SHARE

Crispy Oven Fried Chicken

May 18, 2023
Shanika | Orchids + Sweet Tea
Add the most coveted food to your meal with this Crispy Oven Fried Chicken recipe. No need for frying, yet it's well seasoned + extra crunchy, and works for the entire family!

Crispy Oven Fried Chicken

Southern Crispy Oven Fried Chicken recipe made with a nice mix of chicken thighs and drumsticks, seasoned in two layers (both base + coating), coated with cornflakes and breadcrumbs for an extra crunch, and a great match for almost any side, makes for the perfect meal addition. You won’t believe how flavor-packed and CRISPY this chicken recipe is! Completely dairy-free. Gluten-free, Air Fryer, + Make Ahead options.

Fried chicken in a food basket with biscuits, a fork, with a red napkin and a drink.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links via Amazon for products that I wholeheartedly love and receive commission from.

When it comes to southern fried chicken, I'm obsessed with the idea of an ultra crispy crust with a juicy, savory inside in every bite---much like I'm used to growing up in the South. And while you might assume that "frying" this chicken in the oven won't give the same results as if it were fried in oil, I come to show you otherwise! This Crispy Oven Fried Chicken is by far an easy, jam-packed with flavor, dairy-free option for the entire family to enjoy.

Of course, if you're a lover of southern fried chicken, then you'll love this Crispy Southern Hot Honey Fried Chicken recipe and these Crispy Baked Chicken Tenders, which are another crowd-favorite. And if you aren't a meat eater---you've got to try these Southern Hot Honey Cauliflower Bites and Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower Wings/Bites. They're the perfect handheld bites and can be turned into a sandwich like this Vegan Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich. Plus, you can totally omit the sauces for these bites and enjoy them fully breaded and completely crispy.

This fried chicken recipe definitely puts fast food chicken to shame because it's so delish! And if this is your first time frying your chicken in the oven, then you're still fine----I talk about a few tips and tricks to ensure that your chicken turns out juicy + crusty.

What is the Secret to Good Fried Chicken?

Believe it or not, the number 1 secret to the best fried chicken is a "salty marinade". This is why most Southerners soak their chicken pieces in a well seasoned buttermilk or marinade of some sort, which adds enough salt for the most juiciest meat. In this fried chicken recipe, I love seasoning both layers of the chicken and I also create a nice dairy-free wet batter consisting of Almond milk, dijon mustard, eggs, and seasonings to add that saltiness and moisture to the chicken. It definitely makes a difference.

Jump to:
Ingredients on a black table including cornflakes, breadcrumbs, seasonings, eggs, dijon mustard, and milk.

How to Make the Best Crispy Oven Fried Chicken Recipe

Cooking crispy oven fried chicken is generally an easy process---in total of about 50-55 minutes. You first start by cleaning and washing your chicken pieces to ensure that they are clean and ready to be seasoned. I like to wash my chicken with both vinegar and lemon to help keep things clean and sanitized.

Once your chicken is clean, then it's patting dry and seasoning time! I'm all about seasoning every "layer" of my food, therefore, the chicken gets direct seasoning and so does the coating. Let everything marinate for 5-10 minutes or overnight (preferably 1-2 days) tightly wrapped in the refrigerator for the best results.

Then you dust the chicken pieces and add them to the wet mixture of some kind, and bread them in a cornflake-breadcrumb crust before baking/roasting for crispness. Finally, you serve them up and add a few drizzles of honey or hot sauce, if that's your thing!

Ingredients for this Southern Oven Fried Chicken Recipe

Here’s what you need to prepare this Fried Chicken today:

  • Chicken. You can use a mixture of thighs, wings, and drumsticks, just remove the skin first, if preferred. I love removing the skin so that the seasonings can stick better to the meat, it removes that extra fat, and adds more real moisture without a barrier. Plus, the breadcrumbs coating adds enough crunch, therefore, the skin isn't needed.
  • Spices. I use salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, parsley, basil, and cayenne powder.
  • Corn flakes. I love using organic. Crush your cornflakes by placing them in a zip-top bag and crushing them with something heavy until you have a fine texture, but not a powder.
  • Breadcrumbs. You can buy store-bought breadcrumbs or panko. Or see the notes below the recipe to easily make your own Seasoned Toasted Panko Bread Crumbs).
  • Cornstarch. I find that combining flour and cornstarch together for the dusting creates the crispiest chicken. For a GF-friendly option, you can sub with GF flour or arrowroot starch.
  • Flour. You'll need all-purpose flour to dust your chicken. This creates a barrier to keep moisture in so that the breadcrumb coating stays on and the chicken crisps up nicely.
  • Almond milk. Or another plant-based milk (unsweetened). You can also use whole milk or heavy cream instead.
  • Eggs. Acts as a great binder for the wet marinade when coating chicken. You can sub with honey mustard or omit completely if using heavy cream.
  • Dijon mustard. There's just something special about Dijon flavor that takes this chicken to the next level. But it's totally optional. You can sub with honey mustard, spicy brown mustard, or horseradish sauce.
Uncooked chicken in a large silver bowl on a black table.

Do I Use Cornstarch or Flour for Crispy Chicken?

OK, so this is one of the hot debates as it relates to which one creates the crispier chicken. While cornstarch does add extra layer of crispiness for your chicken, using flour still works too! But to best honest, the best kept secret is the combination of both cornstarch and flour, which creates the crispiest results. Of course, if you're looking to make this fried chicken recipe gluten-free, then substitute the cornstarch or flour with arrowroot starch or a great all-purpose flour.

Do You Egg or Flour First for Fried Chicken?

The greatest secret and tip to ensuring that your crust sticks unto your chicken pieces properly and permanently is to first dust your chicken in the flour-starch mixture and then dip it into the egg mixture, shaking off any excess before rolling it in the breadcrumbs.

Crushed cornflakes in a white bowl with hands mixing it around.

How to Make Homemade Breadcrumbs

To make your own breadcrumbs, simply grind 1-2 cups of cubed bread into a food processor until finely chopped. Place crumbs onto a parchment lined baking sheet and spread out evenly.

Bake for 5-6 minutes in the oven set at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring occasionally. Once brown + crisp, remove from oven and let cool. Continue recipe steps and store remaining breadcrumbs in a tightly sealed container.

Chicken in wet batter in a white bowl on a black table.

How Long to Bake Fried Chicken?

The baking time will vary depending on your oven. Check the chicken after 25-30 minutes, to make sure they’re nice and crunchy but not burning. If they're still good, you can continue baking them for the full 35 or so minutes. If necessary, pop the chicken under the broiler for 5 to 10 minutes for an extra crispy crust.

How to Make Fried Chicken in an Air Fryer?

To make your crispy fried chicken in an air fryer, it's very similar to doing it the oven. The only difference would be the cook time and adding them to a basket versus a baking sheet. Once you've seasoned, dusted, and coated your chicken, add them to your air fryer basket, spray with cooking oil, and cook them at 360 degrees for 15-20 minutes. NOTE: You might want to spray your basket with cooking oil to ensure that your chicken doesn't stick to it during cooking.

How to Reheat Fried Chicken in Air Fryer?

If you're looking to reheat your fried chicken in an air fryer, it's by far the easiest to do. Here's the steps:

Preheat your air fryer to 360 or 370 degrees Fahrenheit.

Lightly spray the basket of your air fryer and add the fried chicken pieces to the basket in a single layer. No overcrowding!

Cook for about 5 minutes and then flip chickens to their opposite sides and cook for another 5 minutes. Of course, double check that they are warmed through, depending on the size of the pieces and cook for additional minutes based on that.

Remove chicken pieces with tongs and wallah.

Coated chicken lined on a baking sheet with a wire rack.

Tips for Making the Crispiest Oven Fried Chicken

To make sure your Southern Crispy Oven Fried Chicken get as crispy as possible with the use of a “coating”, follow these simple tips:

  • Make sure each chicken piece has plenty of space on the baking sheet. The airflow helps things crisp up so don't overcrowd.
  • When using a baking sheet, add a wire rack atop the parchment paper so that chicken can crisp up nicely on all sides without you having to do any "turning".
  • Combine flour and cornstarch to create the crispiest outer layer for your chicken.
  • After rinsing your chicken pieces, be sure to pat dry completely until they are as dry as possible before adding seasoning and marinade.
  • Soak the chicken overnight in the fridge in a buttermilk of some sort. You can easily create a dairy-free "buttermilk" by adding 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to your milk. The acidity and enzymes of the buttermilk breaks down the proteins in the chicken, making it extra tender and juicy.
Baked fried chicken on a baking sheet with a wire rack and herbs as garnish.

Can I Substitute the Chicken in this Recipe?

You can absolutely substitute the chicken in this recipe for other pieces of the chicken or with another meat alternative altogether such as:

  • Chicken breasts (these make for awesome chicken tenders)
  • Cauliflower
  • Mushrooms
  • Tofu
  • Tempeh
Two food baskets with chicken and biscuits with a fork next to a red napkin and a side of drink.

What Goes with Fried Chicken?

You can serve this southern crispy oven fried chicken with your favorite side, whether traditional or not. Also, enjoy this Fried Chicken recipe with a side of bread (for a simple lunch) or with your favorite side (i.e. rice, mashed potatoes, mac + cheese, cornbread, fries, veggies, salad, etc.). Here are a few great recipes to serve this fried chicken with:

Common Q + A's for this Crispy Fried Chicken

Why put chicken in milk before frying?

The calcium in milk is thought to kick-start a natural enzyme in the chicken that helps it tenderize. This is the same for using plant-based milk also.

Can I soak chicken in regular milk instead of heavy cream?

Absolutely! If you'd like to keep things traditional by using buttermilk, you can always use regular milk and create an alternative to buttermilk by adding 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar per 1 cup to your milk.

Why does the coating fall off my fried chicken?

Believe it or not, this has happened to me plenty of times. Moisture is the worst enemy in frying chicken. This is why dusting your chicken with flour as I've mentioned before should be enough to create a moisture barrier around the chicken; otherwise, the moisture created during the cooking process is going to create steam that will cause your breading to flake off.

Can I make this fried chicken ahead of time?

Of course! All ingredients can be made and individually stored as meal prep (up to 2 days prior) and assembled when ready to serve. Be sure to store crushed corn flakes + seasoning mixture in a nicely sealed zip loc bag, kept at room temp. Once chicken is cooked, you can easily store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Can I make this fried chicken gluten-free?

Yup! To ensure that this chicken recipe is completely Gluten-Free, simply substitute the flour, breadcrumbs and cornflakes with GF-friendly ones. Also, you can substitute cornflakes with all-purpose flour for your favorite GF-friendly flour (i.e. GF All-purpose flour, 1-to-1 baking flour, etc.). Also, you can use arrowroot starch for a great GF-friendly option instead of regular cornstarch or flour.

Why do you add baking powder to flour for fried chicken?

As I've mentioned, adding a good amount of salt to your chicken helps to keep your chicken moist without adding extra moisture to the coating. However, if you don't want to add too much salt to your chicken, adding 2 teaspoons of baking powder to the flour before dredging helps to create a crispy coating and do the same thing as salt would!

What is the best sauce to add to fried chicken?

You can always keep things simple with drizzles or honey or a few drops of hot sauce, however, to add additional flavor to your fried chicken, I love switching things up with this Creamy Honey Mustard Dressing as a light drizzle.

Two food baskets with chicken and biscuits with a fork next to a red napkin and a side of drink.

How to Store + Reheat Oven Fried Chicken

Place any leftover ingredients in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. To reheat, simply add chicken to a baking sheet and bake for a few minutes until completely warmed through.

More Delicious Chicken Recipes to Try!

Now that you're loving this fried chicken recipe, give these other chicken recipes that your entire family will love a try next:

MADE OUR RECIPE(S)?

If you tried this Southern Crispy Oven Fried Chicken recipe or any other recipe on my website, please please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how you go in the 📝 comments below. I love hearing from you.

A food basket with chicken and biscuits.
Fried chicken in a food basket with biscuits, a fork, with a red napkin and a drink.

Crispy Oven Fried Chicken

May 18, 2023
5 from 3 votes
Add the most coveted food to your meal with this Crispy Oven Fried Chicken recipe. No need for frying, yet it's well seasoned + extra crunchy, and works for the entire family!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Serves: 6 servings

Ingredients

CHICKEN:

  • 2 lbs. organic chicken, skins on or off (Drumsticks, Wings, + Thigh pieces work great!)
  • 2 tsps sea salt
  • 2 tsps black pepper
  • 2 tsps smoked paprika
  • 2 tsps garlic powder
  • 2 tsps onion powder
  • 2 tsps dried thyme
  • 2 tsps dried parsley
  • 2 tsps dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs (You can make your own Seasoned Toasted Panko Bread Crumbs)
  • 2 cups cornflakes, crushed
  • ¼ cup organic all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup Almond milk, unsweetened (You can use whole milk or your fave plant-based milk, if desired)
  • 1-2 Tbsps dijon mustard, optional

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS:

  • Drizzle of raw honey
  • Hot sauce

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and prep a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and a wire rack (this helps both sides to crisp up nicely).

MARINATE THE CHICKEN:

  • In a large bowl, add your freshly cleaned + rinsed chicken along with 1 teaspoon each: salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, parsley, and basil, mixing everything together until chicken is fully coated. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes. NOTE: Chicken is best when marinated 1-2 days before and refrigerated.

DUST CHICKEN IN FLOUR:

  • Add the flour and cornstarch to a plate or ziplock bag, mixing them together until combined. Pat dry chicken and dust each piece of chicken in the flour-starch mixture, shaking off any excess.

TO MAKE THE COATING:

  • In a bowl, add the crushed corn flakes, breadcrumbs, and 1 teaspoon each: salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion smoked paprika, thyme, parsley, and basil, as well as the cayenne pepper, mixing everything together until combined. In a separate bowl, add the eggs, dijon mustard (if using), and milk and whisk together until smooth and combined.
  • Now, dip each piece of flour dusted chicken into the egg-milk mixture (shaking off any excess) and then add it into the coating mixture, moving it around on each side until well coated. Then lay each chicken, side by side onto the baking sheet (about an inch apart). Repeat until all chicken is coated.
  • Lightly brush or spray tops of chicken with olive oil or cooking spray and bake them for 30-35 minutes or until chicken has fully cooked through.
  • One the chicken has baked through, remove from oven and serve with your favorite side. Drizzle with honey or drops of hot sauce, if desired.
  • Bon Appetit!

Tips & Tricks

  • STORAGE: Place any leftover ingredients in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. To reheat, simply add chicken to a baking sheet and bake for a few minutes until completely warmed through. 
  • MAKE AHEAD: All ingredients can be made and individually stored as meal prep (up to 2 days prior) and assembled when ready to serve. Be sure to store crushed corn flakes + seasoning mixture in a nicely sealed zip loc bag, kept at room temp. 
  • GLUTEN-FREE OPTION: To ensure that this chicken recipe is completely Gluten-Free, simply substitute the breadcrumbs and cornflakes with GF-friendly ones. Also, you can substitute cornflakes with all-purpose flour for your favorite GF-friendly flour (i.e. GF All-purpose flour, 1-to-1 baking flour, etc.). Also, you can use arrowroot starch for a great GF-friendly option instead of regular cornstarch.

Nutrition

Calories: 242kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 0.4mg | Sodium: 1434mg | Potassium: 181mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 731IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 148mg | Iron: 6mg

DID YOU MAKE THIS recipe?

Tag @orchidsnsweettea_ on Instagram and hashtag it #orchidsandsweettea

Signature of my name, Shanika in black font.

Love this Post? SHARE!

LOVE THIS RECIPE?
LET US KNOW!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Love this Recipe?




jQuery(document).ready(function($) { $('.clicked-1').addClass('showme'); $('.clicky-1').addClass('shown'); $('.click-1').addClass('active'); });