This Recipe for Crispy Oven-Fried Chicken Thighs is Pure Genius

This Food 52 genius recipe for crispy oven-fried crispy chicken thighs is easy, foolproof, and delicious! Don’t skip the salt brine; it makes a difference!

oven-fried chicken thighs
Crispy oven-fried chicken!

If you want to enjoy “tastes like fried” chicken without the mess of frying, keep reading!  This Food 52 genius recipe for Judy Hesser’s oven fried chicken will give you the best oven-fried chicken you’ve ever tasted.  I’ve made this recipe myriad times and share two videos below along with the recipe! In my opinion, the salt-brine and careful breading/prep of the chicken are two elements that make this recipe so perfect.

The Magic of a Salt Brine

The first step in creating this mouthwatering oven-fried chicken is to prepare a salt brine. This step is crucial as it not only adds flavor but also helps to tenderize the chicken. Simply combine 2 tablespoons of kosher salt and 1 cup warm water in a large bowl or container. Stir until the salt is dissolved. Add several more cups of cold watTrim the excess skin and fat from 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and add them to the bowl. Cover with cold water and a tray of ice cubes. This brining process infuses the chicken with moisture and flavor, ensuring a juicy and succulent end result. In the short video below, I share what you need to salt brine chicken successfully.

Preparing the Chicken for Oven-Frying

When dinner time rolls around, preheat your oven to 400°F. Remove the chicken from the brine and pat it dry completely with paper towels. This step is important as excess moisture can prevent the chicken from achieving a crispy texture. Place 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a roasting pan large enough to hold the chicken in a single layer. Place the pan in the preheated oven to melt the butter and get it nice and hot.

Coating the Chicken for Perfect Crispiness

While the butter is melting, let’s prepare the coating for our oven-fried chicken. In a 1-gallon freezer bag, combine 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of coarsely ground black pepper. Give the bag a good shake to evenly distribute the ingredients. Now, it’s time to coat the chicken. Add two pieces of chicken to the bag at a time, shake them until thoroughly coated, and vigorously shake off any excess flour. Repeat this process with the remaining chicken pieces, ensuring each one is coated evenly.

The Art of Oven-Frying

Carefully remove the hot roasting pan from the oven and arrange the chicken pieces, skin side down, in a single layer. The sizzling sound as the chicken hits the hot pan is music to the ears of any fried chicken enthusiast. Return the pan to the oven and let the chicken oven-fry until it reaches a chestnut brown color and becomes delightfully crispy on the bottom. This process usually takes around 40 minutes, but it may vary depending on your oven. Avoid the temptation to flip the chicken until it reaches this stage. Flipping too soon may cause the coating to stick to the pan.

Flipping and crisping.

Once the chicken is beautifully browned on the bottom, it’s time to flip it over. Use a thin spatula to scrape the chicken off the pan and turn it over. The second side will take less time to brown, usually around 20 minutes. Keep a close eye on it to prevent overcooking. As each piece finishes cooking, transfer it to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.

Watch me make this recipe.

In the short video below, I share the steps to making this fabulous oven-fried chicken. If it looks easy, it is because it is!! Once you make this chicken once, you’ll have this recipe on your rotation!

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Oven-Fried Chicken

  • Use organic or natural chicken thighs for the best flavor and texture.
  • Use bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs.
  • Add your favorite spices in the flour mixture; I also love adding grated parmesan!
  • Space chicken apart on a large baking sheet for the crispiest results.
  • Allow time for the chicken to sit after cooking for juices to “settle.”

I hope you’ll give this recipe for oven-fried chicken a try! If you do, please let me hear how it turns out! As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Be blessed, and stay savvy!!!

Oven fried chicken.

Crispy Oven-Fried Chicken Recipe

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 12 hours
Cook Time: 1 hour
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 13 hours 30 minutes

Crispy oven fried chicken you won't believe!


  • 3 TB kosher salt
  • 8 good quality bone-in,skin-on chicken thighs
  • 4 TB unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan (optional)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp coarse peper
  • dash cayenne


  1. Remove brined chicken from water; pat completely dry.
  2. Preheat oven to 400F (add butter to melt during preheat).
  3. Mix flour, parmesan and all spices in gallon ziploc bag.
  4. Add 2 thighs to bag; shake until coated. Shake off excess flour.
  5. Repeat until all thighs are coated.
  6. Place thighs skin-side down on large baking sheet with melted butter.
  7. Cook until bottom is crsipy and brown~45 to 50 minutes.
  8. Flip and cook until the other sides are crispy.
  9. Drain on paper towels. Season as desired.

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