Make Ahead

Grandma Virginia's Oven-Fried Chicken

May 31, 2021
4 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 4 to 6
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

Test Kitchen Notes

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

What You'll Need
  • 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Jenny Adams
    Jenny Adams
  • jessbair
  • Michelle de Lima
    Michelle de Lima
  • NotTooSweet
  • Suparna Basu-Ravis
    Suparna Basu-Ravis

82 Reviews

Jenny A. April 30, 2018
Made it. Was delicious. However, turned out more like roasted chicken for me than fried. Not sure what I did wrong. I think I need a roasting pan with a rack and not just a baking sheet with foil. the juices from the chicken were making the bottom side gummy instead of really crispy.
luvcookbooks April 30, 2018
Looking at comments, a rack is helpful. I think the initial browning in butter and the flour coating give it A “fried” feel, but it isn’t really fried. If you don’t have a rack, you can also turn it and roast both sides. All this makes the recipe a bit more complicated. As it started, was a quick, easy meal for a very busy housewife!
Jenny A. April 30, 2018
Totally agree. I actually tried to pre-fry it in oil instead of butter and it still just blistered like a roasted piece of chicken. Might be because i didn't let the chicken warm up enough. I sat it on the counter and patted it dry for like 10 min but it was still a little cold. It's definitely delicious regardless. I'm on the hunt for a great, oven-fried chicken recipe. I'm going to have to keep looking i think
luvcookbooks April 30, 2018
I would try Amanda Hesser’s mom’s chicken recipe. It’s on this site and it’s great.
Jenny A. April 30, 2018
Thanks! Will do!
Shirley C. January 28, 2017
Can I use coconut flour instead of regular flour?
luvcookbooks January 28, 2017
I don't have any experience w coconut flour. Try it and let me know!
Michelle D. January 29, 2017
I've tried almond flour for similar recipes with good success. Haven't tried coconut but I bet it would work. Both will probably be less crisp than with regular flour, but still good.
luvcookbooks January 29, 2017
Sahra May 5, 2016
I've made this a few times now,and it's been welcomed with great enthusiasm. I add some spices and smashed garlic to my brine for added flavour.
Thanks for the idea to brine. Makes it terrific.
Kate August 17, 2015
Made this tonight, was good, though didn't brine the chicken due to time. Will definitely brine next time, as the chicken was dry, but still good. No celery seed, used Goya adobo, garlic powder, and black pepper.
Baker1961 August 17, 2015
The whole point is to brine the chicken!
jessbair June 25, 2015
Finally made this last night, so good! Definitely going in our keeper file!
Michelle D. April 20, 2015
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.
luvcookbooks April 21, 2015
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!
NotTooSweet February 7, 2015
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!
Suparna B. January 16, 2015
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
luvcookbooks January 23, 2015
So glad to hear it!
kitchenkittn November 6, 2014
Does this work okay with oil instead of butter? Chicken is ready to go and I realized I have no butter! :(
luvcookbooks November 9, 2014
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.
Cody A. November 4, 2014
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?
luvcookbooks November 5, 2014
No egg, have faith.
Cody A. November 7, 2014
All hail the Chicken Queen! Totally worked : )
luvcookbooks November 9, 2014
Happy. :)
luvcookbooks November 3, 2014
My mom made it with breasts as well as dark meat- they all cooked together for the same amount of time.
chinamommy1 November 3, 2014
Can you use chicken breasts instead? and how long to cook in oven then?
Boomdog02 October 15, 2014
By the way...this works great for wings too!!! Just adjust your cooking time down.
Boomdog02 October 15, 2014
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!
luvcookbooks October 16, 2014
So glad you liked the recipe and agree about the brining!
Lancealink September 18, 2014
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.
luvcookbooks September 25, 2014
Glad you like it.
luvcookbooks September 11, 2014
Medium to medium high, adjust if it's browning too fast (burning) or too slowly, about 4 minutes per side.
michael W. September 9, 2014
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?
Louise July 15, 2014
I cooked mine about 4 minutes on each side - you want the skin to be a lovely golden brown.
Aaron F. July 15, 2014
how long do you brown the chicken on each side?
Smorgie138 June 12, 2014
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.
luvcookbooks June 12, 2014
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 ...