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Fall Football Tailgate: Mom’s Oven-Fried Chicken

The fried chicken for our family football tailgaters has come from some auspicious places over the years. A big bucket of extra-crispy from KFC was not beneath us (my dad liked going to pick it up, because he could have an appetizer piece or two on the way home. I could tell he’d been eating it). Then Shop-Rite started selling “broasted” chicken, which sounds like a cross between broiled and roasted, but in the end was no different tasting than a true deep-fried. We’re talking so flavorful. That shoved the Colonel’s right out the door. It’s a good thing that I was not calorie conscious back then.

When my mom was feeling it, she would make pans of her special oven-fried chicken for the tailgater. On the scale of fried chicken badness, this is a healthy one. Finger-licking-good, and simple too:

Mom’s Oven-Fried Chicken
The amount of seasoned flour you make depends on how much chicken you have. This recipe for 1 cup of flour is good for about 12 pieces of chicken.

Chicken drumsticks, wings, thighs, breasts (split)
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt, pepper
Canola or other neutral oil

Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Bring to room temperature. Place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a heavy sheet pan (or two, depending on how much chicken you are making) generously with 2-3 tablespoons of canola oil.

In a bowl, mix the flour with paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Taste a touch of the seasoned flour to be sure there is enough salt. Dredge the chicken in the seasoned flour just before baking. Shake excess flour off each piece and place on the sheet pan.

Bake for 35 minutes, turning the chicken over after 15 minutes using tongs, and rotating the trays if there is more than one. When the chicken is deep golden brown and the juices run clear, remove from the oven. Cool slightly (or refrigerate over night), pack it up, and put it in the trunk with all of your other tailgate picnic food. Off you go.

Find a PDF of this recipe here.


  1. Gregory Jarous Lawrenceville GA on September 11, 2012 at 9:05 AM

    Sounds wonderful,and alot healthier than fried, will have to try this, Thanks

  2. Diane Nassir on September 11, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    Oh YUM!!! My Mother did something similar, used “Shake and Bake’ (is that still around?) and baked the chicken–delicious

  3. Danny David on September 12, 2012 at 6:31 PM

    Really glad I found your site. I grew up in an ethnic melting pot steel mill neighborhood outside of Pittsburgh, and your website really brings me back to Lebanese-Italian upbringing. We would have to go to my Sitto’s every Sunday for dinner with the extended family(eating much like you and your family did) then down the road to Nona’s house for an evening visit.. As a young child, I fought going all the time because I wanted to be out in the neighborhood with my buddies. Now that so many of my loved ones have passed on, I would give my right arm to have just one more of those once dreaded Sunday’s. I am going to pass this site on to my Brother and Sister, as I know they will enjoy it as much as I am. Thanks Maureen!

  4. Kevin Cole on September 13, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    Hello, I am going to make the oven fried chicken soon. I am from Detroit and now reside in Carson City, NV. I have been all over northern Michigan and I love ethnic food. Thank you for your great website!


  5. Betsy on September 14, 2012 at 8:30 AM

    Hi Maureen,

    I love your blog. I made this recipe last night for dinner. It was easy and delicious. I served it with mashed potato and buttered green beans. So good.

    • Maureen Abood on September 14, 2012 at 8:49 AM

      Betsy, thanks so much–great to see you here!

  6. Julia on September 18, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    Hello! I am so excited to find your blog. I am half Lebanese and love eating all of the delicious foods that my Grandma and Mom cooks. I started a blog recently to learn how to cook all of those recipes I have been eating for years. Your website looks like a great resource for recipes and learning.


  7. Martha Luce on July 26, 2014 at 11:37 AM

    Saw the article about you in the Petoskey News Review and immediately checked out your site! Can’t wait to try your recipes. One of my mother’s closest friends was Lebanese and I have some of her recipes- I should say, lists of ingredients, as she did not list amounts necessarily.
    Lebanese food is my FAVORITE of all foods. If I could afford it I would continually circumnavigate the Mediterranean and enjoy the Middleastern, Moroccan, Spanish and Greek foods as well.
    Look forward to your lecture.

    • Maureen Abood on July 26, 2014 at 12:05 PM

      How wonderful Martha–thanks so much and looking forward to seeing you!

  8. t on February 26, 2023 at 7:43 AM

    Hi can I use a healthier flour for this? Thank you.

    • Maureen Abood on February 27, 2023 at 10:28 AM

      If you are looking for gluten-free options, try almond flour or corn flour! These should perform very similarly to the all-purpose flour for dredging.

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Maureen Abood in the kitchen

I'm so glad you're here! You'll find among these pages the fresh and classic Lebanese recipes we can't get enough of! My mission is to share my tried + true recipes -- and to help our Lebanese food-loving community keep these culinary traditions alive and on the table. What recipes are you looking for? Let me know!

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