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What Is Oven-Fried Chicken?

By Drue Tibbits
Updated: Feb 28, 2024

Oven-fried chicken is a cooking method that gives chicken a crispy, crunchy outer coating similar to traditional fried chicken. Chicken prepared in the oven contains less fat and calories than chicken fried in oil. The outer coating of chicken fried in the oven is drizzled or sprayed with a small amount of oil. The overall heat of the oven and the small amount of oil combine to deliver a crispy outer coating. Depending on the ingredients, chicken fried in the oven contains about one third less fat than chicken fried in hot oil.

One of the advantages of oven-fried chicken is control over which oil is used to achieve the crispy outer coating. Traditional fried chicken is usually cooked in canola, corn, or vegetable oil. Cooking chicken in the oven opens up the choice of cooking oils. Butter and olive oil, for example, are not suitable for stove-top frying but work well for baking. These lighter oils add distinctive flavors not possible in traditional fried chicken.

The coating ingredients for classic fried chicken are limited. Most pan-fried chicken recipes call for the chicken pieces to be dipped in flour or a flour-based batter before being cooked in hot oil. Oven-fried chicken offers a wider variety of coating options. The chicken pieces can be coated in crushed cornflakes, toasted bread crumbs, or crushed crackers. Instant potato mix can be used, and there are prepackaged coating mixes as well.

It takes longer to cook oven-fried chicken than it does to cook traditional fried chicken. Chicken fried in hot oil on the stove is subjected to high temperatures. These high temperatures cook both the chicken’s outer coating and the chicken meat in a short period of time. When chicken is cooked in the oven, the meat cooks first and the outer coating crisps toward the end of the cooking time. Although traditional fried chicken requires much of the cook’s time to monitor and turn the chicken pieces, chicken fried in the oven can be left to cook on its own.

There are a variety of recipes for oven-fried chicken. Some call for the chicken to be dipped in a liquid before being covered in the coating. This process uses the liquid to help the outer coating adhere to the chicken. The liquid can be beaten eggs, melted butter, or milk. Spices such as garlic powder, paprika, or thyme are added to the outer coating ingredients before the chicken pieces are coated with the mixture.

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Discussion Comments
By Raynbow — On Oct 02, 2014

Crushed cracker crumbs are my favorite type of coating to use for oven fried chicken because they are cheap and tasty. Just as you can experiment with different seasonings when making this recipe, you can also try different types of cracker crumb coatings.

White, wheat, salted, and even cheese crackers make the flavor of any oven fried chicken recipe great. Simply crumbled them, dip the chicken pieces in water or eggs, and roll them in the crumbs before popping your dish in the oven.

By Spotiche5 — On Oct 02, 2014

@talentryto- I think you can use just about any combination of herbs and spices that you like on oven fried chicken. This is why it is one of my favorite recipes.

One of my favorite spice combinations for this recipe is Italian. Rosemary, basil, oregano, and thyme all go great together to put an Italian twist on this classic dish.

I also like to make fried chicken in the oven with basic salt and pepper. I like just a little heat in my food, and these simple spices bring out the flavor of the chicken.

Though it is commonly used on seafood, old bay seasoning is also great on oven friend chicken. With a cornmeal coating and this unique seasoning, you will discover a chicken recipe that you will want to make over and over again. You family will love it too!

By Talentryto — On Oct 01, 2014

I'm looking for some tips for some unique ways to season oven fried chicken. I prepare it frequently for my family, so I like to keep the dish interesting by changing it from time to time.

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