Oven-Fried Onion Rings

I am sitting here with the windows open and grateful for low humidity and a cool breeze.  The last few days have been so hot and humid with a heat index in the 100’s.  Weather like this makes me want to grill, sit on the porch with a frozen drink, or take a hike.  Instead I am inside drinking iced coffee for some afternoon caffeine and contemplating what steps I need to take to finish up my first round of data analysis for my dissertation.  Don’t worry, I won’t bore you with the intricacies of propensity scores or regression analysis 😉  Instead I wanted to share this recipe for oven-fried onion rings.  They are amazing!  And yes, they are crunchy.  I would like to think it was fate that we were home on a Friday evening and I had on America’s Test Kitchen on PBS but who am I kidding we aren’t usually out on a Friday night anyway.  ATK happened to be showing how to make the perfect burger (recipe coming) and these onion rings.  I immediately started taking notes on the onion rings while Matt took copious notes on the burgers. They did not give exact measurements on everything so I had to wing it to get it right. We had these onion rings with the perfect burgers and this creamy cole slaw on Memorial Day.

You could double this recipe or triple it if needed, just make sure not to crowd your onion rings on the baking sheet.  With this recipe you will have enough buttermilk for more onions.  One last tip – I wouldn’t put all of your saltine/potato chip mixture in the bowl right away as it will get clumpy as you make your way through the onion rings.  I would add more mixture to the bowl as needed.

Oven-Fried Onion Rings
Printer-Friendly Version
Makes 2 servings

1 yellow onion (about 8 ounces)
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 + 1/8 cup all-purpose flour (divided)
2 cups plain potato chips (I used ones that did not have ridges)
12 saltine crackers
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1.  Preheat oven to 350F
2.  Cut onion into rings that are about a 1/2 inch wide.  You will not use the little ends – save those for another recipe.

3.  Mix buttermilk, egg, cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt, and 1/4 cup of flour in a bowl; set aside.
4. Place chips and saltines in a food processor, process until the chips and saltines are fine crumbs, about 1 minute.  Place about half of the mixture in one bowl and put aside the rest (this is so your coating doesn’t get clumpy – you can add more from the reserve as needed).

5. When the oven is preheated, pour the vegetable oil on a rimmed baking sheet (I used an 11×14 pan). Using your hands or a pastry brush make sure the oil is coats the bottom of the pan.  Place the pan in the oven and heat for 8 minutes.

6.  While the oiled pan is heating, line-up your ingredients to start preparing the onion rings.  Start with your onion rings, the rest of the flour (1/8 cup) in a bowl, the bowl of buttermilk mixture, the bowl of potato chip/saltine mixture, and a plate to place your onion rings on.  Put a fork in the buttermilk mixture and one in the potato chip/saltine mixture.

7.  Go through your assembly line of ingredients with one onion ring at a time.  Place onion ring in the  plain flour and toss around, this is to make sure the onion is dry and the buttermilk mixture sticks. Next, place the onion in the buttermilk mixture and flip with the fork to get both sides coated.  Let excess mixture drip off.  Then, place the onion ring in the potato chip/saltine cracker mixture and flip with the fork to ensure the onion ring is coated.  Place onion ring on a plate and repeat with other onion rings until finished.
8.  When the oiled pan is heated, place the onion rings on the pan very carefully (the oil will be very hot!)  Place in the oven for 8 minutes.
9.  After 8 minutes, flip the onion rings over and turn the pan.  Cook for an additional 8 minutes or until rings are golden brown.
10.  Remove from the pan and place on a paper towel lined cooling rack.  Serve immediately.

Excellent with ketchup or this spicy straw sauce

Lindsay Lou

Source:  Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

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