In my mind, I’m a Southern Belle. I wear sundresses, speak in genteel tones, and cook Baked Fried Chicken on Sunday nights.

Oven Fried Chicken. Baked buttermilk chicken that tastes deep fried, but isn't!

In my reality, I wear thick wool socks over my leggings and say “bag” in that particular nasal way that only a resident of Wisconsin can emulate. I will, however, stand by my oven “fried” chicken. Juicy on the inside, crisp on the outside, and packing a subtle kick, this is a healthy dinner recipe that Miss Mississippi herself could not resist.

Oven Fried Chicken. Buttermilk chicken that's baked in the oven, but tastes fried!

Fried chicken (and the entire concept of “meats and threes”) was mostly unknown to me until two of Ben’s and my best friends moved to Nashville, and I tried the real deal. I didn’t even think I liked fried chicken until I had it in Tennessee. Since, I’ve found good fried chicken a few places Up North, but it’s not something we go out for regularly, and I considered it way too fussy to make at home.

Then, I met this baked fried chicken and realized my unusual (but delectable) dreams of cooking fried chicken on Sundays were attainable after all.

“Skinny

I came upon this recipe for Baked Fried Chicken in one of my newest cookbooks, Back Around the Table: An “In the Kitchen with David” Cookbook by David Venerable. David is the program host of QVC’s cooking and dining show “In the Kitchen with David®,” and his latest book offers unique spins on comfort food.

Skinny Fried Chicken from the Back Around The Table Cookbook

The book is divided into 11 “mini chapters” based on different themes, such as “Low and Slow” and “Fresh and Flavorful.” I found this to be somewhat confusing and would have preferred to see each meal category—appetizers, desserts, etc.—grouped together so that I could view the full breath of options at once, but some might enjoy the more thematic approach. My favorite chapter was “Light and Bright”, from which today’s Baked Fried Chicken recipe (or as the book calls it, “Skinny Fried Chicken”) hails.

How to Make Crispy Oven Fried Chicken

What makes fried chicken additive is the juiciness of the meat and the crispiness of the exterior. This baked fried chicken offers both.

A spicy buttermilk marinade gives the chicken unbelievable moisture and a nice kick, and a coating of crushed corn flakes makes the exterior irresistibly crunchy. I don’t generally care for corn flakes, but after one bite of skinny buttermilk fried chicken, I developed a new level of respect for this humble breakfast cereal.

Although this recipe requires advance planning (I found that letting the chicken marinate overnight really amped-up the “juicy” factor), and the coating makes a bit of a mess, it is absolutely worth it. Even when reheated the next day, the meat was still incredibly sweet and moist, a rarity among chicken breast recipes.

Baked Fried Chicken with Cornflake Crust

How to Store and Reheat Fried Chicken

  • To Store. Refrigerate leftover chicken in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
  • To Reheat. Reheat fried chicken on a baking sheet in the oven at 350 degrees F until hot.

More Healthy Twists on Comfort Food

Oven Fried Chicken. Crispy buttermilk chicken that tastes fried but is baked! Healthy and delicious

Baked fried chicken is set to become a Sunday fixture in our house. I’ll likely be wearing in thick wool socks instead of a sundress when I make it, but if I’m holding a mint julep, that evens out, yes?

I think I’m ready for the cotillion ball.

Oven Fried Chicken. Baked buttermilk chicken that tastes deep fried, but isn't!

Baked Fried Chicken

5 from 4 votes
A healthy recipe for buttermilk chicken that tastes deep fried but is actually baked! A cornflake crust makes the chicken golden and crispy on the outside, and a buttermilk marinade keeps it juicy and sweet on the inside.

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 3 hrs

Servings: 12 chicken breasts

Ingredients
  

  • 12 boneless skinless chicken breasts pounded to 1/2-inch thickness
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups cornflake crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

Instructions
 

  • Rinse the chicken breasts in cold water, then place them in a resealable plastic bag with the buttermilk and hot sauce. Close the bag, shake until the chicken pieces are fully coated, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  • Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spray a wire rack with vegetable oil spray and place it in a roasting pan or on a baking sheet.
  • Place the flour on a plate. Mix the cornflake crumbs, paprika, salt, black pepper, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, and poultry seasoning in a bowl until the ingredients are evenly distributed. Remove the chicken breasts from the bag and place them on a plate. Pour the marinade into a medium bowl. Dredge each breast with the flour until fully coated, shaking off any excess. Then coat the chicken in the marinade, followed by a dredging in the cornflake mixture.
  • Arrange the chicken pieces on the prepared wire rack. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and bake until cooked through and crispy, 15 to 20 minutes.

Notes

This recipe is published as it is written in Back Around the Table, but I made a few changes: I halved the recipe to suit our smaller household, did not rinse the chicken breast, and used Sriracha for the hot sauce. I also found that a bit more flour and cornflake coating was necessary that the recipe calls for. I’d suggest making about 1.5 times the amount to save yourself a messy job of trying to crush more corn flakes when your mid-chicken dip.

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If you think your family will enjoy this recipe, be sure to visit qvc.co/AroundtheTableCookbook to learn more about and purchase Back Around the Table: An “In the Kitchen with David” Cookbook. Filled with 156 great recipes like this, you’re sure to find something that fits your lifestyle and gathers everyone back around the table!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of QVC. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. I love fried chicken and the best I ever had was at a Cracker Barrel on Sun. nights. We were coming home from a fair in MA and we stopped there to eat. We got 2 huge chicken breasts that were so crisp and juicy I thought I had died and gone to heaven! LOL I’ve made fried chicken at home and your right, it’s a real pain and a mess to make. Its never come out like in a good restaurant. 
    I’ve never made this before  but I am dying to try it. Did you know you can buy corn flake crumbs in a box? Then you don’t have to buy a box and crush them up. Since I don’t like spicy and neither does my nephew and my mom gets a lot of heartburn, we will leave out the spicy, otherwise I will make this just the way you wrote it. With some amazing mashed potatoes, or french fries, I can’t decide which, and some green beans with butter and bread crumbs this will be an amazing meal! Now I’m making myself hungry! LOL

    1. Gail, good fried chicken is truly something special! I’ve never seen cornflake crumbs for sale already crushed, but I promise it’s not hard to do. If you try this recipe, I hope you love it! You are making me hungry too :)

  2. I have a box of already crushed corn flake crumbs. I have to check the date on it and if it’s not expired, I’m making this chicken this week! Will let you know how much I love it but I know I will. 

  3. Hi Erin! I know you said 12 chicken breasts, but do you have an approximate weight worth? I have massive chicken breasts (like 1lb each! They’re insane!) And I usually just cut them into quarters or halves etc for recipes. A rough estimate would be so helpful! Thank you!

      1. I know, they’re huge! But really convenient to divvy up for meals lol. I’ll probably try doing them into quarters!

        Thank you so much!

        1. Hi Kaity—just FYI: If you cut them into quarters for this recipe, you’ll need to reduce the cooking time, since it’s currently planned for 1 whole chicken breast (which would be about 1/2 the size of yours). Just wanted to make you aware!

  4. This was WONDERFUL! They are so full of flavor and moist… sometimes chicken breasts can be dry but these were perfectly juicy! I have Celiac Disease so I had to make a few changes. Instead of flour I used corn starch and instead of corn flakes (NOT a gluten free cereal because of the coloring) I used crushed up ruffled potato chips (ruffled because they are thicker). I will definitely be using this recipe again, thank you so much!5 stars

    1. I am soooo happy to hear this Dawn! Thank you for trying the recipe and for leaving this lovely review. Your tips to make the recipe gluten free are great too!

    1. Carole, since the chicken bakes in the oven afterwards, I didn’t have an issue with it, but certainly just do what you are comfortable with!

    1. Hi Lisa, I began adding nutrition estimates in 2016, but unfortunately it’s fairly time consuming so I’m not able to go back to previous recipes to add it. If you’d like, you can calculate it yourself for free at MyFitnessPal.com (what I use) or another online calculator. I’m sorry I’m not able to provide it for this recipe, but I hope MyFitnessPal will be a helpful resource for you!

    1. Hi Cheryl! Personally, I think that would throw off the flavor, since Wheaties are sweeter than cornflakes and wheatier in taste and texture. But if that doesn’t bother you, you can experiment.

    1. Hi Christina! I’ve only tested this recipe with boneless, skinless chicken breasts, so it would be a complete experiment (and the cook times will vary). If you decide to play around with it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

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