Grandma Virginia's Oven-Fried Chicken

By • September 6, 2009 • 48 Comments



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.
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Tags: savory, serves a crowd

Comments (48) Questions (0)

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9 days 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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9 days ago Aaron Filmore

how long do you brown the chicken on each side?

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about 1 month 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 month 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 ...

Dinosaur_hands

2 months 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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2 months ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

So happy you liked it!

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4 months 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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4 months 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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4 months 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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4 months 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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4 months 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!

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4 months 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

4 months ago Carol Higgins

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

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4 months 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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4 months 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!

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4 months 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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4 months ago kimzy

Could this be made with boneless breasts and thighs?

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4 months ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

Yes, although the bone does add flavor.

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4 months 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.

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4 months 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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4 months 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!

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4 months 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!!

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23 days ago Steve

Most grocery store chickens are 'pumped" with saline water to make them appear plump. This could be why your chicken is "weepng". Next time try and organic chicken that has not been altered. Good luck.

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23 days ago Frances

My chicken was organic. Just juicy.

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4 months 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.

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4 months ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

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

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4 months ago robin lewis

skin on or off?

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4 months ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

On.

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4 months ago RinaEugene

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

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4 months 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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4 months 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...

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4 months ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

It is a great technique.

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4 months 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...

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4 months ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, Annie!

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4 months 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!

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4 months 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.

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4 months ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

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

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4 months 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.