Raise your hand if you love the stinging pain of hot oil splashing out the pan when you’re making dinner! Oh wait, I don’t think anyone actually enjoys that part of the process. Baking your crispy chicken is also possible but some people don’t know the trick to even, crispy skin.
We’ve all had those days where our baked or grilled ‘crispy’ chicken becomes blackened and charred before the skin actually gets crispy and delicious. Wouldn’t it be better if there was a way to ensure your chicken is oh so crispy on the outside but still moist on the inside? Well I’ve got a few tips for you to get the crispiest oven-baked chicken you’ve ever tried!
Homemade fried chicken has always been a favorite of mine but this baked version comes close to mimicking that flavor without all the fried oil. Baking the chicken helps maintain a moist center that grilling doesn’t always guarantee.
Despite it being extremely hot and humid in Maryland right now—summer as usual—I’d rather bake my own chicken cutlets and guarantee a delicious meal than go for fast food.
This recipe makes enough chicken covering for 6 chicken quarters or about 10-12 drumsticks. I used it for quarters, doing two coats on each.
The thicker your coating is, the more it will resemble a chicken-tender-type breading that won’t get quite as crispy.
There’s an important ingredient that makes the skin extra crispy without caking up on the chicken—aluminum-free baking powder!
Baking powder is often a leavening agent in baked goods, but when used for chicken wings, it ensures an extra crispy skin!
I’ve heard some people say that baking powder leaves a bitter taste, but I’ve also heard that this problem is eliminated when aluminum-free powder is used.
Do NOT use baking soda as it will not have the same effect and will leave a definite bitter taste on the skin of the chicken.
It’s also thought that some people are especially sensitive to the taste, but I’d say to give it a try because everyone who has tried my chicken using this recipe has been happy with the result!
- 3 large eggs, whites separated
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 5 tbsp. dry rub of choice
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tbsp. black pepper
For this recipe, I used Bold No. 1 dry rub from UTZ Works which can be found in the Cotton & Co. Vintage Boutique general store in Keymar, Maryland. I’m happy to be working alongside Jess to come up with some recipes for their newly available lines of sauces and rubs.
Mike Utz recently started working with Jess to provide his line of UTZ Works sauces and rubs at the general store and so I chose from his line for this recipe.
I really enjoyed using the Bold flavor rub but I am also excited to use this recipe for some chicken tenders that I will be dipping into the Honey Q’ sauce also by UTZ Works.
- Preheat your oven to 450F and prep a wire rack stacked onto a sheet pan. If desired, line the sheet pan with parchment or aluminum foil prior to setting the wire rack atop.
- Thaw desired chicken cutlets and marinate if desired. I recommend marinating for 6-8 hours or overnight for the best results.
- In a flat-based bowl, whisk your egg whites together just enough to get a smooth mixture. In another flat-based bowl, stir your dry ingredients together so they are completely combined.
- Take a piece of thawed chicken and dip it into the egg whites, flipping to dip the other side and get an even coating. Next, dip into the dry ingredients and cover both sides.
- Repeat step 4 and gently blow off any extra dry ingredients as it can become a bit powdery when there is extra that gets baked.
- Line each piece on the wire rack allowing a bit of space between each piece.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes. Flip at the 30-minute mark and remove when the skin is golden brown and crispy.
Using a wire rack for baking chicken is essential because it not only allows for even airflow but also allows fat drippings to collect in the sheet pan.
Even airflow from the wire rack lets the skin dry out and get crispy while a piece of chicken laying flat on the sheet pan would leave one side soggier.
You can alternatively cook the chicken for 30 minutes at 350F and raise the temperature to 450F when the time comes, letting it bake for another 30 minutes. This can help with sticking to the wire rack if you’ve had trouble with that in the past.
I haven’t had much trouble with the wire rack I used, but it’s good to keep in mind if your crispies are sticking when you go to flip.
I’m happy to be working on another recipe set and the appetizers are coming soon. I’ll be making some chicken tenders that will use a similar method to this one but smaller and boneless.
There are so many ways to use a dry rub or BBQ sauce and if you use the UTZ Works brand of dry rub with this recipe, you will still have half the bottle left.