I’m still hooked on my oven-fried chicken, but for a change, I thought I’d add the extra step of marinating it beforehand, and that was a good idea. It’s not uncommon to marinate chicken before frying, especially with buttermilk, a method I often use if frying small pieces of boneless chicken or other birds, like the mountain of pheasant we had in the freezer last season. I didn’t have any buttermilk and really didn’t want to venture out in yesterday’s interminable downpour, so I figured sour cream would work in a similar fashion. I looked around the web and wasn’t wrong about that.
I decided on Alex Guarnaschelli’s recipe, because of its simplicity and because her final flour coating is almost identical to the one I use without the marinating. I just stopped at the point where she fries the chicken and used my oven method to finish it off. Like a buttermilk marinade, another wet and thick marinade, this one sticks to the chicken and makes little clumps in the final seasoned flour coating that become wonderfully crispy bits, especially on the skin. Crispy fried chicken skin—it’s the bacon of chicken.
The chicken fried up in the oven as it always does, and my husband declared these the best chicken thighs ever, for both flavor and crispiness. I guess I’ll be using this extra step a lot.
Sour Cream Oven-Fried Chicken
Marinating the Chicken
1/2 cup whole milk or cream (I used cream, just because I had some on hand)
1 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground
8-10 pieces of chicken, bone-in, skin-on—I used thighs
- Mix together first 5 ingredients.
- Pour mixture over chicken in large dish or plastic zipper bag.
- Marinate covered in refrigerator for 2-4 hours or overnight, removing 30 minutes before cooking to bring to room temperature.
Cooking the Chicken
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons paprika—I used smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons solid shortening
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- In a large oven-proof dish—my large Pyrex dish is 10″ x 15″—melt butter and shortening in the oven while coating the chicken. Watch to make sure the butter does not start to burn. Swirl the fats together before adding chicken.
- Mix together the first four ingredients in a large bowl. I find that coating wet pieces in a bowl prevents a lot of flying flour from coating everything else in the kitchen.
- One piece at a time, coat marinated chicken in the flour mixture, patting the flour on. Shake off excess and place coated pieces on paper towels or parchment paper. Notice that I breaded my fingers on one hand nicely, but I couldn’t think of a way to cook that.
- Place coated chicken pieces in hot dish, skin side down.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Turn each piece and bake for 30 more minutes.
- Remove hot chicken to a serving dish or cooling rack. Briefly blot each piece with a paper towel, if necessary, before placing on serving dish.
Don’t burn yourself picking up those missed fried bits in the pan.