I'm back with another recipe, this time from Tomatilla. This one uses seasoned breadcrumbs instead of panko, and uses buttermilk to keep the chicken moist (which is also Alton Brown's method of making traditional fried chicken). It's definitely one of the best oven-fried chicken I've eaten.
Making seasoned breadcrumbs is quick and easy, and helps you use the last of that old bread that's not much good for anything else -- but you can also use prepared breadcrumbs if you like. But it should be noted that for the purpose of making oven-fried chicken it never tastes as good as fresh breadcrumbs, partly because the prepared kind is usually too evenly ground and pulverized to be interesting.
As with the Pat and Gina recipe, this one calls for removing the skin from the chicken. I (reluctantly) did so -- and was pleasantly surprised that the buttermilk did, in fact, help keep the chicken moist. The chicken is scored and seasoned, so that when you bite into it, your mouth is full of flavor.
Coat each chicken piece generously. Do it as quickly as you can, because you don't want the breadcrumbs to get too soggy. Be sure you oil both the pan and the tops of the chicken, to help it attain a crispy texture in the oven.
Oven-Fried Paprika Chicken (adapted from Tomatilla)
- 1/4 of a loaf of dried-out old bread
- 2 tbsp herbs de provence
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp ground pepper
- 1 chicken (3-4lbs), cut into 8 pieces, or 8 pieces of assorted chicken parts
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 cup buttermilk
- Tear the bread into chunks, then pulverize in a food processor to get coarse breadcrumbs. Mix in the herbs de provence, garlic powder, salt, and pepper and pulse a few times to get it all evenly distributed.
- Remove the skin from the chicken and cut deep slashes to the bone in each piece.
- Put the chicken into a bowl and sprinkle the paprika over them. Rub thoroughly, making sure each piece gets some paprika, until it's evenly distributed. Pour in the buttermilk, making sure that each piece gets coated, and rub the buttermilk into the slashes. Let the chicken sit in the fridge for about an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Spray or otherwise oil a large baking sheet with canola or olive oil.
- Take each piece of chicken and coat it thoroughly in the crumb mixture. Place them in a single layer on the baking sheet.
- Drizzle or spray some oil onto each piece of chicken.
- Bake for 15 minutes, until the bottom starts to turn brown. Flip each piece over and bake another 15-20 minutes until the chicken is a golden brown all around. Check for doneness -- when you cut into a piece near the bone, the juices should run clear. If they're tinged pink, turn the pieces again and bake for another 5-10 minutes.