Grandma Virginia's Oven-Fried Chicken

By • September 6, 2009 • 40 Comments


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Author Notes: My mom made this fried chicken, and her recipe is the first one that I posted on Food52. My father has a chicken allergy, so the chicken was our treat when my parents were going out. It is really sautéed and then oven-baked, but in our family we called it fried chicken. It is infinitely easier than southern fried chicken and makes an easy weeknight dinner. My mom served it with home-baked soft white rolls and frozen peas.luvcookbooks

Food52 Review: WHO: Luvcookbooks is a physician who lives in the Bronx.
WHAT: Crispy fried chicken -- that's not really fried.
HOW: Brine your chicken overnight; dredge it in flour, celery seed, salt, and pepper; brown it in butter; and finish it in the oven.
WHY WE LOVE IT: With luvcookbooks' recipe, you get all the salty-crispiness of a classic pan of fried chicken -- but without the hot, bubbling oil and the dirty kitchen. Plus, it only calls for a few ingredients -- which make it ideal for a weeknight. We loved this hot out of the oven, and then cold from the fridge the next day.
A&M

Serves 4 to 6

  • 8 chicken thighs and/or drumsticks
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons celery seed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  1. Dissolve the kosher salt in several cups of water and pour over the chicken in a plastic container. Cover and refrigerate overnight. (We used 3 1/4 cups of water.)
  2. Dry the chicken well with paper towels.
  3. Combine the flour, celery seed, salt, and pepper in a zip-top bag. Shake a few pieces of chicken at a time in the flour mixture.
  4. Carefully tap the chicken to remove excess flour.
  5. Melt the butter in a heavy frying pan and brown the chicken on both sides.
  6. Transfer the chicken to a baking sheet and bake at 375° F for 45 minutes.

Tags: savory, serves a crowd

Comments (40) Questions (0)

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Birthday_2012

13 days ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

Have wondered about celery salt. What is chicken spice? I just read a recipe for oven fried chicken in "Make the Bread, Buy the Butter" and she browns the chicken in an oven proof skillet, then saves a pan by putting the skillet in the oven. She turns the chicken once so that all of the skin crisps. So glad you liked it, thanks!

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14 days ago Louise

Thanks so much for this recipe! I made it tonight and it was delicious! I only brined the chicken for 5 hours but it was still moist and juicy. I struggled to find celery seeds so I used celery salt and I added a pinch of smoked paprika and some chicken spice. I cooked the chicken (after browning it) on top of a rack on a foil lined tray. It was done after half an hour in my oven. I will definitely make this again. It was better than KFC.

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17 days ago Baker1961

Brined chicken thighs over night and made this today. WOW! Absolutely wonderful! Thanks for sharing this recipe, it's a keeper!

Birthday_2012

16 days ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

So fun to hear that people are trying this recipe. My mom made a batch in the afterlife and served it with dry martinis beforehand, white dinner rolls and fresh green peas with lettuce hearts and pearl onions.

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20 days ago Gaia Goodness Natural Foods

Definitely giving this a try. I soak my chicken in buttermilk usually. But this brining method seems like it will do the same thing as far as tenderizing the meat only adding more flavor. I can't wait to try this with my homemade banana mango ketchup too!

Birthday_2012

18 days ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

Buttermilk soak and banana mango ketchup both sound like fun things to try to change up the recipe! Thanks for your comment.

Missycat

20 days ago Carol Higgins

Isn't soaking the chicken overnight in salted water going to make it taste really salty?

Birthday_2012

18 days ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

Salty but not really salty. Try it once and I think you will be sold.

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20 days ago Miles

Can't wait to try this recipe. Love fried foods, but hate the actual frying - the smell lasts in the house forever. This seems really simple and from all the comments turns out great. Will try this week. Thank you!

Birthday_2012

20 days ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

Definitely does not linger in the curtains the way a deep fry does, hope you enjoy!

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20 days ago kimzy

Could this be made with boneless breasts and thighs?

Birthday_2012

20 days ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

Yes, although the bone does add flavor.

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20 days ago Frances

Made this last night and it went down well. Nice saltiness and indeed very succulent for something cooked in the oven. One thing I would say is that the chicken should be cooked on a rack over a dish in the oven as I found there was a lot of liquid that the chicken ended up sitting in meaning the crispy coating was only on the top.

Birthday_2012

20 days ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

If you dried the chicken as per step two, it may be the kind of chicken you are using. Some weep, I'm not sure why, and then the rack makes sense. I use Bell and Evans or farmers market, find its ok without the rack and one less dish to wash. Thanks for trying the recipe.

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20 days ago Frances

I did dry the chicken - it was just juicy I suppose, although I thought maybe the brining could have made this happen. Anyway, not complaining as it was lovely and the juices were tasty too!

Birthday_2012

20 days ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

I think the recipe is different in each cook's hand. Every comment helps figure out how the recipe works, so I'm happy to get them. Wondering if turning the chicken might help, too. Starting skin down (that's the part that MUST be crisp) and turning part way through... thanks!!

Dsc_0817

20 days ago cheesypennies

Congratulations on the win...sure seems like this recipe would deserve it. What a lovely way to remember your mom. My kids will go crazy for this, I'm sure.

Birthday_2012

20 days ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

It is a kid friendly recipe. Thanks for your comment!

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20 days ago robin lewis

skin on or off?

Birthday_2012

20 days ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

On.

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20 days ago RinaEugene

Should I change anything to use white meat pieces? This sounds like a dream come true.

Birthday_2012

20 days ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

My mom made it with white pieces as well. No one in our family is a white meat person, so I just used dark.

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21 days ago Luvtocook

Haven't tried this recipe (YET!) but this comment is in support of brining chicken. Haven't made chicken or turkey without brining since I learned how...makes the poultry so much moister that it really makes a wonderful difference IMHO...

Birthday_2012

20 days ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

It is a great technique.

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22 days ago Annie stader

A great recipe and timely. I had a bunch of chicken ready to go , was hankering for fried, but couldn't face the mess. THANK YOU !!! I played around with the seasoning to suit my taste but the metod is your's and your Mom's. So we alter it a bit but still honor the original recipe. Your special treat connects us in the cooking family. Cheers...

Birthday_2012

22 days ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, Annie!

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23 days ago walkie74

Made it tonight! It definitely cut back on the mess. I thought it was a touch bland, but I think I messed up on the spices. Hubby didn't care, he thought it was awesome. Thanks so much for sharing!

Birthday_2012

23 days ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

Make sure the celery seed is fresh, it's not a high turnover spice... also, my younger brother (may he rest in peace) used to add cayenne to the flour. Since the mustard contest, I am thinking about mustard constantly, some dry mustard with the flour? Not sure how all this would mix with the celery seed, tho ... anyway, every recipe should be made your own!! Have fun trying another rendition and post your outcomes. Thanks for the comment.

Birthday_2012

23 days ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

Oh, and thank you for the lovely photograph. Mine has never looked that good!

Birthday_2012

23 days ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

Thanks you for the comments. My mom died a year ago February, so I'm quite happy for the Wildcard pick that was her recipe and one of our childhood favorites.

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24 days ago sexyLAMBCHOPx

YUM! congrats

Junechamp

24 days ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Great idea to minimize the mess (which is why I haven't fried chicken in years). Congrats on the WC Win!

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24 days ago walkie74

This will take about the same amount of time as pan frying...but it'll definitely be less messy. :) I'm a believer!

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24 days ago mary

I love a simple recipe for classic comfort foods. This will be on the menu next week. Thanks for sharing!