How much of a fan of deep frying are you? Most people would be right to say that plenty of deep-fried dishes are tasty, health issues aside. But in terms of the process, when you’re the one who actually does all the deep-frying, most times I feel like it’s such a bother. I’m not sensitive to heat. I’m not afraid of the occasional splattering oil either. I just… Don’t like doing it.
There are days when I do decide to do it– such as in the name of churros— but lately I’ve been… Lazy.
Yeah. That’s the word.
In relation to that, have you ever felt like sometimes there are so many things you want to do that you don’t know where to start, so you kind of hold back and suddenly fall into this bubble of procrastination without even noticing? Lately I feel like this has been the case for me, because it seems like I’ve accomplished things here and there yet not at the rate I would’ve preferred.
But ask me if I’ve watched the crazy-good season finale of iZombie or the latest episode of Orphan Black and I’d tell you that on the TV I marathoned through a bunch of series with my laptop beside me practically glaring at me. Ask me how I felt about the series finale of Korean series Who Are You: School 2015 and how I keep checking back if a subbed latest episode of Masked Prosecutor is available. I’d easily tell you that my heart broke for Gong Tae-Kwang and is about to break for Yoo Min Hui. Yep. I seem to enjoy basking in my guilty pleasures a bit too much at the moment. Guess we all have our days.
Now before I spin any more off tangent, let’s get back to talking about the chicken. You’d think I’d be okay with not deep-frying. At least for some time I can “live healthily”. My only problem with that is I haven’t been able to make a proper round of buttermilk fried chicken. The chicken everyone has crowned the best of the best of fried chicken. The juiciest. The ultimate.
Seriously, who doesn’t want a bite out of that fried chicken?!
The good news is we now live in a world where alternatives are at the tip of our fingers, and as you might have expected, I did a bit of homework. I wanted a version that somehow doesn’t involve frying but will get me the delicious tender and juicy, crispy and fragrant chicken I so long for. Something that will please even those who don’t find any appeal at all when it comes to frying food. (Like me, most times!)
So now here we are with an Oven Fried Buttermilk Chicken recipe. And I have to say, I really like it.
Another thing that I like about this? It’s the kind you just marinade then dredge, and because it’s baked you just pop it in the oven and leave it there until cooked. No need to measure frying oil to the right temperature for frying, or standing guard by the hot oil fearing that the chicken will get burnt or too soggy. I’m all for complex recipes but easy ones are even nicer no?
The night before, marinade the chicken in flavourings and buttermilk. The buttermilk is the secret as it will make your chicken super tender, and that just amps up the juiciness.
The next day once you’re ready to bake your chicken, preheat the oven right before you mix up all the ingredients for the coating. Interesting thing about this is the presence of crushed cornflakes. I know it’s not something new to others but this is the first time I’m using it as chicken breading. Especially since this is baked, the cornflakes will provide added crunch once toasted in the oven.
Now just dunk them pieces of chicken in the coating and baaaake.
One thing that I forgot to do when I made this was placing a rack on top of the baking sheet. I just put the chicken on a baking sheet lined with parchment so the chicken lies flat with one side touching the pan, and that part didn’t crunch up as much as the rest of the drumstick did. So don’t forget the rack if you want your chicken crispy all around.
Nonetheless, a very minor issue considering these were pretty darn good! I know my photography set-up is rather poor in this occasion because people were waiting very impatiently for me to finish snapping photos so they can eat. 😛 I put the Sriracha in the photo since honestly this is how I like to eat my fried chicken. LOTSA HOT SAUCE! But buttermilk chicken is also great with a drizzle of honey and hot sauce. You can make some gravy too if you like.
Oven-Fried Buttermilk Chicken
For the Chicken
- 8 chicken drumsticks, about 100 grams each
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup buttermilk
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Cooking spray
For the Coating
- ⅔ cup panko bread crumbs
- ½ cup crushed cornflakes
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1½ teaspoons paprika
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon chili powder
Prepare the chicken
- 1. In a medium bowl, season the chicken with the salt, paprika, cayenne, thyme, garlic, and black pepper. Make sure to coat the chicken all the way with the spices.
- 2. Pour the buttermilk and lemon juice over the chicken and coat each piece generously. Cover with cling wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours, preferably overnight.
When ready to bake
- 3. Preheat the oven to 205°C (400°F). For crunchier results, place a rack on a baking sheet and lightly spray with oil.
- 4. In a shallow bowl, combine all the ingredients for the coating.
- 5. Remove the chicken from the fridge. Dredge each piece in the crumb mixture, making sure all sides are evenly and fully coated. Put the chicken pieces onto the prepared baking sheet. Spray the tops of the chicken with cooking spray.
- 6. Bake chicken about 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown, crisp, and cooked through.