Crispy Southern Oven Fried Chicken Recipe

There's nothing quite like biting into a piece of southern fried chicken. Anyone who has attempted making authentic fried chicken knows that it takes some serious talent. In many cases, it also takes the kind of confidence with a deep fryer that not everybody has. And it's not just about confidence, either. The fact is that fried foods don't agree with everyone's diet. 

But that doesn't mean swapping the deep fryer for the oven is an easy switch. If you've tried making fried chicken in an oven, you know it's a challenge to get that delicious, crispy skin. Tricia Wheeler of Peaceful Dinners has an answer to that dilemma. Her recipe for crispy southern oven fried chicken uses a combination of the perfect cut of meat and the perfect bread crumbs, resulting in a satisfying crunch that will have folks thinking you broke out the fryer instead of relying on the oven to help get the same wonderful results.

Get your ingredients ready for oven fried chicken

Begin by getting all the ingredients you'll need together. For this recipe, Wheeler chose bone-in chicken thighs, although she leaves it to chef to decide whether or not to swap them for boneless thighs. "I like to make this recipe with chicken thighs because they are juicy and do not dry out in the amount of time it takes to crisp the outside of the chicken in the oven," she explained.

Check the spice cabinet and grab kosher salt, black pepper, flour, garlic powder, and smoky paprika. You'll also need milk, eggs, hot sauce, panko breadcrumbs, grapeseed oil (or melted butter), olive oil, and parsley. And if you're interested in making hot honey to garnish, you'll need honey and red pepper flakes.

Preheat the oven and prepare to bake

Once you've got all your ingredients, there's just a little more prep work ahead before you get those chicken thighs in the oven. Speaking of the oven, you'll want to begin by preheating yours to 400 F. Place a cooling rack on a baking sheet and set it on the counter. If you don't have a rack, don't worry. Wheeler says that parchment paper on a baking sheet is a fine substitute in a pinch.

Season the chicken

Now it's time to season the chicken with salt and pepper. Allow the salt and pepper to set in as you prepare the bowls for breading the chicken. 

You'll need three shallow bowls: In one, mix together the flour, garlic powder, and smoky paprika. In the second, mix together the egg, milk, and hot sauce. And in the third bowl, mix together the panko with the grapeseed oil or butter.

Bread the chicken

Wheeler says that panko bread crumbs are a key element to this recipe. Many cooks get tempted to switch them out for standard bread crumbs, but you'd be robbing yourself of crispiness if you did. "The panko crumbs get more crisp and add a better texture," Wheeler explained.

To coat them, you take one of the chicken thighs and dip it in the flour mixture. Next, dip it in the egg mixture. Then dredge the chicken in the panko mix. Place the coated chicken on the baking sheet rack and repeat the process with each piece.

Prep the chicken for baking

The chicken is almost ready to get in the oven! Next, you'll need to lightly drizzle the olive oil or butter over the coated chicken. This helps make the chicken crispier, but there's no need to go overboard in pursuit of a perfectly crisp piece. 

Pop that chicken in the oven

It's finally time to get that chicken cooking. Put the chicken in the oven and bake it for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 F. If you're using boneless chicken, cook until the internal temperature of the chicken is 160 degrees, or about 25 to 35 minutes. While the thighs are cooking, keep an eye on them to make sure they're browning evenly without getting too dark or burning in places. Since every oven is different, you might need to rotate the tray. 

Consider this delicious dipping sauce to compliment the dish

While the chicken is cooking, there's time to make an awesome sauce that Wheeler swears by: a hot honey drizzle. Simply mix together the honey and red pepper flakes and, just before serving, drizzle it onto the chicken to taste, then enjoy all the comfort of a good plate of fried chicken with significantly less guilt.

Crispy Southern Oven Fried Chicken Recipe
4.9 from 35 ratings
Folks will think you broke out the fryer for this crispy southern oven fried chicken recipe that gives you the succulent gift you've been waiting for.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Southern Oven Fried Chicken
Total time: 1 hour
  • 2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 3 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce, like Tabasco
  • 2 ½ cups panko breadcrumbs
  • ⅓ cup grapeseed oil, or ½ cup melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, or melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, finely sliced
Optional Ingredients
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Place a cooling rack on a baking sheet and set the baking sheet aside on the counter.
  2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  3. In one small bowl, combine the flour, garlic powder, and smokey paprika. In a second bowl, combine the egg, milk, and hot sauce. In a third bowl, combine the panko with the grapeseed oil or ½ cup melted butter.
  4. Coat each piece of chicken by dipping it in the flour mixture, then the egg, then dredging in the panko. Place the coated chicken pieces on the baking sheet rack.
  5. Lightly drizzle the olive oil or 2 tablespoons of melted butter over the coated chicken.
  6. Bake the chicken for 45 to 55 minutes, until it's cooked through and its internal temperature reaches 165 F.
  7. While the chicken is cooking, mix together the optional honey and red pepper flakes. Serve the chicken with the sauce drizzled over top.
Calories per Serving 993
Total Fat 67.1 g
Saturated Fat 14.0 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 316.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 47.9 g
Dietary Fiber 2.8 g
Total Sugars 2.2 g
Sodium 678.9 mg
Protein 47.6 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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