Growing up, without a doubt my favorite Sunday tradition had to be when Dad made fried chicken. It was the crispness of the skin, the amazing gravy and all the trimmings that made a down-home staple such a hit.
My Dad was amazing in the kitchen. Now that he’s wheelchair bound, we miss his signature gravies. Dad could make gravy out of anything and it was perfect every time. It took me years to make good gravy. The key to gravy is allowing the flour to cook long enough not to taste like paste. Dad had his way, I have mine. Dad mixed flour with milk in a mason jar until it was smooth, then poured it into the skillet that had been used to fry up the chicken. Over low heat, he simmered his slurry, scraping up the brown bits to flavor the gravy. I make a roux. The upside to a roux is that you can make a rich gravy with or without frying up a skillet of chicken.
Which brings me to the whole dilemma of fried chicken. I am not the most patient person in the world. Frying chicken is an art. The oils need to be just right. Too cool and the chicken becomes greasy. Too hot and the skin is done while the chicken itself is under cooked. I know, I’ve shared a few fried chicken recipes in the past. It’s not that I can’t fry chicken, but it doesn’t always come out as planned. I’ve even fried chicken, then finished it in the oven.
As you can imagine, over the years I’ve made a lot of chicken. That said, both Hubby and I agree, this was hands down the best yet. Flavorful, moist, crisp and just plain finger licking good. I’m not sure what it was about the marinade and seasonings that just worked. And of course, you can’t have “fried” chicken without mashed potatoes smothered in gravy. I promise you, the family will love this Sunday Supper.
Oven Fried Buttermilk Chicken with Gravy
8 bone-in Chicken Pieces
1 cup 1% Buttermilk
1/4 cup Sour Cream
1/2 teaspoon Hot Sauce
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder, divided
2 teaspoon Salt, divided
2 teaspoon Black Pepper, divided
2/3 cup Flour
1 teaspoon Paprika
1 teaspoon dried Thyme
1-1/2 teaspoon Cornstarch
Note: This recipe works well with either thighs or legs or a combination. I did six thighs and two legs.
Place chicken pieces in a gallon-size zip lock bag. Place bag in a casserole dish to prevent any leaking that might happen.
Whisk together buttermilk, sour cream, hot sauce, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Pour buttermilk mixture into the bag.
Seal and turn to evenly coat. Allow chicken to rest in the fridge for 2 hours (up to 8 hours in fine). Turn half-way through the marinating time for even coating. The longer the chicken soaks in the buttermilk, the better.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, add a wire rack and lightly spray rack with cooking spray. Add flour, paprika, thyme, cornstarch, 1/2 teaspoon, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper in a pie tin, whisk to blend. Remove the chicken from the marinade bag, shake off excess marinade. Dredge chicken, once piece at a time, in the seasoned flour, coat well.
Shake off excess flour and place chicken on the prepared rack, skin side up. Repeat with remaining chicken. Throw out the remaining marinade and flour mixture.
Lightly spray chicken skin with cooking spray – as in a very fine mist. Let chicken rest for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, position oven rack in the center of the oven, heat oven to 425-degrees. Bake chicken undisturbed for 23 minutes. Remove from oven, close door to maintain heat. Turn chicken over, turn pan around and return to oven. (This will ensure even cooking).
Continue to bake another 22 minutes until golden brown and the internal temperature reads 165-degrees in the thickest part of the meat. Turn chicken one final time, shut oven off and hold chicken in the warm oven while the gravy is made.
Note: If the gravy seems familiar, it’s similar to my standard Pan Gravy recipe that I’ve shared before, only without the pan drippings. Proof positive that while pan drippings are great in gravy, gravy can be made without the drippings.
Chicken Stock Gravy
3 tablespoons Butter
3 tablespoons Flour
2 cups Chicken Stock
1 teaspoon Beef Bouillon
Black Pepper to taste
In a sauce pot over medium heat, melt butter. Sprinkle flour over melted butter. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes to remove raw taste from the flour.
Whisk in chicken stock and beef bouillon. Continue to cook for 5 minutes longer or until desired consistency is reached. Taste, adjust seasoning with pepper
Transfer to a bowl with a ladle or gravy boat and serve. Great poured over the chicken and mashed potatoes.
Buttery Mashed Potatoes
6 medium Russet Potatoes
1/3 cup Milk
3 tablespoons Butter
Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
Note: You can peel and prepare the potatoes for cooking while the chicken is marinating. Cover with water and set aside on the stove. When the chicken has reached the turning point, turn the heat on under the pot of potatoes. They will be ready when the chicken is done. Perfect timing.
Peel and cut potatoes.
Place in a large pot with enough water to cover potatoes by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and slow-boil until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat milk, butter, salt and pepper in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, whisking until smooth, about 3 minutes. Cover and keep warm.
Carefully pour contents of the pan into colander, drain potatoes well, then return potatoes to pot. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until potatoes are thoroughly dried, about 1 minute.
Lightly “smash” potatoes with a potato masher. Add warmed milk, continue to mash to desired consistency.
Taste, adjust seasoning as desired. If necessary, warm gently just before serving.
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