Introduction: Oven Fried Chicken

About: I helped start Instructables, previously worked in biotech and academic research labs, and have a degree in biology from MIT. Currently head of Product helping young startups at Alchemist Accelerator, previous…

I love the taste of crispy fried chicken skin, but hate dealing with the oily mess of deep-frying.  This easy recipe gives you the taste of fried chicken without all the mess.

Step 1: Tools and Ingredients

8-12 Chicken thighs, bone and skin intact (cheaper and tastier than boneless skinless chicken breasts)
1/4 cup flour or cornstarch
3 Tablespoons chili powder (or cayenne, or paprika - mix and match for spice and flavor)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon butter

Heavy pan (cast iron is lovely, but anything will do)
Oven-proof rectangular pan (broiler pans drain oil well, but a casserole dish will do too)
splatter screen (optional)

Step 2:

Combine chili powder, flour, and salt in a bowl.  Mix with a fork.  

Step 3: Dredge

Dredge both sides of the chicken thighs in the spice mixture.  Be sure to get a nice even coating all over the exterior, especially the nooks and crannies of the non-skin side.

Step 4: Fry

Add the butter or lard to your heavy pan, and heat until sizzling hot.

Place skin-side down in hot skillet, and fry until the skin is browned and a bit crispy - this usually takes about 3-5 minutes, depending on the pan.

Flip, and sear the meat side for another ~3 minutes, then remove thighs and place them on the roasting pan skin-side up.  Continue frying the rest of the thighs.

Step 5: Bake

Bake in a 350F oven until the thighs reach an internal temperature of 155F. 

I can't emphasize strongly enough how important it is to have a good instant-read thermometer!  Shell out the cash for a thermapen, and you'll always have moist chicken, fish, and burgers, and perfectly-cooked steaks.  

Step 6: Serve

Serve while still warm, preferably with a nice salad and some colorful veggies.

These thighs keep well in the refrigerator, and reheat nicely in the microwave.  They're even decent cold the next day.