This is the crispiest fried chicken that was never fried. Since the meat cooks in the oven, rather than splattering away on the range, it's also the cleanest-cooking fried chicken you will ever make. Moreover, there's no greasy taste or texture because the chicken is cooked with only two tablespoons of butter and no oil. You heard that right: No oil goes into making this fried chicken.
The recipe, "Judy Hesser's Oven-Fried Chicken," comes from New York Times food writer Amanda Hesser and appeared in her book Cooking for Mr. Latte (the story, recipe, and directions are also available here and here).
The critical step in making the chicken crisp and succulent is, oddly enough, soaking the meat in ice-cold salted water, sort of an icy brine, for several hours prior to cooking. Ms. Hesser explains: "It seasons the meat and tightens the flesh, so the skin crisps better and the seasoning permeates the meat."
Also important is giving the chicken enough time to become brown and crisp on each side. This took about 55 minutes on the skin side and 45 minutes on the other side, and be careful not to lose that crusty coating when you flip the pieces.
Ms. Hesser indicates that the flour may also be seasoned with lemon zest and/or Parmigiano-Reggiano for a brighter, nuttier flavor. Consider experimenting with dry spices or fresh herbs (rosemary comes to mind, if it won't burn) to achieve other tasty variations on the original recipe.