I tried making Ina Garten's 11-hour fried chicken. My family loved it, and I was shocked by how mess-free it was.

I tried making Ina Garten's 11-hour fried chicken. My family loved it, and I was shocked by how mess-free it was.
  • I tried Ina Garten's oven-fried chicken recipe, which takes 11 hours from start to finish. 

  • I only had to fry each piece of chicken for a few minutes, so I had time to make side dishes.

  • The results were crispy, moist, and relatively mess-free, so I'd make Garten's recipe again.

Fried chicken is delicious, but making it in my own kitchen has always felt like a bit of a hassle.

The breading process can be a bit sloppy and tedious, and heating up a pan of oil is a quick way to splash grease all over my stove top and kitchen counters.

To hopefully cut down on a messy frying process, I tried making celebrity chef Ina Garten's 11-hour oven-fried chicken recipe for dinner for my family of four.

Garten's recipe calls for a whole chicken cut into pieces.

terri cutting a whole chicken into pieces on a cutting board
Prepping the chicken took a bit of work.Terri Peters

I usually take the easy way out and purchase pre-butchered chicken breasts at the grocery store. But Garten's recipe called for two whole chickens, each cut into eight serving pieces.

Since my family didn't need that much, I bought one and had my husband divide it into all the basic parts, from breasts to thighs to legs. Luckily, Garten explained the best way to divide a chicken for frying in a helpful video that accompanied the recipe, so we just followed her lead.

The "11-hour" part of the recipe is all about letting the chicken pieces hang out in buttermilk.

author terri peters pouring buttermilk over a bowl of raw chicken on a kitchen counter
I marinated the butchered chicken in buttermilk.Terri Peters

The recipe initially sounded like it would take forever to make, but the "11 hours" in its name is actually mostly for marinating the chicken in buttermilk.

Since I planned to make my fried chicken for Sunday dinner, I had my husband cut our chicken into pieces in the morning and let it sit in a covered bowl of buttermilk all day long.

Battering Garten's fried chicken wasn't as messy as I expected.

bowl of chicken in buttermilk and a bowl of flour on a kitchen counter
I didn't want my kitchen to end up being a floury mess.Terri Peters

When it was time to cook my chicken pieces, I preheated my oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and went to work making the dredge — a simple combination of flour, salt, and pepper.

I've made fried chicken before that called for additional spices in the flour or an egg wash between coats. But Garten's method was incredibly simple and still created a decent crust of breading on each chicken piece.

The process seemed easier than past fried-chicken recipes I've followed.

battered fried chicken on a pan ready to fry
I dredged all the chicken in the flour mixture.Terri Peters

The buttermilk the chicken had been soaking in acted as the perfect medium for getting the flour mixture to stick.

I spent less than 15 minutes actually frying the chicken.

pieces of fried chicken in a pan of boiling oil on the stove
Frying was only the first cooking method used in the recipe.Terri Peters

I've fried chicken in everything from peanut oil to vegetable shortening (and made quite a mess), but Garten's recipe called for just 1 inch of vegetable oil or shortening in a frying pan.

I heated the oil to 360 F — checking the temperature with a thermometer — and fried each piece for three minutes on each side until golden brown.

I had to work in two batches as all of the chicken wouldn't fit into my pan at once. But after about 12 minutes, I had golden pieces that looked perfectly fried.

I finished it off in the oven, which gave me time to cook a few sides.

fried chicken baking in the oven on a sheet pan
Most of the actual cooking happened in the oven.Terri Peters

After frying the chicken, I put each piece on a metal rack on top of a baking sheet. I placed the whole thing in the oven for about 30 minutes until it was fully cooked through.

I liked that I didn't have to fry the chicken immediately before serving. It was wonderful to have the chicken off of my stove, so I could focus on side dishes while it continued to cook.

I served Garten's fried chicken with green beans, mashed potatoes, and corn bread.

fried chicken surrounded by cornbread, green beans, and mashed potatoes
I had time to make a slew of sides to serve with the chicken.Terri Peters

I had plenty of time to make some green beans, mashed potatoes, and corn bread.

In the meantime, the chicken continued to crisp up and brown in the oven.

The fried chicken was probably the most delicious (and easiest) I've ever made.

pieces of fried chicken on a plate
I was pretty blown away by Ina Garten's fried chicken.Terri Peters

Everyone in my family enjoyed this flavorful, moist fried chicken — even the pickier eaters at my dinner table.

It was juicy inside but still crispy and crunchy on the outside. And, because it hadn't come straight from a pan of frying oil, it was much less greasy than versions I've made in the past.

The lack of grease also made the cleanup easier, which I was grateful for.

I'd definitely use Garten's recipe and method again.

piece of fried chicken cut up on a cutting board
Ina Garten's fried chicken is going to be a new staple in my house.Terri Peters

Garten's recipe was extremely easy to follow and didn't feel laborious.

Giving each piece a quick fry in a shallow pan of vegetable oil gave it the crispiness I wanted, but finishing the chicken in the oven helped finish it off without as much grease.

As long as I have the time to plan ahead for the 11-hour marinating period, I'll absolutely try Garten's recipe again. It saved a massive cleanup and it tasted amazing.

Read the original article on Insider