No one will believe you when you tell them that this crispy, crunchy Southern Oven Fried Chicken was never actually fried at all!
The flavor, the crispy skin, the crunch- everything you need in a good fried chicken recipe is delivered in Southern Oven Fried Chicken! Chicken thighs are marinated, dredged, and coated to perfection before they’re placed in the oven, where they reach that perfect crispy state without all the oil, the extra calories, or the extra cleanup!
BAKED, NOT FRIED
Seriously, you’ve got to believe me when I tell you that you can have the crunch and flavor of fried chicken without submerging it into all that oil. Imagine your favorite comfort food without the mess and without the crazy calories! This recipe is a real game-changer!
OTHER RECIPES TO SERVE WITH OVEN FRIED CHICKEN
- Mom’s Mashed Potatoes – For this dish, you need real, buttery, smooth mashed potatoes… just like Mom makes.
- Green Beans with Bacon – It might just be me, but green beans are the only green item I will plate with my fried chicken.
- Drop Biscuits – The recipe title is “Southern Oven Fried Chicken” you didn’t think I’d forget the biscuits, did you?
Chicken: You’ll want to use 2 pounds of bone-in skin-on chicken thighs. The chicken will marinate overnight with buttermilk and a homemade spice blend.
Spices: To flavor this chicken, you’ll need a mix of several different spices from your cupboard. Grab the paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, and dried thyme. If you like a little heat, add cayenne pepper and finish it with good ol’ salt and pepper.
Dredge: Make a dredge with eggs and milk to help coat the chicken thighs.
Coating: This coating consists of the same homemade spice blend, traditional bread crumbs, and flour.
HOW TO MAKE OVEN FRIED CHICKEN
STEP ONE: You’ll need to give yourself some advance notice to marinate this chicken. Trust me, you don’t want to skip this step! Start by mixing the paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, dried thyme, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper (the cayenne is optional but adds a nice kick). Add half of this spice mix to a gallon-sized ziplock bag with the buttermilk and the chicken thighs. Seal it tight and let it marinate overnight or for up to 24 hours.
STEP TWO: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F once the chicken has marinated. Grab a medium-sized bowl and combine the remaining half of the spice mix from the previous step with the plain bread crumbs and flour. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together. Place the two bowls near each other.
STEP THREE: Remove the chicken one piece at a time, shaking off any excess buttermilk. Dip the chicken thigh into the egg wash dredge, then cover it with the breadcrumb coating. Shake off any extra coating before placing it onto a baking sheet. Repeat the process until all of the chicken thighs are coated.
STEP FOUR: Bake Southern Oven Fried Chicken for 45 minutes or until the chicken turns golden brown and the juices run clear. Serve immediately with your favorite comfort food side dishes, and enjoy!
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
- For the coating, make sure to use plain, traditional breadcrumbs and not panko breadcrumbs.
- If using a meat thermometer, ensure the chicken reaches 165 degrees F in the center of the thickest part.
CAN I USE CHICKEN BREASTS INSTEAD OF THIGHS?
I get it, some people prefer chicken breasts over thighs. The good news is that you can use either in the recipe. Just adjust the cooking time according to the size of your chicken breasts. If the coveted fried chicken skin is important, you can buy chicken breasts with or without skin. Chicken breasts with skin are often bone-in. I will say though if you don’t have a strong preference, chicken thighs tend to be more budget-friendly and always turn out perfectly moist.
HOW TO STORE AND REHEAT SOUTHERN OVEN FRIED CHICKEN
Make sure that leftover Southern Oven Fried Chicken makes its way to the fridge within two hours of being served. Assuming it is properly stored in an airtight container, cooked oven-fried chicken will last for 3-4 days. You can place it back into the oven until it is heated through or use an air fryer to reheat it. Either option will help return that crispy coating to its delicious crunchy state. A microwave is also an option, but you’ll lose that crunchy skin.
OTHER CRISPY, CRUNCHY RECIPES
- Air Fryer Parmesan Crusted Chicken
- Sheet Pan Crispy Ranch Pork Chops
- Crispy Homemade Onion Rings
- Slow Cooker Crispy Carnitas
- Air Fryer Fried Chicken
- Breaded Pork Chops
*This post was originally posted on 08/17/2016.
- Combine the Spice Mix ingredients in a small bowl. (If you like your chicken with a kick, add the full teaspoon of cayenne pepper.)
- Add half of the Spice Mix to the buttermilk in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag. Then Add chicken thighs and marinate overnight or up to 24 hours.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Combine the remaining Spice Mix with the bread crumbs and flour in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together.
- Remove chicken from the buttermilk, shaking off the excess marinade. Dip chicken thigh first into the egg wash and then cover in bread crumb mixture, shaking off excess breading. Place the thigh onto a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining chicken thighs.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until deep golden brown and the juices run clear when the chicken is pierced. Serve immediately.