Fried Chicken > Can you make fried chicken in the oven

Can You Make Fried Chicken in the Oven?

Fried chicken is a beloved comfort food, but deep frying can be messy and unhealthy. Many home cooks wonder if it’s possible to get that crispy, juicy fried chicken right in the oven. The answer is yes – with the right tricks, you can make oven-fried chicken that rivals the deep fried version.

Can You Make Fried Chicken in the Oven?

Yes, you can absolutely make fried chicken in the oven that rivals deep-fried versions! The key is using a few simple tricks:

    • Coat the chicken in a mixture of flour, spices, and baking powder. The baking powder helps the coating get extra crispy in the oven.
    • Place the coated chicken on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. This allows air to circulate all around for even crisping.
    • Crank the oven temperature to at least 400°F to mimic deep frying. The high heat helps the crust get crispy and brown.
    • Cook bone-in chicken pieces for 35-50 minutes based on size. Chicken is done at an internal temperature of 165°F.
    • If needed, broil the chicken for 1-2 minutes at the end to help brown the coating. Keep a close eye to avoid burning.

Oven-fried chicken made this way comes out tender and juicy on the inside with a fabulous crispy, crunchy crust on the outside. While deep frying submerges the chicken in hot oil, oven frying uses far less oil for a healthier version with fewer calories and less fat.

Related post: How Long Does Fried Chicken Take to Cook?

With the right simple techniques, you can absolutely achieve delicious fried chicken results right in your own oven.

How to Get Crispy Oven-Fried Chicken?

The key to getting crispy fried chicken without deep frying is to use a combination of baking powder and high heat. Here are some tips:

    • Coat in baking powder: Mix some baking powder (about 1 tsp per pound of chicken) into your breading flour. This helps the chicken skin get extra crispy and brown in the hot oven.
    • Use a wire rack: Placing the breaded chicken on a wire rack over a baking sheet allows air to circulate all around the chicken, resulting in crisper skin.
    • Get the oven ripping hot: Crank your oven temp up to at least 400°F. The high heat helps the breading get super crispy.
    • Finish with a broil: At the end, switch your oven to broil for 1-2 minutes to brown the tops. Keep a close eye to avoid burning.

What is the secret to good fried chicken?

There are a few secrets that make the best juicy, crispy fried chicken:

    • Brine the chicken first – Soaking in a saltwater brine ensures seasoned, moist meat.
    • Use buttermilk to marinate – The buttermilk tenderizes the chicken and imparts tangy flavor.
    • Double dip the breading – Dredge in flour, then buttermilk again, then back into the flour. This creates an extra thick, crunchy crust that really sticks.
    • Fry at the right oil temp – Between 350-375°F makes the perfect crispy exterior without burning the coating.
    • Let it rest afterward – Letting the chicken drain on a rack preserves that signature crispy texture.

How Long to Cook Fried Chicken in the Oven?

Cooking times can vary based on the size and thickness of your chicken pieces. For bone-in chicken parts, plan for:

    • Chicken breasts: 35-40 minutes
    • Chicken thighs & legs: 40-50 minutes
    • Chicken wings: 25-35 minutes

The chicken is done when it registers 165°F on a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part. If the breading starts to get too dark before the chicken is cooked through, tent foil loosely over the top.

FAQs
Is it better to cook chicken in an oven or frying pan?

Cooking chicken in the oven is usually better than using a frying pan. The oven distributes heat more evenly around the chicken, ensuring it cooks through without burning or overcooking the outside. Frying pans can cause chicken breasts in particular to end up dry and overdone on the exterior before the inside finishes cooking.

The gentle, enveloping heat of the oven results in juicier, more tender chicken. However, frying pans work well for quick cooking small chopped chicken pieces like nuggets or fingers. The high direct heat browns the exterior nicely while the small size cooks through quickly.

How to re-cook fried chicken in the oven?

If you have leftover fried chicken or picked up some ready-made fried chicken, you can revive the crispy texture by reheating it in the oven. Simply place the chicken pieces on a baking sheet and bake at 375°F for 15-20 minutes, until fully warmed through. The hot air will recrisp the crust. Flip the chicken halfway during baking to evenly reheat.

Let the chicken rest a minute or two out of the oven before eating. This helps seal in the heat and moisture. If the chicken is already hot but the crust has softened, you can also just run it under the broiler for 1-2 minutes per side to recrisp the skin.

Is oven fried chicken healthier than fried chicken?

Yes, oven fried chicken is considerably healthier than deep fried chicken. Frying submerges the chicken in hot oil, absorbing a lot more fat and calories. Oven frying uses far less oil – just enough to lightly coat the breading.

The chicken bakes in hot air instead of being completely immersed in oil, resulting in a lighter, less greasy dish. Going with oven fried chicken is an easy way to cut down on calories, fat, and other unhealthy elements compared to deep frying.

Is oven-fried chicken healthier than deep fried?

Yes, oven frying is healthier because you don’t need to submerge the chicken in oil. You just use a small amount of oil to coat the breading. This significantly cuts down on the total calories and fat.

What makes the crispiest oven fried chicken?

Using baking powder in the breading and cooking at a high temp (400°F+) will produce the crispiest results. Allowing the breaded chicken to sit for 5-10 minutes before baking also helps; this allows the baking powder to work its crisping magic.

 

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