I know it's probably heresy to even think this question, but could this receipe possibly be baked instead of fried? I don't have a fryer, and fran...

...kly, am a little afraid of getting oil that hot



J D. August 14, 2012
I agree with Sam1148 and Louisa in regards to the electric skillet...I've made this recipe 5 times in the last two months using an electric skillet and it has turned out perfectly every time. Family and friends love this recipe and when i bring leftovers to the office, I am stalked and everyone wants to know what is in it!
inpatskitchen August 14, 2012
I fry and then bake chicken all the time and think it turns out great. Here's my recipe for a spicy one but I'm sure you can use the same technique for the buttermilk bathed version:

ChefOno August 14, 2012

As you suspect, baked chicken is not in the same category as fried. The oil itself is integral to the dish. Without it, the crust will be flat and bland. Deep frying and pan frying will also produce different results, albeit not as dramatic. Contact with the bottom of the pan significantly increases browning (for better or worse, an individual preference as it is).

It is also possible to start chicken in a sauté pan and then finish it in the oven. There are a number of advantages to the technique, including requiring significantly less oil and better temperature control (inside at 165-175F while insuring the crust is golden brown).

Frying does involve some inherent dangers and you do need to be extra careful but it's likely your fears will quickly disappear after your first experience. You don't need specialized equipment, just your regular digital thermometer and a little courage.

Louisa August 14, 2012
ChefOno, this is how my Georgia grandfather did his chicken. He would start it as a pan fry on the stove, and then finish in the oven. The chicken was so tender! But it was not like fried chicken, because the crust comes out a little differently from the oven. I think if you cover the pan when you put it in the oven it's called Smothered Chicken (what a name!). It's all good.
Louisa August 14, 2012
The electric skillet is a great idea, esp. if you've not pan/shallow fried before. You can set the heat at 325. The heating element that rings the skillet will be hotter than the rest of the pan, so move the chicken around a couple of times as it cooks on each side.
Sam1148 August 14, 2012
I'd nix the baking idea also.

If you have a thrift store....electric skillets are perfect for shallow frying chicken. At thrift stores they should run about 10 bucks or less. I think they're also very cheap new. They have a little 'dongle' with temperature control that plugs in to heat the skillet. The large square ones are best for multiple pieces.

ChefJune August 14, 2012
My mom had one of those! It was perfect for frying chicken (or anything else like that) because the temperature stayed constant. I've been combing thrift stores looking for one like hers. I might go back to frying chicken if I could find one.
Sam1148 August 14, 2012
The electric skillet MUST BE avocado green or it won't work properly.
Louisa August 13, 2012
I agree, baking would not be good. If you don't want to deep fry, you can pan fry. You'd use just 1-2 " oil/shortening. And as Ophelia says, you need a thermometer. You'll need to follow pan frying directions (I like Edna Lewis/Scott Peacock's pan frying directions.)
Ophelia August 13, 2012
Deep frying on your stovetop really isn't terribly scary if you have a nice deep cast iron pot (the cast iron helps regulate temperature and you want a couple inches of space between the top of the oil and the top of the pot), a reasonably accurate thermometer and remember to slide the food into the oil rather than drop it in (avoids splash). I always make sure I know where the lid of the pot is, have a big container of baking soda (so as to circumvent the "put water on the fire" instinct) and generally know where the fire extinguisher is. I've never had a fire. I've never even burned myself. I have had to dispose of a lot of groddy used-up oil (let it cool to room temp, pour into an old oil container or use five or six nested plastic grocery bags as a container before disposing of).
A few of my friends have recommended an electric wok as a cheap alternative to a counter-top fryer, you still need the thermometer though, and the lid.
If you plan to bake the chicken you might want to find a different recipe, one the relies on something that's already crunchy to bread the chicken with. Panko or cornflakes are common. I have a hunch that the breading in this recipe might end up drippy and maybe a little gummy if baked.
Sam1148 August 14, 2012
Good suggestions Ophelia. I'd also add another little device for stove top frying..shallow frying.

A spatter screen. A disk of fine mesh you place over the skillet to keep oil spatters from messing up you stove and popping on you. Very cheap..and available. Usually less than 5 dollars.

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