Oven Fried Parmesan Chicken Thighs
These Oven Fried Parmesan Chicken thighs are “out of the fryer” crisp without any of the mess or smell of a deep fat fryer.
My inspiration for making these Oven Fried Parmesan Chicken thighs did not come from where you would think. The inspiration came from Mother Nature not cooperating with me. Honestly, it was raining. Originally my intention was to make Lemon Rosemary Grilled Chicken Thighs, but when I made it home from work it was raining cats and dogs. So, as my college instructor Chef Carl Heintz used to say, “time to take two steps back and punt”.
So, I scanned the various ingredients in my pantry, cupboards and fridge looking for ideas for what to cook. I then came upon the Italian breadcrumbs and remembered I had some parmesan cheese. I quick 3 stage breading process and I could whip up some “oven fried” chicken. This would also make up for my oldest being faked out by the breaded catfish from a few weeks ago (she grabbed some “breaded chicken” out of the fridge to eat, turned out it was breaded catfish. She’s not a fan of fish).
Let’s Make It
To bread the chicken we need to set up a three stage breading station. It’s what professionals call the process of breading a product with flour, egg wash and a bread product. Most times this station is set up with bowls, or pans, I set mine up for some things with bags. This make the process quick, clean and I (my girls) have less dishes to clean.
In one one gallon freezer bag add the flour, 1 tsp salt and a few twists of black pepper. To another gallon freezer bag add the breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic, onion, the rest of the salt and a few twists of black pepper. In a smallish bowl with a deep well crack the eggs and whisk in the milk. For a bit of added flavor you can whisk in some hot sauce as well. You don’t have to add much nor enough to make the dish spicy, just enough to add some flavor. I do this because the vinegar and hot pepper in the sauce open up your taste buds and creates another layer of flavor, but by all means, you can leave this ingredient out if you like.
Toss the thighs in the bag of flour, seal the bag and shake.
Now set a rack on a sheet tray. This allows the hot oven air to flow all around the chicken. Any side of the chicken that is in contact with a solid surface will create steam, which creates something less than crispy.
Take the thighs one by one from the flour and then proceed individually to dip in the eggwash and then into the breadcrumbs. Shake thigh in breadcrumbs to coat thoroughly. Remove thigh from bag, set on rack and proceed with next thigh until all thighs are breaded.
This next step may make you raise your eyebrow a bit. To ensure a crisp texture you still need a bit of oil/fat. The easiest way to accomplish an even layer of oil all around the chicken is pan spray. If you have an oil mister, by all means use that, but I would suggest peanut oil versus olive oil. The breading won’t get that fried crisp texture without this step. It will get crisp, just not as crisp as what you are trying to accomplish.
Once the thighs are all suntan lotioned up, place the pan in a 380° preheated oven. Oven Fry the chicken thighs for approximately 45 minutes to an hour, or until the internal temperature reaches 160°. Remove the thighs from the oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes. Remove the Oven Fried Parmesan Chicken Thighs to a platter or plate of your choice. Serve with a nice garden salad or herbed cous cous like pictured. Enjoy!
- 6 each Chicken Thighs skin optional
- 1.5 cup AP Flour
- 1.5 cup Italian Bread Crumbs
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp granulated garlic
- 1.5 tsp onion powder
- 3 tsp salt
- TT Black Pepper
- 3 each Large Eggs
- 1 cup milk
- TT Frank's Red Hot Optional
In a one gallon freezer bag add the flour, 1 tsp of the salt and some grinds of black pepper. Shake to mix.
In a second one gallon freezer bag add the breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic, onion, the rest of the salt and a few grinds of pepper. Shake to mix.
In a relatively deep bowl whisk together the eggs and milk. I added a few shakes of hot sauce in this mix, but that is optional for you.
Add all the thighs to the bag of flour, seal the bag and then shake to coat thighs thoroughly. Set oven temp to 380°.
One by one take the thighs out of the flour, dip in the egg mixture to coat evenly and then add egg coated thigh to the bread crumb bag. Shake to cover thigh with crumbs then remove thigh to rack lined sheet pan.
Once all thighs have been individually breaded and placed on rack, liberally spray pan spray on thighs to coat.
Place racked thighs in preheated oven and bake for approximately 45 - 60 minutes, or internal temp reaches 160° and breading is golden brown.
Remove from oven and served with side and salad of your choice. Enjoy.