First I must apologize to the folks over at Barefoot Bloggers for this entry being so unbelievably late. Those of you who personally know me understand that my household has been a complete lunatic asylum for the last 5 months and no light at the end of the tunnel just yet.
One of the last recipes for the Barefoot Bloggers to try was Ina Garten’s Oven Fried Chicken from Family Style – which happens to be my favorite Ina Garten cookbook. If you couple this with fried chicken being one of my absolute favorite comfort foods you practically have a match made in heaven.
I was in the mood for fried chicken, cole slaw, my fav potato salad (Italian salad from a pal on Contessa’s Kitchen) and my grandmother’s biscuits.
I have to say at the outset that while the end result was really good, crispy, flavorful (with my tweeks), this by no means, in no way shape or form OVEN fried chicken! This is what happens when you have a family affliction of not reading recipes all the way through! I read everything I needed to do to prep – ingredients – check, chicken in butermilk marinating – check. But I totally missed the fry the chicken before oven frying part. This little factoid totally screwed up my timing. It takes a long time to fry dinosaur sized chicken thighs (I only used thighs) for 3 minutes on each side and not crowd them!
This aside, this was so very good and with proper time management would definitely be something to do again!
- 2 chickens (3 pounds each), cut in 8 serving pieces
- 1 quart buttermilk
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- Vegetable oil or vegetable shortening
NOTE: Chicken thighs were on sale so I used equivalent weight of all thighs – they were HUMONGOUS.
Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl and pour the buttermilk over them. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
NOTE: I didn’t do this overnight, but from early morning to the time I began cooking.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
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 the oil into a large heavy-bottomed stockpot to a depth of 1-inch and heat to 360 degrees F on a thermometer.
NOTE: Also, I had read in the blogosphere that others making this recipe had complained about the blandness of the coating. I added a favorite BBQ spice mix to the flour and it was really terrific.
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). Don’t crowd the pieces.
NOTE: See where the oven frying goes RIGHT OUT THE WINDOW? This was a huge pain in the tushy but I used a stock pot – next time I’ll use a larger one so more pieces can go in, or brave using a large cast iron skillet.
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 F before frying the next batch. When all the chicken is fried, bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is no longer pink inside. Serve hot.
NOTE: The baking just brings this chicken up to a whole new level. The inside was so tender and moist. The outside seriously crispy. You heard nothing around our dinner table but really loud crunching!