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Outrageously juicy and impossibly crispy fried chicken baked in an oven using only staple pantry ingredients. One bite, and you will make these all the time.
The hallmark of a great fried chicken is its crispy skin with juicy and tender meat. Today I am sharing my recipe for oven-fried chicken, which I have been relying on for years. With minimal pantry staple ingredients, some butter, and the chicken itself, you will be frying up a storm of crispy fried chicken in no time.
You will learn about the ingredients to prepare this dish. I will go over the key steps to prepare and bake the chicken to yield crispy fried chicken with an oven.
My recipe is simple to follow and always rewards me with good crispy fried chicken. Once you master this recipe, you can play around with new seasoning mixes to create your own fried chicken recipes.
Ingredients for Oven-Fried Chicken
- Chicken drumsticks. You can also use other bone-in skin-on chicken pieces, such as chicken thigs, chicken breasts, or chicken wings.
- Butter. Unsalted butter and salted butter are interchangeable in this recipe.
- ice cubes
- all-purpose flour
- Cayenne powder. You can also use ground chili or smoked paprika.
Other than chicken and butter, this recipe relies exclusively on pantry ingredients. It is one of the main reasons why I love this oven-fried chicken.
When I need to host a crowd, I can double the recipe, and my oven can still bake the double batches at once.
How to fry chicken in the oven
1. Brine the chicken
To get that impossibly juicy chicken in every bite, we start by brining the chicken a day before baking day.
Brining means soaking meat in a salt solution. We make this salt solution by dissolving two tablespoons of salt in a cup of warm water in a large mixing bowl.
Add chicken to the bowl, and top with enough cold water and a tray of ice cubes to cover the chicken. Stir around to ensure the salt solution is homogenous.
Cover the bowl and chill the chicken overnight in the fridge. If you are short on time, please brine for a minimum of four hours.
When you are ready to bake the chicken, remove them from the fridge and let it come to room temperature before proceeding.
2. Preheat the oven and a prepare baking sheet
Preheat the oven to 400 Fahrenheit (200 Celcius).
Melt the two tablespoons of butter and use a brush to coat a baking sheet with melted butter.
I usually fry about 12-16 pieces of chicken drumsticks at a time, and a half-sheet pan is a perfect size for this purpose.
3. Coat the chicken
Mix all-purpose flour, salt, pepper, and cayenne powder in a bowl. Coat each drumstick in the flour mix, dusting off excess coating.
If you want, you can also place the flour mix in a plastic bag (e.g. a gallon size ziplock bag). Add two pieces of the drumsticks at a time into the bag, and shake until thoroughly coated.
TIPS: To ensure we get crispy fried chicken, make sure that there is no excess coating. A thin dusting of the flour mix is key.
4. Bake the chicken
Arrange coated chicken on the prepared baking sheet with the skin side down.
Bake for 40-45 minutes until the skin is browned and crispy, it may take a bit longer depending on the size of your chicken.
Gently scrape the chicken with a spatula, although it shouldn’t stick. Flip to the other side, and bake again for another 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven, and transfer the oven-fried chicken to a serving plate. These are best when served piping hot.
Can I use other parts of the chicken?
Yes, you can use any bone-in skin-on chicken parts. I prefer dark meat since they are juicier, so I usually use either drumsticks, thighs, or a mix of the two. You can also use chicken breast or even chicken wings.
How do I store and reheat leftover fried chicken properly?
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze them for a couple of months.
Preheat your oven to 400 Fahrenheit (200 Celcius) and remove the leftover chicken from your fridge. Place a wire rack inside a baking sheet and arrange the chicken on the rack. Once the oven reaches the proper temperature, bake the chicken for about 12-15 minutes. Frozen chicken may need a longer baking time compared to the ones stored in the fridge.
TIPS: Please do not reheat any leftover fried chicken with a microwave. You will only end up with soggy fried chicken.
- salt solution (2 tablespoons salt + 1 cup warm water, mix until salt dissolves)
- 12-16 skin-on bone-in chicken drumsticks (*)
- enough cold water
- 1 tray of ice cubes
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground chili/paprika/cayenne
- Prepare brining solution by dissolving two tablespoons of salt with a cup of warm water. Pour the solution into a large mixing bowl, add chicken to the bowl, and top with enough cold water and a tray of ice cubes to cover the chicken. Stir around so the salt solution is homogenous. Cover the bowl and chill overnight in the fridge (minimum 4 hours).
- Preheat the oven to 200 Celsius (400 Fahrenheit). Melt the two tablespoons of butter and use a brush to coat a baking sheet with melted butter.
- Mix all-purpose flour, salt, pepper, and cayenne powder in a bowl. Coat each drumstick in the flour mix, dusting off excess coating. Arrange coated chicken on the prepared baking sheet with the skin side down.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes until the skin is browned and crispy, it may take a bit longer depending on the size of your chicken. Gently scrape the chicken with a spatula, although it shouldn’t stick. Flip to the other side, and bake again for another 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, and transfer the oven-fried chicken to a serving plate. These are best when served piping hot.
- (*) Feel free to use chicken thighs, chicken breasts, chicken wings, or a mix of everything as long as they are bone-in and skin-on.
Krissy Allori says:
Loved this great chicken recipe. It's easy to make and my whole family loved it too. It's all the flavor without the added fat of frying it in grease.
Carrie Robinson says:
I just love how golden and crispy this chicken looks! :)
Very nice recipe. The chicken looks so crispy. I like that brining and ice cubes idea.
What a delicious way to prepare oven fried chicken!
Danielle Wolter says:
I just never get tired of chicken recipes - there is always something new to try. Excited about yours now! :-)
Your oven fried chicken looks spectacular. My mom would so love this recipe - thanks so much for sharing it.
Sara Welch says:
This recipe is so great for busy weeknights; turns out so juicy and tender! Easily, a family favorite recipe!
I had no idea you could make "fried chicken" in the oven!! So much healthier than the deep fried version!
This was a great weeknight hit! We all enjoyed the chicken with a great big caesar salad to share with it.
Casey Rooney says:
Super crispy and delish without all the grease! This is one of my go to easy dinners!
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