Guilt-Free Oven “Fried” Chicken

All the Flavor Without the Frying

I think we can all agree that fried chicken is delicious, but embracing the calories is not quite as fun. The dilemma comes when you find yourself craving that deliciousness!

That was me–yet again.

About a month ago, I attempted to make oven “fried” chicken, however, the “crispy” coating didn’t convince me that it was a winner. Since then, I’ve been on a search for the next BEST oven “fried” chicken that is truly, truly guilt-free. I found it thanks to my boyfriend’s suggestion who, on a weekly basis, hears me say “What should I make next week? Are you craving anything?” So…thanks Andy! 🙂

This week’s recipe is courtesy of Fifteen Spatulas.

You can find the recipe right -> here!

Oven "Fried" Chicken
Oven “Fried” Chicken by Fifteen Spatulas

Embrace The Buttermilk Bath

All good fried chicken goes through a buttermilk bath, as I’d like to call it. The recipe suggested keeping your seasoned chicken in the buttermilk mixture for about 6 hours minimum, or overnight if possible. I kept mine in this mixture for about 6.5 hours and it turned out fantastic.

You want your chicken to absorbed the seasoning and to be coated in this buttermilk. Believe me, when you bite into that first drumstick–you will be thanking Fifteen Spatulas.

If you plan on making this during the week, then be sure to prepare the chicken the day before, or first thing in the morning. The buttermilk soak is not meant to be rushed.

The Crunch Without the Frying

If you’re wondering how this recipe manages to mimic traditional fried chicken with its deliciously crispy coating, then you’re not alone. Typically, you’d expect juicy white meat chicken that has a crispy exterior. You’d get that by deep-frying the chicken, so how are you supposed to get that without all the hot oil?

Fifteen Spatulas has you covered with a coating mixture that is outstanding. I do, however, have a tip for using corn flakes in this recipe. When I last attempted an oven “fried” chicken recipe, the corn flakes were partially crushed and some did not stick to the chicken well. Plus, the lack of seasoning did not exactly give me the impression of eating “fried” chicken.

This recipe’s coating calls for panko crumbs, corn flakes, and grated parmesan for the bulk of the coating. Panko crumbs are generally pretty fine. In order for the coating to stick well, I decided to use our Magic Bullet to grind the cereal into a fine mixture. Not exactly a powder, but similar consistency as the panko crumbs. Believe me, it will work wonders when you’re coating your chicken. In the image below you can see how well this coating has stuck onto the chicken. No patting required! Also, don’t forget to spray cooking oil on top of the chicken before putting it in the oven. That way you’re guaranteed that wonderful golden crust!

oven fried chicken before baking
Oven “Fried” Chicken Ready For Baking!

Timing is Everything…

Chicken is the white meat that can go from deliciously juicy to dry and tough within minutes. I take special care to hover over my food with a thermometer, so it only cooks until it’s just done. For chicken, you’re looking at 165 F. That’s the sweet spot. Beyond that, you’re in dangerous territory of overcooking the meat. Especially when you’re working with leaner cuts? Don’t chance it. This recipe was spot on for timing and temperature. Cook for 40-45 minutes at 400F. I started peeking in at 40 minutes and it wasn’t long after that I took out my “fried” chicken. It was looking beautifully golden.

Now, fix up a side to match the chicken and you’re ready to chow down on an amazing meal!

And if you’re looking for a great meat thermometer, check out this model on Amazon. I’ve been using it for most of the recipes I’ve reviewed and it has certainly saved the meal many times.

Grey's Oven Fried Chicken

Grey’s Grade: 5/5

My favorite part of writing these reviews is not only getting to share my experiences with these recipes but also being able to find healthier alternatives to the dishes we all know and love. If you’re trying to lose weight or simply looking to reduce things in your diet, it doesn’t mean that you need to sacrifice flavor. Cooking and baking is a science, and if one way doesn’t work, then we can find some sort of alternative to make it work.

This recipe has proved that you can get the experience of fried chicken without the frying and without sacrificing the flavor. I highly recommend you check it out as it has already received high praise in our household. If my boyfriend gave it a very confident two thumbs up, then I know I’ve made a great choice picking this recipe. Absolutely delicious!

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