There are many delectable ways to prepare chicken, but hands down some of the most popular methods involve achieving a crisp crunchy exterior. Think buffalo wings, crispy chicken tenders and of course the perennial favorite, fried chicken. One of the reasons fried chicken is so delicious is that the chicken is cooked on the bone ensuring better flavor and texture, and the other is the delicious crisp crust that forms during the frying.
The only downside of fried chicken is of course the large amount of oil that is required. If you fry food frequently then you may have good skills working with hot oil and also have also developed a good routine for straining the oil, storing it safely between uses and of course the difficult part, disposing of the oil.
So what’s the solution when you have the urge for some home-made fried chicken? The perfect solution is oven baked fried chicken, it comes close to oil fried chicken without having to deal with the issues associated with frying.
How to Achieve Crispy Convection Oven Fried Chicken
We still use oil when baking chicken in the oven, but the key is to spray the battered chicken with a heat tolerant spray oil just before it goes into the oven for baking.
To achieve really flavorful fried chicken the chicken should first be soaked in a buttermilk brine or given a dry rub a day in advance. I have tried both methods and the buttermilk brine definitely creates a more melt in your mouth texture, but both methods add a lot of flavor to the chicken.
We feature two recipes for oven fried chicken on the website. The recipe for the Deviled Fried Chicken uses generous amounts of cayenne pepper, mustard, black pepper and garlic herb seasoning giving it a nice spicy kick. After soaking in the brine for 6 hours or a day the chicken pieces are dredged in flour and placed on a rack in a shallow baking pan to dry out. Just before going into the oven the chicken is sprayed with avocado oil to help crisp the crust.
The second recipe for Crispy Oven Fried Chicken uses a milder blend of spices and is dredged in flour, then dipped in egg and finally rolled in Panko breadcrumbs. Once again spraying the chicken pieces with spray oil just before baking ensures the crust gets a nice crunch. In this recipe, once the chicken has been battered it needs to baked immediately, so being organized is key.
What is the Best Convection Mode for Baking Chicken
Which Convection mode you choose will of course depend on the Convection modes in your oven. If your oven has a Convection Bake mode I would choose that mode and place the tray one rack up from the middle rack position. That way it will be closer to the top heating element which will help with the crisping.
The Convection Roast mode is designed for roasting meats so it is more intense than the Convection Bake mode and could cause a little too much crisping of the batter.
You could also use the traditional Bake mode although in order to keep the chicken nice and juicy Convection is a better choice. Baking the chicken on a rack in a shallow pan is also important as this allows the heated air to circulate evenly around the chicken and crisp all the edges. Of course you may want to spray the rack first to avoid the batter sticking to it.
Another benefit of choosing a Convection mode is that you can bake side dishes to serve with the chicken at the same time. I baked the Crispy Oven Fried Chicken with a Corn Spoonbread casserole and added in some broccoli tossed with white onion and red pepper during the last 10 minutes of cooking time.
If you had to purchase a quart of buttermilk to brine your chicken you will have some leftover but it doesn’t have to go to waste. Check out this great recipe for a Lemon Cornmeal cake that is very easy to make and will make good use of any extra buttermilk.
Learning to cook multiple dishes at one time in a Steam oven takes a little practice, but once you get the hang of it you will be amazed at how much easier food preparation can be. Check out my next blog post to learn more.
Larissa, Your Convection Enthusiast