Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Recipe Post: Oven "Fried" Chicken

The other day I realized I needed to have some structure to my blog; ie, certain days where I post certain kinds of things. I think it will help with the mental blocks I always have and prevent the long hiatuses I frequently take. It will probably take me a few weeks to really get the kinks worked out, but start looking for some more regular updates. I saw another blogger who asked themselves the question, "What kind of blog would I want to read?" and I found that tremendously helpful for myself as well.

Anyway, a recipe post will definitely be one of the regular features. I haven't completely decided which day it will be, but I'm going to go ahead and post this as this week's recipe post.

So. Who loves fried chicken? ME, for one. Growing up in the South, it has always been one of my favorite meals. I can make some mean homemade chicken, especially if I talk myself into pulling out my deep fryer. But it's not something I like to indulge in often. There just isn't any kind of oil out there that is healthy enough to fry chicken in since you need such a large quantity, and that goes for anything else deep-fried. Fortunately I have a pretty darn good substitute for my friend chicken cravings: doing it in the oven! It doesn't look quite the same, but it tastes about as close to real fried chicken as you can get. The gravy definitely turns out the exact same though, and what's more it's a little better for you than real fried chicken gravy because you can make it with a little butter and chicken juices instead of using whatever terrible rancid oil you deep-fried the chicken in.

It's unbelievably simple.

First, preheat your oven to 375. Line a roasting pan or dish with foil and add some butter. I used half a stick since you basically want enough butter to coat the bottom of the pan and make the skin crispy. Put the pan in the oven while it preheats.

Meanwhile, grab a plate and dump some flour on it. I never measure the flour, so just eyeball it. Guess how much you'd need to cover the amount of chicken you're making and then add some extra to use in the gravy later (because if you don't make gravy the world will cry...or at least I will)--it's probably around 1/2 a cup. Add about 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/4 tsp of paprika, and a generous sprinkle of black pepper.

Toss it together with a fork and get the chicken ready. Your oven should be preheated by now, so take out the pan with the butter. It should be all melted and bubbly like this:

This is the point where you realize just how good this chicken is going to be and your mouth starts watering and your tummy rumbling at the prospect.

Bread your chicken pieces thoroughly with the flour, then place in the pan skin-side down. This is very important! Here's a picture to remind you.

Put the pan in the oven. My chicken took about an hour to cook. This is the 2nd very important step: halfway through the baking time, pull the pan out and flip the chicken over so the skin side is up. Then let it continue baking til no longer pink in the middle.

Look at that beautiful brown, crispy crust! YUM! Then look at that goodness in the bottom of the pan. Remove the chicken to a plate and scrape that stuff into a skillet to make gravy. I didn't bother taking pictures of the gravy-making process because there is an expert out there who has already done it much better than I could. But sometime I am planning to bribe a friend who has a nicer camera than mine to come over and shoot a video of me making it because brown gravy is something that stumps a lot of people. It took me years to get it right.

There was supposed to be a picture of my plate containing the chicken, gravy over brown rice, and my sauteed zucchini, but I was starving and had already dug into it before I realized. So I suggest you just make some yourself and then you won't need to see mine! =)


  1. I will definitely be making this! I'll let you know how it comes out. :)

  2. I haven't been able to get the gravy seasoned right. The texture and "looks" are perfect, it just tastes a little off. What spices do you put in?

    1. All I use is salt and a little pepper. If you put anything else, it won't taste right. Also, make sure you let the flour/grease brown long enough because that gives it the signature flavor too.

  3. This looks fantastic! I love fried chicken but I usually pan-fry it, or the occasional deep-fry, I haven't tried baking it. Going to have to try that soon!