Fuss Free Fried Chicken
Today I’m going to show you a fuss free way to fry chicken in your oven. No, this isn’t oven fry chicken as most folks think of it, where chicken is baked to resembled being fried. This is a way to actually fry chicken, in oil, in your oven. The beauty of it is that once you get your chicken breaded, it is pretty much a hands off process so rather than watching over a frying pan, you can be free to set the table, pick up the house a bit, or drink a nice glass of iced tea.
Susie Braund, my mother’s friend who is known for her kindness, amazing housekeeping skills, and great food, passed on this cooking method and from the moment Mama told me about it I couldn’t wait to try it. I think you’ll enjoy it too!
P.S. If you’re looking for a great chicken finger recipe that will have teenagers and other assorted children staking out your house for supper, check out my chicken planks recipe by clicking here.
You’ll need: Flour, Oil, Chicken (bone in, skin on), a deep cast iron skillet (a cast iron dutch oven will work), and if you want to season your flour like I did, some ranch dressing mix. Oh, and milk. Pretend there is milk here. I used regular milk but you can use buttermilk, skim milk, whatever you have.
A note on seasoning: All you need to make fried chicken is flour, salt, and pepper. You do not have to use ranch dressing mix to season your flour if you don’t want to. If you’d rather just use plain flour, add about a tablespoon salt and a 1/2 tablespoon of pepper to two cups of flour and stir. That’s all you need. Of course, more or less salt and pepper to suit your taste.
The main purpose of this post is to show you this fuss free method of frying chicken so feel free to use your favorite breading recipe or try mine. I happened to use the ranch dressing mix this time but I usually do it a different way each time, depending on my mood. I am a big fan of garlic powder, paprika, and parsley in my flour along with the salt and pepper.
A lot of recipes will tell you to brine your chicken before you fry it. I don’t for a several reasons.
- I don’t want to.
- I don’t usually plan my meals far enough in advance to.
- I don’t have time. When I’m ready to cook supper, I’m ready right then and I generally don’t lollygag around in the kitchen hours beforehand looking for something to do.
- I can’t stand the thought of wasting buttermilk (what a lot of folks brine it in).
- Granny didn’t do it.
- See #1.
Having said this, if you prefer to brine your chicken I think that is awesome and I salute you. Do it your way – more on doing it your way later in this post
Before we get started, and this is VERY important, put about a 1/2 inch of oil in the bottom of your skillet and place that in the oven.
Turn the oven on 450 so that the oil is heating up as the oven heats up.
Hot oil is crucial for frying chicken because if your oil is hot enough, it sears the breading as soon as contact is made and creates an instant coating. If your oil isn’t hot enough, your chicken pieces end up soaking up far more oil, ending up with greasy chicken.
Sidenote: Raise your hand if you’ve ever worked at Sears! I sold Hardware for them when I was a teenager.
Oven Temperature: It is important that you know the accurate temperature of your oven for this recipe. Over time, ovens get off and may not be accurate. A way to test this is to buy a simple oven thermometer on the kitchen gadget aisle for a few dollars. Preheat your oven with the thermometer in it and once it is preheated, see if the thermometer and the oven agree on temperature. If not, adjust accordingly. If you are cooking this at 450 and your oven is actually 500, of course it is gonna burn. If you’re cooking this at 450 and your oven is actually 400, it will take a little longer to cook and your chicken may end up a wee bit on the greasy side because your oil isn’t hot enough.
Place your flour in a shallow dish and season it.
I’m using two packages of ranch dressing mix but you can just use salt and pepper if you like. This is totally up to you.
Stir that up.
Pour some milk into your other baking dish and get ready to dredge
Place chicken in milk first…
then breading mixture…
then milk again ….
Then breading mixture.
This double dipping method gets you a lot more deliciousness on your final fried chicken.
You can, of course, just dip it in milk once and breading once if you want.
Again, this is totally up to you. Despite what some folks tell you, there are no rules governing how you want to cook in your own kitchen.
So have fun with it and do it your way!
Here are all of our breaded pieces on a gorgeous restaurantware platter I found at an antique mall.
~waits for you to look at the photo real good~
Y’all like my three legged chicken?
I just did that to mess with y’all but hey, if I didn’t mess with ya, you wouldn’t think I loved ya!
(that’s the excuse my family always gives at least)
Take your hot, hot, hot skillet with the hot, hot, hot oil in it out of the oven and carefully put your chicken pieces in it.
They will begin to bubble and sizzle as soon as they get in there. Try not to let them touch but do what you gotta do. I ended up not being able to fit all of my chicken in this photo so I’m doing two batches.
Place this in the oven for 40 minutes and go do whatever it is you’d rather be doing.
After 40 minutes, carefully remove skillet from oven, turn all of the pieces over, and place it back in the oven for 15 minutes.
Remove chicken to paper towel lined plate.
Now I know some of y’all are looking at that cooking time and thinking “Christy is crazy.” Well of course I’m crazy, but that is besides the point entirely. The chicken you see pictured at the start and finish of this post was cooked at that exact amount of time at 450 and was gooder than gold. That’s a Southern saying. I know that gooder isn’t actually a word although, technically it is since I just said it but still…you get my point.
Enjoy your three legged chicken
Isn’t that a pretty plate of chicken? I’m in love with the platter it’s on, too. That is a pattern from a company called Jackson China and this particular pattern was manufactured for restaurants in the early seventies. So far I’ve been unable to locate any plates that match it so it may have just been serving pieces. Either way, it is sturdy restaurantware that has stood the test of time very well.
Please note: Mama wants me to let you know that I did wash the platter before I put the cooked chicken on it since I used it for the raw chicken as well. Thanks for looking out for us, Mama!
Now y’all get out there and squeeze all the good out of this day!
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Oh my goodness! Guess what? Later on this week (or next if the kids keep me hopping, but soon either way) I’m going to be sharing photos with you from my newly renovated kitchen My daddy got some cabinets out of a house that was remodeling and he put them in this empty corner in my kitchen. All we had to do was buy a piece of countertop to go over it and now I have a whole big new section of cabinets and countertop but the NEATEST part is, we reworked the upper cabinets so that they are actually a display area for pyrex and vintage dishes. It is so beautiful and cheerful and I can’t WAIT to share it with you. I’ve got some minor painting to do first and a few other little details to take care of but I’m just about dying for you to see! I’ll be doing a special pyrex and vintage dish post sometime by the end of next week so stay tuned! I’m going to include tips and tricks for displaying it, too. Just in case anyone would like them.