Soaking chicken in seasoned buttermilk guarantees that your crispy chicken will come out of the oven moist and juicy on the inside.
Salt is also crucial — 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, a mild acid that gently breaks down some proteins and makes chicken more tender.
Follow this recipe with your kids.
CRISPY OVEN-FRIED CHICKEN
By America’s Test Kitchen
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 pounds bone-in chicken pieces
- Vegetable oil spray
- 4 cups cornflakes
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1 teaspoon paprika
In large bowl, whisk together buttermilk, mustard, salt, 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. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 30 minutes or overnight.
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with foil and set 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. Pour cornflake mixture into second large bowl.
Remove a piece of chicken from buttermilk mixture, add to bowl with cornflake mixture, then toss to coat. Gently press crumbs onto all sides of chicken. Place on greased rack in baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pieces of chicken.
Spray chicken all over with vegetable oil spray until each piece is shiny. Bake 35 to 45 minutes. Breasts should reach 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer; drumsticks and thighs 175 degrees.
Place baking sheet on rack to cool for 5 minutes. Serves 4.
Approximate nutritional information, per serving: 438 calories, 18 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 155 mg cholesterol, 1,160 mg sodium, 26 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 39 g protein.