Soaking chicken in seasoned buttermilk guarantees that your crispy chicken will come out of the oven moist and juicy on the inside.
Salt doesn’t just enhance flavor – when you soak meat in a salty solution (a brine), the salt reshapes protein molecules and helps them hold onto moisture when the meat is cooked. Buttermilk contains lactic acid, which is a mild acid that gently breaks down some proteins and makes chicken more tender.
Follow this recipe with your kids.
Crispy Oven-Fried Chicken
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1½ hours
2 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (split breasts, drumsticks, and/or thighs)
Vegetable oil spray
4 cups cornflakes
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon paprika
2 large bowls
Rimmed baking sheet
2 cooling racks
Large zipper-lock plastic bag
In large bowl, whisk together buttermilk, mustard, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and garlic powder.
Use paper towel to grasp skin on one piece of chicken, then pull off and discard skin. Repeat with remaining pieces of chicken. Add chicken to buttermilk mixture and turn to coat well. Wash your hands. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set cooling rack inside baking sheet. Spray rack with vegetable oil spray.
Place cornflakes in large zipper-lock bag. Add poultry seasoning and paprika. Seal bag and shake to combine.
Use rolling pin to crush cornflakes into small pieces. Pour cornflake mixture into second large bowl.
Remove one piece of chicken from buttermilk mixture, add to bowl with cornflake mixture and toss to coat.
Use your hands to gently press crumbs onto all sides of chicken. Place chicken on greased rack in baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pieces of chicken. Wash your hands.
Spray chicken all over with vegetable oil spray until each piece is shiny. Place baking sheet in oven and bake until chicken breasts register 165 degrees F. on instant-read thermometer and drumsticks/thighs register 175 degrees F., 35 to 45 minutes.
Use oven mitts to remove baking sheet from oven (ask an adult for help). Place baking sheet on second cooling rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Serve.
• Nutrition information per serving: 438 calories; 166 calories from fat; 18 g fat (2 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 155 mg cholesterol; 1160 mg sodium; 26 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 7 g sugar; 39 g protein