I have tried a lot of different recipes and techniques for oven 'frying' chicken. Some have been good...some could have been better. It seems that with some recipes, if you cook it at a high enough heat and long enough to crisp the crust, the chicken itself ends up dry. Others I have tried, the chicken is moist and tasty, but the crust is lacking in crispiness and ends up a little soggy and falling off.
This recipe is the best, so far, I have tried. The chicken is so moist, it's unreal and the crust is very crispy and tasty. It also doesn't take all afternoon to prepare. Here is what you will need:
4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (if you prefer other pieces use those)
2 cups buttermilk
1 sleeve of Ritz crackers, crushed fine
2 cups Panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 pkg. dry Ranch dressing mix
1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
6 Tbs. butter, melted
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place the chicken pieces in a bowl and cover with the buttermilk. I cut my breasts in half because they were very large and I like more crust. You can also cut them in nuggets or strips. Kids like the smaller pieces better. Place the top on your bowl and refrigerate for about an hour. It's best if it has time to marinate in the buttermilk.
Place the Ritz crackers in a gallon size Ziploc bag. You can crush them with a rolling pin or in a food processor. Add the Panko bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, dry Ranch dressing mix, and black pepper. Mix it all together well. Add the chicken pieces, two at a time to the crumb mixture. Shake the excess buttermilk off of them.
These are Panko Bread Crumbs in case you aren't familiar with them. The texture is very different than other bread crumbs, very crispy.
Remove from the crumb mixture and place them on a cookie sheet or pan you have lined with foil, preferably nonstick Reynolds wrap, which I think is one of the keys to this crust crisping up like it does, that has been liberally sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. /Drizzle each piece with the melted butter. Place in oven for 40 - 45 minutes, depending on the thickness of your chicken pieces.
Oven Fried Chicken