“Shake ‘n Bake”… those were the days. Cooking and fun, rolled into one. Maybe that is how I got hooked. Ah well, on to the point here.
This is the absolutely best way to prepare chicken thighs. You will never believe that they are oven baked and not fried. I stumbled upon the recipe in Amanda Hesser’s Cooking for Mr. Latte, and have made a few modifications of my own.
In the morning, prep the chicken by putting it in the salt water (brine), then about an hour before you want to eat dinner, pop them in the oven. They are also delicious packed cold for a picnic.
Oven Fried Chicken
adapted from Amanda Hesser's original recipe in Cooking for Mr. Latte
- 8 bone-in chicken thighs, with skin
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 tbsp kosher salt
The Shake & Bake
- 1/2 cup corn flour
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Brine the chicken. Rinse chicken under cold water, trim away excess skin and fat, and put in a large bowl. Dissolve the salt in the warm water and pour over the chicken. Add enough ice cubes to cover the chicken and put the bowl in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. (This step makes the chicken moist and deliciously crispy once baked. Try it with and without the brine, I think you'll be convinced.)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator, using tongs, transfer chicken pieces to a paper towel-lined sheet pan and discard the brine. Pat the chicken dry using paper towels.
In a 1 gallon plastic bag, combine the corn flour, salt and seasonings. Shake to mix. Place two chicken thighs at a time in bag and shake to coat. Shake off excess flour into the bag then place the chicken, skin side down, on a sheet pan or large roasting pan, spacing them in a single layer, as far apart as possible.
Bake for 45 minutes, until thighs are chestnut brown and crisp on the bottom. Using a metal spatula, flip over each piece, being careful not to leave the lovely crisp skin attached to the pan. If the skin is sticking to the pan, stop and let it cook a few minutes longer then try flipping again—it should release easily. Once flipped, bake for an additional 20 - 30 minutes, until thighs are cooked through (min 165° F degrees on meat thermometer). Remove chicken pieces from pan and place on a paper towel lined plate. Sprinkle sea salt on top and serve.