Southern Oven-Fried Chicken

Southern oven-fried chicken on a serving platter

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  • Total: 60 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Servings: 4 servings

Enjoy the crispy, juicy taste of fried chicken without the oil and greasy mess. This recipe fries chicken in the oven so it's cleaner, healthier, and easier. It's coated with a seasoned flour mixture, baked to perfection, and ready in an hour.

Butter might be the real secret to this oven-fried chicken's amazing flavor. It's melted in the baking pan and then the chicken is added to the hot pan, creating a flavorful, crispy coating. You may think that the butter will burn at some point, but it won't. Just forge ahead and reap the delicious benefits.

Use a budget-friendly, cut-up chicken in this recipe or your family's favorite pieces. It's excellent with whole chicken leg quarters or thighs. If needed, you can reduce or increase the amount of chicken and breading. Serve it with a couple of old-fashioned side dishes for a classic chicken dinner the whole family will enjoy.

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Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground)
  • 3 pounds bone-in chicken parts (with or without skin)
  • 1/3 cup butter

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Southern fried chicken
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  2. Heat the oven to 425 F.

  3. In a pie plate or a wide, shallow bow,l combine the flour, paprika, salt, and pepper.

    Flour, paprika, salt, and pepper in a shallow bowl
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  4. Place the chicken in the flour mixture, turning to coat thoroughly. Or combine the flour and seasonings in a paper bag or plastic food storage bag. Add chicken pieces a few at a time and shake gently to coat.

    Coating chicken pieces in seasoned flour
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  5. Put 1/3 cup butter in a shallow baking pan; place it in the hot oven. When the butter has melted, arrange the chicken in the pan in a single layer, skin-side down.

    Chicken pieces skin-side down in melted butter
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  6. Bake for 30 minutes; turn and bake 15 minutes longer, or until chicken is tender and done (at least 165 F on a food thermometer).

    Baked chicken pieces right from the oven
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Tips

  • For the crispiest results, make sure flour gets in all of the little crevices of the raw chicken and even under any hanging skin.
  • If you don't have a metal pan with sides, use a baking or casserole dish instead. The main goal is to keep the butter and chicken juices contained. Be sure that the glass or ceramic dish can withstand the required oven temperature.
  • Unsalted butter is less likely to burn at high heat than salted butter.
  • Check the chicken's internal temperature with a food thermometer to ensure it's fully cooked. According to the USDA, the minimum safe temperature for chicken is 165 F.
  • This recipe will work with boneless chicken breasts, but they will cook faster. Check the internal temperature after 12 to 15 minutes and keep cooking if needed. Some cooks prefer to soak the breasts in buttermilk overnight in the refrigerator to ensure the chicken is moist.

Recipe Variations