Transform Boxed Pancake Mix Into Utterly Delicious Fried Chicken

As delicious as fried chicken is, there's a reason we tend to buy it at a fast food joint rather than make it at home. As recipe developer Erin Johnson points out, "The worst part of frying chicken is the cleanup." Johnson, however, has come up with a brilliant solution that is both a great time saver and far less taxing on your cleaning supplies: pancake mix. More specifically, Bisquick is the ingredient you might not have considered here.

Johnson's recipe for secretly baked Bisquick fried chicken, named as such because it's baked in the oven rather than fried in lashings of hot oil, creates delicious, golden chicken using the somewhat unconventional ingredient of Bisquick pancake mix. By combining the mix with buttermilk and other seasonings, Johnson emulates fried chicken's crispy texture "without the effort or mess."

If the idea of constantly keeping one eye on your pot is keeping you from making fried chicken at home, this recipe is definitely worth a shot. In Johnson's words, the recipe is "hands off once you put it in the oven, making it easy to multitask while the chicken cooks."

How should you season your Bisquick fried chicken?

When it comes to infusing your not-quite-fried chicken with flavor, Erin Johnson thinks it best to follow your own taste buds. In her recipe, she uses a mix of black pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and smoked paprika, along with a brush of melted butter. You're not limited to this mix for your own version, however, as she says "the seasonings here are absolutely up to you." Johnson's proposed variations include swapping paprika for smoked paprika for extra warmth or using Old Bay "for a different flavor punch."

Fried chicken is something of a blank slate, so you could feasibly take your Bisquick chicken in any direction. Fried chicken looks and tastes differently all around the world with seasoning ranging from super spicy Nashville hot chicken to sweeter, honey-based Korean fried chicken. Thanks to the brilliant hack offered by Johnson's recipe, you're free to experiment with different flavors without worrying about either a major cleaning job or spending ages staring at slowly frying chicken.