Oven fried foods are healthier than deep fried foods, and that’s what makes this oven fried Parmesan chicken so completely irresistible. It’s delicious like all fried foods should be, but it can be eaten with a little less guilt!
Oh, yeah. I wasn’t messing around. Oven Fried Parmesan Chicken.
Perhaps it was my longing for the cool breezes of Fall that had me thinking of rib-stickin’, comfort-foody fried chicken. Or possibly because I’ve given up on losing that last bit of baby weight. Or maybe it was because oven fried chicken is just so good.
All I can for sure is that I had a hankerin’ for some fried chicken, and a break in the oppressive heat of summer gave me all the motivation that I needed to make it happen. I just love it when nature cooperates with my food cravings.
I really should call this half-fried chicken, because I flash fry it, then finish it off in the oven. Less mess, and a bit healthier than fully fried chicken. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!
Let’s get started with:
4 pounds bone-in, skin-on Chicken pieces
2 C. buttermilk
2 Tbs. milk
1 ½ C. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. ground black pepper
2 C. Panko breadcrumbs
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
¼ C. finely grated Parmesan cheese
4 C. canola oil (or more)
Pour buttermilk into a gallon size zippered bag, and put the chicken pieces in for a good soak. I used 4 very large chicken breasts, but Pick o’ the Chick, or your favorite pieces will work. (Pick o’the Chick is just a whole chicken cut into 2 each of breasts, wings, drumsticks, and thighs.) Refrigerate the chicken for several hours. The buttermilk will help to tenderize the chicken, and make it extra delish.
In order to get a nice and crispy coating on your oven fried chicken, you’ll need to coat it in 3 easy steps:
Dredge, wet, bread.
I like to use pie plates to assemble the coating ingredients, but if you don’t happen to have a ridiculous number of pie plates hanging around, then shallow dishes will work. In the first pie plate, prepare the flour dredge by stirring together the flour, salt, and pepper. In the next pie plate, prepare the egg wash by beating together the eggs and milk. In still another pie plate, prepare the breading by stirring together the Panko breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, and Parmesan cheese.
First, dredge both sides of a piece of chicken in the seasoned flour.
Then dip both sides of the dredged chicken in the “wet” pie plate.
Finally, press both sides of the wet chicken into the seasoned breadcrumbs. Give it a little pat to make sure that the breadcrumbs are going to stay put.
Dredge, wet, bread. See how easy that was? Since your fingers are already a cakey mess, go ahead and finish with the rest of the chicken. Put it on a plate and tell it to hang tight for a few minutes while you prepare the oil.
Oh, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Now is probably a good time to admit that I am scared silly of frying anything in hot oil. It totally freaks me out. I’m just sure that I am going to spatter myself and be horribly burned for life. Or at least I was, before I learned one tip that forever changed the way I feel about frying. Years and years ago, I was watching Food Network and one of the chefs said the best way to fry at home is in a deep dutch oven or stock pot. That way, the oil doesn’t spatter all over the place. Simple genius!
Pour enough canola oil to come 1 inch up the sides of a dutch oven. I end up using about 4 cups. Heat the oil over medium high heat, until the temperature reaches 350 degrees.
Use a nifty candy thermometer to check the temperature. Before I had a candy thermometer, I used a meat thermometer to get a close approximation–just don’t tell anyone.
Fry the chicken in batches, until it begins to turn a nice golden brown. Be sure to flip the pieces, and let the oil get back to 350 in between batches. I fried these monster huge chicken breasts for about 3 minutes per side. Because I am still a bit skittish around the hot oil, I don’t tend to stand over it. If you are like me, I highly recommend setting a timer for this part so that you don’t forget about it.
Once the chicken is lightly browned, place it on a baking sheet lined with a cooling rack. Tent the chicken with foil, and bake in a 350 oven until inside is no longer pink, the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees, and juices run clear when the chicken is pierced. Anywhere from 35-60 minutes, depending on the size of the individual chicken pieces. The basic Pick o’ the Chick takes anywhere from 35-40 minutes. These large chicken breasts took 60 minutes.
Golden, crunchy and juicy deliciousness! I recommend serving light and fluffy biscuits on the side. It’s the right thing to do.
And here’s to a delicious oven fried Parmesan chicken dinner!