All the flavor and crunch of Southern-fried chicken…but made a whole lot healthier by baking! I love this Southern Oven “Fried” Chicken!
This is how the conversation went when my friend saw me editing these photos.
“Oooh! Fried Chicken – YUM!, he exclaimed.
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“Nope, not fried. Baked,” I said smugly.
“Bollocks,” he retorted. “Are you being dodgy with your photos? Did you pick up KFC?”
“As if!!!”, I exclaimed, indignantly. “You know me better than that!!! I swear this is made in the oven!”
“Seriously??” he said. “You swear – you made these in the oven?”
YES. I swear. These are made in the oven. Are you as amazed as he was??
As insulted as I was that he would question my integrity, I was busting to prove that I wasn’t lying (let’s be honest, I just wanted to say “See? I TOLD YOU SO!”) so I made it again the next day. Not that it was any sort of hardship, having to make it again. I could seriously eat this every day.
Because, my friends, the plain fact is this: I love fried foods. I have a theory that anything is made delicious by frying it. And I can’t think of any fried food that I wouldn’t happily munch on.
But as much as I love fried foods…I hate deep-frying myself. Partly because I have a fear of frying (at my very core, I am quite a klutz) and also because I feel like it’s a waste of oil.
So I have many baked versions of classic fried foods. This is one of my favorites, along with my KFC Oven Fried Chicken Tenders (seriously – tastes just like KFC!) and because I don’t bake everything… Chicken Fried Steak for the win!
Don’t skip the marinating! It’s key to get flavor into the flesh of the chicken. Promise me you won’t skip it!
- 2 pounds chicken thighs bone-in, skin-on
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 cup bread crumbs plain, not panko
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- Combine Spice Mix ingredients.
- Add half of the Spice Mix to the buttermilk in a gallon-sized ziploc bag. Add chicken thighs and marinate overnight, up to 24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Combine remaining Spice Mix with Coating in a bowl.
- Whisk eggs and milk in another bowl.
- Remove chicken from buttermilk, shaking off the excess marinade. Dip chicken thigh into Dredge, then cover in Coating. Shake off excess Coating. Place on a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken thighs.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until deep golden brown and juices run clear when chicken is pierced. Serve immediately.
If you enjoyed this recipe, I think you’ll love these crunchy Oven Fried Parmesan Chicken Tenders!
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