It doesn't get much more classic than this oven-fried chicken recipe from Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa. Though the Barefoot Contessa is known for her specialty in French cuisine, she has increasingly become the go-to for dishes that range in complexity and origin. This oven-fried chicken is no exception.
Delving into the American southern tradition of fried chicken, in this classicly simple recipe, Garten offers a crispy yet tender chicken that doesn't tie you to the stove. She starts by frying the flour coated chicken pieces for a crisp exterior and then finishes the chicken in the oven to turn golden brown while maintaining its moisture. Just like grandma used to make it, soaking the chicken in buttermilk acts as a tenderizer, so be sure to plan ahead to let your chicken marinate overnight in the refrigerator for the juiciest fried chicken ever.
- 2 small chickens (approximately 3 pounds each, cut in eight serving pieces)
- 1 quart buttermilk
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon salt (kosher)
- 1 tablespoon black pepper (freshly ground)
Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl and pour the buttermilk over them. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Combine the flour, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Take the chicken out of the buttermilk and coat each piece thoroughly with the flour mixture.
Pour vegetable oil into a large heavy-bottomed stockpot to a depth of 1 inch and heat to 360 degrees Fahrenheit on a thermometer.
Working in batches, carefully place several pieces of chicken in the oil and fry for about 3 minutes on each side until the coating is a light golden brown (it will continue to brown in the oven) being sure not to crowd the pieces.
Remove the chicken from the oil and place each piece on a metal baking rack set on a sheet pan. Allow the oil to return to 360 degrees Fahrenheit before frying the next batch.
When all the chicken is fried, bake for 30 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit or until the chicken is no longer pink inside. Serve hot.
Recipe Source: Barefoot Contessa Family Style: Easy Ideas and Recipes That Make Everyone Feel Like Family by Ina Garten (Crown Publishing)
Reprinted with permission.
Ina Garten, also known as the Barefoot Contessa, is one of America's most famous cookbook author and television chefs. This recipe was first published in her 2002 cookbook, Barefoot Contessa Family Style, which is dedicated to Garten's favorite recipes for everyday home cooking.