My Favourite "Fried" Chicken

One of my family secrets is that, on occasion, we get take out from some popular fried chicken chain restaurants. Every once in a while I get a craving for a good dose of grease and salt and deep fried chicken (like the picture here) fits the bill. After one piece of chicken plus some fries, I’ve had enough but my kids don’t stop at just one or two pieces. There’s something addictive about all the fat and salt that keeps them going back for more. It’s just wrong. So, I went on the search for a chicken recipe that was crunchy on the outside and tender and juicy inside, like deep fried chicken, but with a whole lot less fat and salt. I found one that has all these features and it’s a big hit at our house…never any eye-rolling from the kids when I say this is for dinner. 

The recipe is from a booklet called Ontario Chicken – Favourite Recipes which was put out by Chicken Farmers of Ontario. The recipe is Fearless "Fried" Chicken.
Here's how to make it.
4 bone-in chicken breast halves or legs (I cut the legs to make thighs and drumsticks)
1 egg white (I use a whole egg)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp each paprika, thyme, oregano and salt
1/2 - 1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp vegetable oil

What to do
Preheat oven to 425 F. Place a rack on a broiling pan or baking sheet.

Remove skin and any clinging fat from chicken.Here's what that looks like:

Whisk buttermilk with egg white (or egg) in a shallow bowl (for easy dipping)

Measure flour, baking powder and seasonings into a plastic bag. Shake gently to mix.

Now comes the part where you dip the chicken in the milk mixture then shake it in the flour and put it on the pan. Here's the line up:
Notice I forgot the step about putting a rack on a baking sheet and just put parchment paper on the pan.  I usually do put the chicken on a rack which allows remaining fat to drip away from the chicken and helps it get evenly crisp. It worked out just fine directly on the parchment paper so don't worry if you don't have a rack for your pan.

Now, dip the chicken in the milk mixture. I usually put in a few pieces at a time.
One piece at a time, put the chicken in the flour mixture. Shake it up to evenly coat the chicken all over and place it on the rack (or, in my case, the pan). Do NOT sprinkle any remaining flour mixture over the chicken.

The last step before putting the chicken in the oven is to brush the oil on the chicken. This is a MUST to get a crispy crust so don't even think about skipping this step. Use a pastry brush to lightly brush or dab the oil over the flour coating on the chicken. It will look something like this: 
Place the chicken in the centre of the 425 F oven and bake until coating is crisp and golden, about 45 minutes.

I served this with oven baked fries (see the How-to video posted Jan 11) and a garden salad. I secretly stashed 2 of the drumsticks and put them in my kids' packed lunch the next day.

This recipe has 266 cal per serving; 7.8 g total fat; and about 118 mg sodium. Compare that to a chicken breast in a fried chicken chain restaurant: 360 cals; 21 g total fat; and 1080 mg sodium.

Hope your family enjoys this tasty, crispy, juicy, lower fat and salt version of  "fried" chicken as much as mine!
                                                                                           Michele, RD


  1. Thanks Michele! Looks delicious and super easy! Your pictures make it very easy to follow the recipe.


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