Grandma Virginia's Oven-Fried Chicken

By • September 6, 2009 70 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.
The Editors

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

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Comments (70) Questions (0)

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about 1 month ago jessbair

Finally made this last night, so good! Definitely going in our keeper file!

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3 months ago Michelle de Lima

Great recipe. I cut up a whole chicken and replaced the celery salt with other spices that I had on hand. I found the chicken plenty crispy baked in the same skillet I browned it in, and found--as always--that dredging in a shallow dish worked as well as a disposable plastic bag.

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3 months ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

Will have to try the skillet to oven method. My mom shook her chicken in a paper bag. Cheaper than plastic. I find shaking it quicker and the chicken is more thoroughly coated than when I use a plate, although I admire the sustainabity of the plate method. For me, shaking is also a little neater. I get flour all over the kitchen with the plate. Thanks for trying the recipe!

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6 months ago NotTooSweet

Just made this and the chicken was finger licking good! Followed the recipe exactly except for cooking on racks over a foil lined baking sheet. The thighs (bone-in) were done in 30 minutes and were so juicy and delicious. Will definitely make again!

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7 months ago Suparna Basu-Ravis

The salt brine was genius and made this recipe. Used chicken thighs and gluten free panko. Mixed in cayenne, onion powder and some grated Parmesan in the coating. And it tasted better the next day. It's a keeper

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6 months ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

So glad to hear it!

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9 months ago kitchenkittn

Does this work okay with oil instead of butter? Chicken is ready to go and I realized I have no butter! :(

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9 months ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

Hey, I'm sorry I didn't catch this earlier. How did this turn out? I am from Wisconsin the dairy state and rarely without butter. If you have an emergency question, you can put it up on Hotline and mark it urgent. I have gotten answers within seconds to minutes from Hotline.

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9 months ago Cody Austin

Hi all,
I was confused whether this recipe calls for dredging with an egg to make the breading stick or recommends to just coat the chicken dry?

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9 months ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

No egg, have faith.

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9 months ago Cody Austin

All hail the Chicken Queen! Totally worked : )

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9 months ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

Happy. :)

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9 months ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

My mom made it with breasts as well as dark meat- they all cooked together for the same amount of time.

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9 months ago chinamommy1

Can you use chicken breasts instead? and how long to cook in oven then?

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10 months ago Boomdog02

By the way...this works great for wings too!!! Just adjust your cooking time down.

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10 months ago Boomdog02

Gotta say after years of experimenting with many methods of oven frying chicken...I finally tried this one. After 5 times I am sold...this comes about as close as you can to deep frying, without much of the mess and oil. I add some smoked paprika, onion and garlic powder to my dredge, and the flavor is great, moist bird, crispy skin. Brining is key!

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10 months ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

So glad you liked the recipe and agree about the brining!

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11 months ago Lancealink

Made this tonight as a last minute dinner, so I skipped the brine, used bone-in thighs-subbed paprika for the celery salt since i had none on hand. Was delicious. I'm a fried chicken fanatic, never cared too much for oven-fried iterations but this really stacked up. Can't wait to try it with the brine.

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10 months ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

Glad you like it.

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11 months ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

Medium to medium high, adjust if it's browning too fast (burning) or too slowly, about 4 minutes per side.

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11 months ago michael west

simple question from a novice here. When you say brown the chicken, what's the temperature on the skillet and for how long approximately? Medium for 4 minutes?

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about 1 year ago Louise

I cooked mine about 4 minutes on each side - you want the skin to be a lovely golden brown.

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about 1 year ago Aaron Filmore

how long do you brown the chicken on each side?

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about 1 year ago Smorgie138

I need a bit of clarification as I have never brined before, #1 in the directions calls to 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.) Exactly how much kosher salt am I to use? The 1 tablespoon that is listed in the recipe? Please excuse my ignorance in this matter. Just does not seem that 1 Tablespoon is enough for the amount of water.

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about 1 year ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

Yes, try the 1 T that is listed in the recipe. I left the amount of water a little up to you depending on the size of the container and the chicken pieces. It's a light brine to add flavor to the chicken and keep it moist. You can always adjust as you wish ...

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about 1 year ago procrastibaker

Decided to make this for Sunday dinner, so I only brined the chicken for six hours. Didn't have any celery salt, so I threw in some garlic powder and cayenne. Delicious! I got lazy and didn't brown the first couple pieces enough, so they didn't turn out quite as crispy as the others, but all of it was incredible. This will definitely be going in my weeknight rotation. Juicy, crispy, fantastic. Cooked it on a rack over a foil-lined baking sheet and definitely needed to rotate halfway through (my chicken wept, and wound up being soggy on the bottoms), but even with only the top half being crispy, my boyfriend and I raved over it.

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about 1 year ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

So happy you liked it!

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over 1 year 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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over 1 year 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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over 1 year ago Baker1961

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

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over 1 year 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.