Chicken · entree

Spicy Oven-Fried Ranch Chicken

You ever feel like you could just sleep the day away? Just take one long nap and spend the whole day in bed?

That’s how I feel right now. After working some really whacky hours all week, I just want to crawl in bed and stay there all weekend.

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Unfortunately, I can’t do that…I’ve got a life I have to live. Groceries to get, recipes to make, movies to see. Sleeping in all day is a nice pipe dream, though. One of these days, comfy bed, I’ll stay in you all day.

One. Of. These. Days.

Dreaming about sleeping the day away isn’t the only thing I’ve been dreaming about. Food is usuallyย the #1 daydream of mine, and for the past few days I’ve been thinking about this heavenly chicken recipe I made last weekend. That recipe combined all of my favorite things about fried chicken, without all of the guilt…

Crispy panko: check. Spicy buttermilk marinade: check. Thyme, chives, and all the other ranch flavored herbs:ย check.

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Best of all, the recipe is oven-fried instead of deep-fried. I’ve never met an oven-fried chicken recipe I didn’t like, and this one is no different. In fact, this recipe is probably the tastiest one I’ve ever made. It’s incredibly crispy, which I contribute to two factors:

  • Panko breading
  • Baking elevated on racks instead of directly on the baking sheet

As long as you do those two things, you’ll have crispy chicken every single time. If you marinade your chicken in some sort of buttermilk wash, too, you’ll have tender meat as well.

I’ll get back to daydreaming about this chicken now, but you should definitely make try it for yourself. Who knows? Maybe you’ll start daydreaming about it, too.

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Spicy Oven-Fried Ranch Chicken

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Time: 1 hr
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print

Spicy buttermilk ranch marinated chicken, oven-fried to crispy perfection.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp. hot sauce
  • 3 TBS. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 3/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 3/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • salt
  • 2 lbs. chicken (breasts, thighs, drumsticks)
  • 3 1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
  • pepper

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, mayonnaise, half of the thyme, 1 tsp. paprika, onion and garlic powders, cayenne, hot sauce, and 1 tsp. salt. Add the chicken and toss to coat; cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 3 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with foil and then place wire racks on top. Coat each rack with cooking spray.
  3. In another large bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, chives, remaining thyme, and 1/2 tsp. paprika, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper.
  4. Remove chicken from marinade and dredge in breadcrumbs mixture, pressing to adhere. Place chicken on wire racks, separating the white meat from the dark meat, and then place in oven (dark meat should be on bottom rack of oven).
  5. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until juices run clear. Let cool slightly before serving, 10 minutes.

Step-By-Step Instructions

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In a large bowl, combine buttermilk, mayonnaise, hot sauce, half of the thyme, 1 tsp. paprika, onion and garlic powders, cayenne and 1 tsp. salt.

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Whisk until well combined.

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Add the chicken pieces and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 3 hours.

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Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with foil. Place wire racks on top and spray with cooking spray.

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In another large bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, chives, remaining thyme, 1/2 tsp. paprika, 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper.

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Remove chicken from marinade and dredge in breadcrumb mixture, pressing to adhere. Place chicken on racks, separating white meat from dark. Place dark meat on lowest rack in oven.

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Bake for 50-55 minutes or until juices run clear. Let cool slightly on wire racks, 10 minutes.

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