. Wings, thighs, drumsticks, breasts... they all turn out delicious! The only thing I'd really recommend is to cut up your chicken into the smallest units:
Boneless or Bone-in?
Again, pretty much anything goes here. Personally, for thighs and breasts I prefer boneless because it's less of a hassle to eat. Drumsticks are always fun to eat with your hands though.
It all comes down to what you like best!
Remember though, the cooking time can increase if you leave the bone in.
Skin or no skin
You can pick either for oven fried chicken. Each cut has its own benefits:
Pick your size
Picking the right size pieces can be a little bit tricky.
The chicken is going to cook at a relatively high heat, so you want to make sure your pieces aren't too small, or they'll be dry and tough before the breading is crispy. On the other hand, if your pieces are too big, the coating might burn before they're cooked.
Generally, pieces that come from a 3-5 lb chicken are just about the right size.
If you're using boneless chicken breasts or thighs, you don't need to worry about this so much. If your pieces look a bit thick, just pound them down to 1/4-1/2 an inch or so.
The next step to making oven fried chicken is breading the chicken. This is my favorite part! It's organized, but just messy enough to be fun.
The guide describes three methods for making breaded chicken: the 1-2-3 Method, the 1-2 Method, and the 1-Method. For oven fried chicken, I recommend either the 1-2-3-Method or the 1-2 Method — they're both great! The 1-Method isn't as good for oven fried chicken. Here's why:
Now for the last step. We need to know how to cook the chicken! At this point, you'll be really happy that you decided to oven fry your chicken rather than pan fry it. It's so easy to cook!
Step 4: Enjoy!
Yup, that's it! You're now ready to sit down and eat some delicious oven fried chicken. Yum!
It really is easy to make. The whole process of breading the chicken can take less than 10 minutes when you're used to it. The only hard part after that is waiting for the chicken to cook! Luckily, that baking time is a great opportunity to prepare the rest of the meal (mashed potatoes anyone?) and clean up any mess you might have made while breading.