Oven Fried Chicken With Buttermilk

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This last weekend, I made a big batch of oven fried chicken with buttermilk. I was in the mood for something crispy and crunchy that didn’t take forever in the deep fryer. It was enjoyable to be able to serve my family food that we all recognized as a comfort food favorite and didn’t leave us feeling guilty about eating too much or adding unhealthy calories.

Buttermilk Baked Chicken

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 13 hr
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Inactive: 12 hr
  • Cook: 45 min
  • Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

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2 cups buttermilk

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 tablespoon hot sauce

1/2 yellow onion, sliced

5 sprigs fresh thyme

3 cloves garlic, smashed

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 (3 pound) chicken cut into 8 pieces, rinsed and patted dry

2 cups crushed corn flakes

3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thymeAdd to Shopping List

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Fit a sheet tray with a wire rack and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Mix together buttermilk, lemon juice, hot sauce, onion, thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper to a large bowl. Add chicken and coat with mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 3 hours or up 12 hours.
  3. Mix corn flakes, Parmesan cheese, and thyme together. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Remove chicken from the marinade, letting the excess drip off, and dredge through the corn flake-Parmesan mixture, pressing to help it adhere.
  5. Place on the wire rack-fitted sheet tray and bake for 45 minutes until golden and crisp.

Cook’s Note

Remove the skin to save calories. Soaking chicken in buttermilk leaves the chicken incredibly moist with a delicious flavor.

Truly Crispy Buttermilk Oven Fried Chicken

 1 hr 50 mins

You won’t be disappointed by this recipe! Made using a simple technique, this chicken gets so crispy in the oven – it’s hard to believe it isn’t deep fried!

oven fried chicken on dark metal pan

My family has a complete and utter love affair with oven fried everything. The kids will eat homemade chicken nuggets any day of the week, and the husband considers himself the luckiest guy in the world whenever I make my oven fried fish.

I won’t lie – breading is probably my least favorite cooking technique, right next to rolling an endless pile of homemade meatballs… Either way, this chicken comes out supremely delicious. Is it a little tedious to make? You bet. Worth every second spent in the kitchen? Oh, but yes.

Ingredients you’ll need

Here is a visual overview of the ingredients in the recipe. Scroll down to the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for quantities!

ingredients for buttermilk oven fried chicken with text labels
Ingredients in Buttermilk Oven Fried Chicken: Chicken, flour, breadcrumbs, ground paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, baking powder, buttermilk, lemon, eggs and butter.

Ingredient notes

  • Chicken: I used chicken breast cut up into pieces, but chicken tenders work just as well. This also works with other chicken pieces – many readers have reported great success using wings, drumsticks or even thighs. Some cuts will take longer in the oven (especially bone-in thighs). Make sure to check with a food thermometer to fully cook the chicken (it should reach an internal temperature of 165°F according to this governmental safe minimum cooking temperature chart).
  • Buttermilk: Make an easy substitute by using regular milk mixed with 1 tablespoon white vinegar. Let it sit on the counter for 5-10 minutes, then use in the recipe.
  • Breadcrumbs: I just use regular plain breadcrumbs, but Panko is also great.
  • Salt: The amount of salt needed depends a lot on your specific salt. Whenever I use a natural sea salt, I’ve come to notice it’s not very “salty” compared to table salt. If you’re in doubt, make the recipe with less salt the first time and see if you need to increase it in the future. You can always season the chicken once it’s cooked, but you can’t take away too much salt.
  • Flour: I know from a few readers who have successfully made this recipe gluten free with gluten free flour (and gluten free breadcrumbs).

How to make buttermilk oven fried chicken – step by step

The first step is to marinate the chicken. To do this, you need to combine all of the marinade ingredients (1) in a bowl (2). Then add the chicken, stir well (3) and chill for at least one hour and up to overnight (4).

collage to show how to marinate chicken in buttermilk

Once the chicken is ready, you need to prepare the breading ingredients. All of the dry breading ingredients are mixed in a large dish (5), and the egg wash in a medium bowl (6).

Shake any excess marinade off the chicken, then thinly coat it with the dry breading mix (7). Toss the coated chicken in the egg wash (8). Finally, dredge each chicken piece through the dry mix again, thickly coating the chicken this time (9).

collage of photos to show breading of chicken

Make sure to press the breading on the chicken at this point, or it will fall off during baking!

Once all of the chicken is breaded (10), melt butter on a preheated dark roasting pan. Spread out the chicken pieces on the pan (11) and bake for 10-12 minutes. Then gently release from the pan with a spatula, flip and finish baking (12).

collage of photos to show baking oven fried chicken

You can finish the chicken under the broiler for 2-3 minutes to crisp it up even more, if you like! I don’t always bother, but it adds a little extra delicious finishing touch.

Recipe tips

Breading tips

  • Make sure to use separate dishes for the dry breading ingredients and the wet breading ingredients as instructed in the recipe, do not mix them together.
  • I use large enough dishes to hold about ⅓ of the chicken at a time. This way I can toss several chicken pieces in the first dry coating and in the egg wash at a time. Then I do the final dry coating piece by piece – still tedious, but a little faster.
  • Be sure to firmly press on the final coating, in order for it to stick to the chicken during baking.

What kind of pan to use

It’s very important to use the right kind of pan for this recipe. It needs to have the following features:

  • It needs to be dark to better reflect heat back onto the chicken
  • It has to have a rim to hold in the melted butter
  • It needs to be preheated in the oven before placing the chicken on top

Preheating the pan is a VERY important step – I do it with everything I want to get crispy in the oven, from oven fried chicken to homemade chicken nuggets to oven fried shrimp and even baked potato wedges.

Baking tips

  • Make sure to preheat the pan and use enough butter – otherwise the chicken will not crisp up as much as it should.
  • Be careful when you flip the chicken. Slide a spatula underneath each piece to make sure the breading doesn’t rip off.

Buttermilk Oven Fried Chicken

oven fried chicken drumsticks on pate

Buttermilk Oven “Fried” Chicken – this baked fried chicken is a lighter version of fried chicken that tastes just like the real deal! Oven fried chicken gets the same crispy texture from “frying” in the oven! 

Skinnytaste “Oven” Fried Chicken

Today we are celebrating our good friend Gina’s new cookbook, The Skinnytaste Cookbook! We love Gina and are so excited about her first cookbook! I have been a big fan of her blog for years and I am so glad her recipes are now in a book!

The Skinnytaste Cookbook features recipes that are light on calories, but big on flavor. Gina knows how to make healthy taste amazing! I couldn’t decide what recipe to make for our post because I wanted to make them all so I let Josh pick. He was flipping through the book and when he saw the Buttermilk “Oven” Fried Chicken recipe he exclaimed, “Winner, winner, chicken dinner!” He said we HAD to make this oven fried chicken. Caleb ran over to see what we were talking about said he wanted chicken for dinner too! The decision was made:)

baked fried chicken drumsticks on baking sheet

Baked Fried Chicken is Healthy Fried Chicken

One of Josh’s favorite meals is fried chicken, but I rarely let him make it because I don’t like the fried smell and it is so messy. Yeah, I am the boss in our kitchen:) But oven baked fried chicken, now that intrigued me.

healthy fried chicken drumsticks on serving dish

Well, Gina just made Josh’s life because there is no greasy frying involved with her healthy “fried” chicken recipe! You bake the chicken in the oven so there is no big mess to clean up and no fried smells that linger for days. Now, Josh can make this healthy “fried” chicken whenever he wants!

How to Make Oven-Fried Chicken

Gina’s lighter version of fried chicken is perfect! The chicken has the same crispy, golden texture as the real deal, but without all of the fat and calories. The recipe is easy to make too!

  1. Soak the chicken in a buttermilk bath overnight, this will keep the chicken moist and juicy!
  2. Roll the chicken in the crunchy coating that is made with bread crumbs, cornflakes, Parmesan cheese, and spices.
  3. Place on a large baking sheet, making sure the chicken doesn’t touch. You can also place the chicken on an oven safe rack on the baking sheet, this will make the chicken extra crispy.
  4. Bake until crispy and cooked through.

That’s it. No mess to clean up and you can feel good about having healthy fried chicken on the menu. You won’t miss the fryer, that is for sure!

Two Thumbs up for Oven Fried Chicken

Josh was impressed with the “fried” chicken. He loved it! He warned me that Buttermilk Oven Fried Chicken is going to be a regular recipe at our house. Fine by me! I didn’t have to clean up a mess and my boys were very happy! Caleb loved eating the drumsticks. He had fun playing the drums while he ate his dinner:)

If you are a fried chicken fan, you have to make Buttermilk Oven “Fried” Chicken. You won’t miss the deep fryer and it is a great recipe for easy weeknight dinners or entertaining!

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