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Thursday, June 21

Oven Fried Chicken

I absolutely love fried chicken, but I don’t love making it. Frying anything is my least favorite style of cooking, with the exception of the occasional stir-fry. After a lot of experimenting I perfected this recipe for oven fried chicken so crispy and succulent, you’d never know it’s actually baked.

The super thick yoghurt, combined with the flakey flour, really does the trick. The chili flakes tenderize like nothing else, allowing the chicken to drink in the yoghurt and seasoning. 

What You Need

Natural Greek Style Yoghurt - 450g/16 ounces

Chili Flakes - 1 tbs

Coarse Salt and Coarse Pepper – 2-tbs each

Garlic Powder - 1 tbs

Hot Sauce - 1 tbs (more if you like your chicken with a kick)

*Chicken Breast Fillets - 1K/ 2-lbs

** Malted Brown Bread Flour - 500g/6 cups

Peanut Oil - 250ml/1 cup (Sesame Oil works well too)

* Use whatever cut of chicken you fancy, as long as it’s smallish enough to take a good coating of flour. I often use chicken wings and drumsticks for picnics.

 ** Malted brown bread flour contains malted wheat flakes. This adds to the crispiness of the chicken. If you don’t have any, combine 50% flour with 50% fine breadcrumbs instead. I've had success with whole grain and seeded flours too, but you might need to bake the chicken at a slightly lower heat, as some seeds can scorch and taste bitter. 

What You Do

In a large bowl, combine yoghurt, chili flakes, salt pepper, garlic powder and hot sauce. Mix well. Add chicken to the bowl, thoroughly coating with yoghurt. Cover with cling film and marinate in fridge up to 24 hours.

Remove chicken from fridge a good hour before baking. Allow it to reach room temperature. Heat oven to 180C/350F. Prepare large roasting tray (with generous lip) with peanut oil. Heat the pan in hot oven about six minutes.

While the oil is heating, pour flour into large bowl. Coat chicken with flour a piece or two at a time. Be sure to cover all sides. The yoghurt will act as an excellent binding agent. Place flour dredged chicken on a large tray or platter as you work through the pieces. Continue with this process until all the chicken is thoroughly coated. 

Roast in hot oven for approximately 60 minutes, 30 minutes on each side. Every oven is different. If chicken isn't as crispy as you like, continue turning the chicken, for another five - six minutes, until all sides are well crisped to your liking. Remove pieces as they brown and place on clean cloth or paper towel to absorb oil. 

Note: The one thing you don’t want to do with this recipe is run out of oil while the chicken is cooking, or it will stick. Other than this, it's much easier than pan frying. 

Leftovers will make you just as happy cold from the fridge. In fact in warm weather I like this chicken even better cold the next day.

Ideas and Suggestions   

When the chicken is this good I could happily eat a plate of it with nothing more than a bit of fresh salad and a dash of Ranch Dressing. Understandably, you will probably want more than this. 

Some of my favorite accompaniments include Caesar Salad; coleslaw; potato salad; deviled eggs. If you’re serving the chicken hot out of the oven, pair with creamy mashed potatoes and something green and irony like baby spinach, broccoli or kale.  

This chicken is actually ideal for making a classic Chicken Caesar Salad and one of the easiest ways to entertain with style and ease. See Caesar Salad recipe for details. 

Best Beverages include sparkling lemon and lime drinks; iced tea; sparkling white wines, and cold beers.

Dessert Options include watermelon or a trio of melons; a selection of sorbets and ice creams; walnut fudge brownies with vanilla ice cream.

I sent a handwritten version of this recipe to my dad at his request, but he never used it. He still fries chicken like he always has in electric skillet. And that's okay too. Here's a couple of fried chicken recipes, if you're so inclined: 

Mama's Fried Chicken

Marsha's Fried Chicken