No need to fry to make “fried” chicken. Removing the chicken skin and baking the chicken rather than deep-frying it yields an impressive savings of saturated fat and calories–and the results are every bit as delicious. In this recipe, we marinate the chicken in seasoned low-fat buttermilk. This step ensures that the skinless chicken stays moist and succulent. A whole-grain breading forms a tasty crust during baking. As most chicken-breast pieces are much larger than an appropriate serving size (which is 3 ounces cooked chicken), cut breast halves in half on the diagonal before marinating and dredging.
1. Whisk buttermilk, mustard, garlic, hot sauce and 1/8 tsp salt in medium bowl until well blended.
2. Remove skin from chicken by grasping it with a piece of paper towel and pulling skin away from flesh. Trim visible fat. If using chicken breast, use a large chef’s knife or poultry shears to cut each piece in half on the diagonal. Place chicken in large zip-close plastic food bag. Add buttermilk mixture; seal bag. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours, turning several times to redistribute marinade.
†3. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Set a wire rack on baking sheet; coat with cooking spray.
4. Whisk flour, cornmeal, paprika, baking powder, pepper and remaining 1/8 tsp salt in shallow dish, such as a pie pan, until well blended. One at a time, remove chicken pieces from buttermilk marinade; shake off excess. Dredge chicken in flour mixture; place on prepared rack. Discard any leftover marinade and flour mixture. Spray chicken with cooking spray, coating each piece evenly.
5. Bake chicken until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh and breast registers 165 degrees, 30 to 40 minutes.
YIELD: 4 servings.
Per serving of breast pieces: Calories: 300. Total fat: 6 grams. Saturated fat: 1.5 grams. Cholesterol: 120 milligrams. Sodium: 380 milligrams. Carbohydrates: 14 grams: Fiber: 2 grams. Protein: 46 grams.
Per serving of thigh pieces: Calories: 340. Total fat: 13 grams. Saturated fat: 3.5 grams. Cholesterol: 205 milligrams. Sodium: 410 milligrams. Carbohydrates: 14 grams: Fiber: 2 grams. Protein: 39 grams.
Variation—Super Hot Nashville-Style Oven-Fried Chicken: The suddenly popular Nashville-style fried chicken is very, very hot and very, very unhealthy! If you love hot food, you can make a healthy version as follows: While the chicken is baking, whisk 4 tsp olive (or canola) oil, 1 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp brown sugar, and 1/2 tsp chili powder in a small bowl. When the chicken is ready, use a pastry brush to dab spiced oil over the chicken. Adds 45 calories, 5 grams total fat, 0.5 grams saturated fat, and 5 milligrams sodium to each serving.
- 1/2 cup Well-shaken low-fat or nonfat buttermilk
- 1 tbsp Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 clove Garlic, minced
- 1 tsp Hot sauce, such as Tabasco
- 1/4 tsp Salt, divided
- 2 1/2 pound Bone-in chicken breast halves, thighs or drumsticks
- 1/3 cup Whole-wheat flour
- 3 tbsp Whole-grain yellow cornmeal
- 1 tsp Baking powder
- 1 tsp Paprika