Faux Fried Chicken

I typically share sweet treats and dessert recipes, but lately I've been on more of a savory kick. Today I am sharing a healthier alternative of one of my favorite dishes - fried chicken! I'm from Kentucky, so I've had my fair share of delicious fried chicken (and I don't mean from a certain fast food chain). I've even shared a spicy version I enjoy making. While fried chicken has many wonderful qualities, it's far from the healthiest dish... I've tasted (and attempted) some healthier versions of this Southern staple, but they've all come up short.

There's usually two issues with the dishes - lack of flavor and texture issues. In my experience, healthy dishes have a tendency to scrimp on flavor. Thankfully, though, this dish is quite tasty! The other issue can be texture. A crisp exterior is a key component to fried chicken, and it is hard to achieve without frying. After a few failed attempts of making the fried chicken healthier, I was a bit skeptical when I first saw this dish on Trisha Yearwood's Food Network show. She knows her Southern cuisine, though, so I decided to take her recommendation and attempt this fake fried chicken.

The result is a delicious and perfectly crisp piece of chicken! The dish even has a bit of heat from the hot sauce and pepper. I ended up doubling the red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper to get a bit more heat. Below is my slightly modified version of Trisha's flavorful recipe

Faux Fried Chicken ingredients:
  • 8 chicken strips
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tbs hot sauce (we used Frank's hot sauce)
  • 1 1/2 cups Panko bread crumbs
  • Zest from 1/2 small lemon
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • Dash Kosher salt
  • Dash ground pepper
Faux Fried Chicken instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 400F
  • Season chicken with salt and pepper
  • Mix buttermilk and hot sauce in a shallow container
  • Soak chicken in the buttermilk mixture
  • Mix bread crumbs, lemon zest, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper together in a separate bowl
  • Pull chicken out of mixture and shake off excess liquid
  • Dip both sides in the bread crumbs coating, make sure you completely cover the chicken
  • Place on non-stick cookie sheet
  • Bake around 20-25 mins, flip the chicken after half the time

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