2-Bucket Batch of Oven-Fried Chicken

p>A Cooking with Kids Original Recipe


This recipe uses two baking sheets to cook over five pounds of chicken pieces in about an hour—enough for a family of quintuplets—or an average family's meal plus handy leftovers. For three pounds of chicken, use half of the ingredients and bake at the same temperature. Kids can be a huge help by dipping the chicken in the coating and arranging the pieces on the baking sheets for parents to put into the oven.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes for boneless breasts; 45 to 60 minutes for bone-in
Yield: 12 to 16 pieces of chicken


Ingredients and Steps

  • 1-1/2 cups Corn Flake Crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried herbs (thyme, oregano, basil, or a combination)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 5 to 6 pounds mixed chicken pieces, with or without skin
Fried Chicken  
  1. Position two oven racks evenly spaced so that air can circulate. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with foil and coat with nonstick spray.
  2. Add crumbs, garlic, paprika, dried herbs (crushed), and salt to a small paper bag (you can use a plastic bag, but I find paper easier to control). Shake well.
  3. Gently shake out a single layer (about 1/4-inch thick) of crumbs from the bag into the baking dish. Shake the dish to distribute the crumbs evenly.
  4. Pour buttermilk into large mixing bowl. Add 4 or 5 pieces of chicken and stir with a mixing spoon to coat the chicken completely with buttermilk.
  5. Using tongs, place as many pieces as will fit without crowding on the layer of crumbs (4 to 6 pieces). Be sure to let any excess buttermilk drip back into the bowl before you add the chicken to the crumbs.
  6. Gently shake enough crumbs out of the bag to coat the tops of the pieces. Use a dry spoon to scoop up crumbs that are already in the pan, so as to coat the sides of the pieces.
  7. Using another dry set of tongs or a fork, pick the crumb-coated pieces up and arrange them top side up on a baking sheet, with at least 1 inch in between each piece.
  8. Shake the bottom of the crumb dish gently to redistribute the crumbs into a single layer. If necessary, add more crumbs.
  9. Repeat Steps 4 through 8 until all of the chicken is coated and arranged on the baking sheets. If the bag runs out of crumbs, pour excess crumbs from the dish back into the bag. When all of the pieces are coated, discard excess crumbs (don't re-use for food safety reasons.)
  10. Bake 20 minutes for boneless, skinless breasts; bake 45 to 60 minutes for pieces with bone, or until juices run clear. (Larger pieces and dark meat take the most time to cook.)

For more even cooking, swap the positions of the baking sheets half-way through cooking. For better browning, lightly spray the tops of the chicken with nonstick cooking spray.

Vary It! Vary this recipe in the following ways:
  • Instead of buttermilk, dip the chicken in yogurt, milk, evaporated skimmed milk, or 2 egg whites beaten with 2 teaspoons water—whatever you have on hand.
  • Instead of Corn Flake Crumbs (available in the flour aisle), try seasoned breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs. To make your own Corn Flake Crumbs, seal Corn Flakes in a plastic bag and finely crush them with a rolling pin—a favorite kid-task!
  • Oven-fry pork chops the same way, cooking about 30 minutes or until just pale pink inside (155 degrees).
  • Experiment with different seasonings. Try Cajun spices, Italian-herb blend, chili powder and cumin, herbes de Provence.

Score 'n' Pour

Lightly score (cut shallow slashes in) steaks and poultry breasts before pouring on a marinade. Scoring increases flavor, adds tasty browned edges, and helps uneven cuts cook more evenly.

Scoring Chicken

As shown in the following figure, use a sharp, straight-edged knife to make parallel slices about 1/8-inch deep and about 1-inch apart in one direction. Rotate the pieces 45 degrees and do the same thing. You end up with angled criss-crosses in the meat or poultry. Do this on both sides of boneless steaks and breasts or on the meaty side of bone-in breasts.

The slashes help marinades penetrate deeper into the meat. In addition, boneless chicken and turkey breasts, which are usually thicker in the middle than on the sides, often dry out on the thin, outer areas before the centers are adequately cooked—scoring the thicker sections a little deeper than the rest of the breast allows the heat to penetrate the centers more rapidly, so they stay moister without over-cooking the thin areas. As an added benefit, the scored edges become nicely browned and crisp at the corners when broiled, grilled, or pan-fried on high heat.


Recipe © 1999, 2007 by Kate Heyhoe

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Part I: Cooking Together:
The Wisdom of 400 Families

Part II: Putting the Meal Together—Together!

Part III: Cooking 101:
A Handbook for Parents
& Young Chefs

Part IV: Recipes

Part V: Tips In Tens