I’m going to show you how to make oven fried chicken with panko. A lot of people would think that this isn’t possible, but it is very possible in fact it’s easier than deep frying the chicken. I have adapted several recipes and after testing each one out I finally found a recipe that had the perfect amount of crispiness and the right amount of flavor.
Oven Fried Chicken
This Oven Fried Chicken has all the flavors of the deep fried chicken without all the extra fat and oily mess! These chicken thighs are coated with a seasoned Panko and baked until golden brown and perfectly crisp! You wouldn’t believe how close they come to the real thing. This is how you do comfort food.
Deliciously Satisfying Baked Fried Chicken
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I’ve always loved deep-fried chicken, but we all know it’s loaded with fat and calories. This version skips the frying and is coated with lightly oiled panko, then cooked in a hot oven instead of a pot of vegetable oil.
It’s deliciously flavorful and you’ll be swooning over the crispy breading and perfectly tender chicken.
I tested several different ingredients for the coating. I’ve tried melba toast, cornflakes, and Panko, and Panko is my favorite here. Then, I opted to leave out the flour for dredging because it works fine without it here, the egg whites are the perfect “glue” on their own.
I added some spices and herbs to the Panko to build flavor and mimic color (the paprika helps give it a nice orange shade). And you’ll love the light kick from the cayenne.
And this crispy oven fried chicken really isn’t difficult to make. The hardest part here will just be waiting for it to bake in the oven!
Oven Fried Chicken Ingredients
The best part about this oven baked fried chicken recipe is that is requires just pantry staples!
- Panko bread crumbs
- Olive oil
- Seasonings (paprika, thyme, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, S&P)
- Egg whites
- Bone-in, skinless chicken thighs (trimmed of fat)
How to Remove the Skin from Chicken Thighs
Removing the skin is actually really easy (and necessary for this recipe, you don’t want the extra oils). The skin mostly just pulls away then in areas where it sticks trim away with a sharp knife (HERE is a quick video that shows how).
How to Make Oven Fried Chicken
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a large wire rack with non-stick cooking spray and place in an 18 by 13-inch baking sheet.
- Pour Panko into a shallow mixing bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and toss and rub with fingertips to evenly moisten.
- Sprinkle in paprika, thyme, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and season with salt and pepper to taste then toss.
- In a separate shallow mixing bowl whisk together egg whites, salt and pepper until slightly frothy.
- Working with one piece of chicken at a time, dip both sides of chicken in egg white then transfer to Panko mixture and dredge both sides in mixture while pressing crumbs to adhere, sprinkle some over top as well and press.
- Transfer to prepared wire rack spacing evenly apart.
- Bake in preheated oven until golden brown and cooked through (center of thickest portion should register 165ºF on an instant read thermometer), about 50 minutes. Serve warm.
Can I Use Boneless Thighs or Chicken Breasts?
I personally prefer the bones because they add flavor, plus they take longer to cook with bone-in so you end with a really crispy coating that has a nice golden brown color. But boneless thighs or chicken breasts will work fine too.
How Long do You Cook Oven Fried Chicken?
- Chicken thighs with bones (about 5 – 6 oz each, after removing skin) will take about 50 minutes at 400 degrees F.
- If using boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 6 oz each), cook time should be about 20 – 25 minutes.
- Boneless thighs (about 4 – 5 oz) should take about 25 – 30 minutes.
Can I Use Regular Breadcrumbs?
No, I don’t recommend using regular breadcrumbs for this oven fried chicken recipe. Panko breadcrumbs are lighter and flakier than regular breadcrumbs, and they’re what make this baked fried chicken so crispy.
Oven Fried Chicken Thighs
These crispy oven fried chicken thighs consist of bone-in, skinless chicken thighs that are coated in seasoned panko breadcrumbs and baked until they’re super crispy. They’re so much healthier and just as good as the fried version. Ready in less than one hour!
Love easy chicken recipes? Then you’ve got to try my French onion chicken and my chicken puttanesca!
Oven Fried Chicken Thighs
You don’t need a deep fryer to make crispy chicken at home! These Oven Fried Chicken Thighs come out super crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. You would never know this chicken was made in the oven! Baking the chicken saves on calories and makes this recipe even healthier. To get the crispy breading I start by coating the chicken in all purpose flour, egg then seasoned panko breadcrumbs. Then I bake in a hot oven until golden brown and crispy. Using bone in chicken thighs helps to keep the chicken juicy and tender. You can substitute drumsticks, breasts or tenders if your prefer. Just shorten the cooking time to 20 minutes or so.
Best of all, this recipe can be made in less than an hour! To make this a meal you could bake the chicken on a sheet tray instead of the pan and add veggies or potatoes to make it a one pan sheet meal! Broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, squash or baby potatoes would all cook up perfectly alongside the fried chicken!
How To Make Fried Chicken In The Oven
- Preheat oven: To 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- Season the chicken: Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper on the chicken thighs and toss to coat. Set aside.
- Set up dredging station: In a small bowl add the flour and set aside. In another small bowl combine the eggs, milk, dijon and hot sauce, set aside. Add breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika to a small bowl and mix to combine.
- Bread chicken: Working in a line start by dipping chicken one at a time in the flour, egg, then panko breadcrumbs.
- Bake: Place on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 40-45 minutes or until fully cooked and golden brown.
- Serve: Immediately with your favorite dipping sauces! I love serving the chicken with Spicy Ketchup, Homemade Ranch Dressing or Honey Mustard for dipping!
How To Reheat Fried Chicken In The Oven
- Store: Leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Reheat: To reheat the baked fried chicken simply place it back in a 350 degree oven on a baking sheet lined with a wire rack until the internal temperature reach 165 degrees. This ensures it still stays crispy but doesn’t dry out!
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do I cook oven-fried chicken?
- Bone in chicken thighs: Take about 40-45 minutes in the oven depending on the size or until golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 165.
- Chicken breasts: 20-25 minutes depending on the size or until golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 165.
- Boneless chicken thighs: Take about 30 minutes in the oven or until golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 165.
- Drumsticks: About 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 165.
How can I achieve crispy fried chicken by baking it in the oven?
- High heat: I turn the oven up to 400 degrees. This helps the chicken cook fast and helps the breading get golden brown.
- Removing the skin: Using skinless bone in chicken thighs helps ensure the breading will stick onto the chicken and keeps the chicken from being too greasy.
- Panko breadcrumbs: Add the perfect amount of crunch and brown up beautifully!
Finger Licking Panko Crusted Oven Fried Chicken
This mouthwatering “Panko Crusted Oven Fried Chicken” is so good; it is actually better than the one you remember before giving up gluten/soy and dairy. As an extra bonus, since it is oven fried with the skin removed, it is so much healthier than most of the original versions. Totally guilt free, so indulge!
- PREP TIME15 minutes
- COOK TIME1 hour
- 3 pounds bone in skinless chicken thighs and/or legs
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon your favorite non dairy milk
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups panko style gf bread crumbs
- soy free olive oil cooking spray or olive oil
In This Recipe
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- Spray a large baking dish generously with the olive oil spray, or if using olive oil coat the bottom of the dish.
- In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, garlic powder, dijon, red pepper flakes, non dairy milk, salt and pepper. Pour the panko crumbs into a second bowl.
- Dip each piece of chicken first in the egg mixture and then roll in the panko crumbs. Arrange in a single layer in the baking dish.
- Spray tops of the chicken with the cooking spray or drizzle with olive oil. Bake for approximately 1 hour. When the chicken is finished, the tops should be starting to turn golden brown.