I’ve never been a huge fan of fried chicken. For one thing, I don’t eat skin (gross) and I just can’t get past the obviousness of the fat in it. The idea of oven-fried chicken wasn’t new to me but I had never tried it. I came across this recipe in How to Cook Everything and it turned out to be the first recipe from the book I attempted.

One mistake I made when cooking the chicken was not cooking it long enough. That is not to say that the chicken wasn’t cooked all the way, I just didn’t let the crust get crusty and brown the way it should be. So the version we ate on the first night was good but the re-heated chicken we had the next night was so much better. My suggestion is to not only cook the chicken to the correct internal temperature but to also visually check to make sure the bread crumb crust is also cooked well.


  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp cayenne (or to taste), or freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 whole chicken, 3 to 4 pounds, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 8 pieces, or any combination of parts
  • 2 cups panko or bread crumbs, preferably fresh
  • neutral oil, such as grapeseed or corn, as needed


  1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Mix the buttermilk, paprika, cayenne and salt in a large bowl. Add the chicken and let it soak in the mixture for a few minutes. In the meantime, put the bread crumbs on a plate or shallow dish and brush a baking sheet with the oil.
  2. Remove the chicken parts from the bowl a piece at a time and coat in the bread crumbs; press the chicken into the bread crumbs to make sure they stick. Place the coated chicken parts on the oiled baking sheet, leaving an inch between pieces. Bake the chicken until the exterior is golden brown and the chicken is cooked completely, about 30-40 minutes.  Serve hot.