This oven Baked Fried Chicken packs all the famous allure of the classic dish, with a healthy, easy, less-mess twist!
Why This is the Best Oven Fried Chicken
There are certain dishes that can attract everyone to the table with just a whiff of their signature smell, and few dishes do this as effectively as fried chicken.
Rather than fuss with deep frying (which is messy and heavier than what I’m looking for in my typical weeknight dinners), I love making this stellar oven “fried” version (similar to my Spicy Chicken Sandwich).
Here’s why you’ll love it too:
- Crispy Outside, Juicy Inside. What makes this oven-fried chicken recipe addictive is the juiciness of the meat and the crispiness of the exterior. This baked fried chicken offers both (as Air Fryer Fried Chicken Breast and Air Fryer Chicken Tenders do too!).
If you don’t feel like turning on your oven, try Pan Fried Chicken Breast.
- Spicy Buttermilk Marinade. A spicy buttermilk marinade gives the chicken unbelievable moisture, tenderizes the meat, and adds a nice kick.
- Cornflake Coating. A coating of crushed corn flakes (surprise, no breadcrumbs!) makes the baked fried chicken exterior irresistibly crunchy. Cornflakes aren’t a cereal I think of much, but after one bite of this skinny baked fried chicken, I developed a new level of respect for this humble breakfast cereal. A crispy breading makes almost everything better (like for these Breaded Pork Chops).
- Perfect Leftover. Even when reheated the next day, the meat was still incredibly sweet and moist, a rarity among chicken breast recipes. (If you fancy breaded baked chicken with a cheesy present in every bite, try Baked Chicken Cordon Bleu.)
- Healthy. Baked fried chicken is comfort food at its finest, without all the butter, cholesterol, and trans fat, so you can feel good cleaning your plate and licking your fingers.
5 Star Review
“This was WONDERFUL! They are so full of flavor and moist! I will definitely be using this recipe again, thank you so much!”— Dawn —
How to Make Baked Fried Chicken
This baked fried recipe uses a dry/wet/dry method for dredging the chicken with flour mixture, then the marinade (this recipe is made without eggs), then the cornflake mixture.
It’s how deep frying chicken is done in most restaurants too, because it gives the chicken the optimum crispy exterior.
Although this crispy baked fried chicken recipe requires advance planning (I found that letting the chicken marinate overnight really amped-up the “juicy” factor), it is absolutely worth it.
Forget making baked fried chicken with Bisquick; mixing up your own coating is a snap (and better tasting!).
As with the reader favorite Baked Chicken Parmesan, you’ll need to dirty a few bowls, but when compared to the mess of a deep fryer, this chicken is squeaky-clean!
- Chicken Breasts. Baked fried chicken breast is the best! It’s perfectly tender, juicy, and packed with lean protein.
- Buttermilk + Hot Sauce. Buttermilk helps tenderize the chicken and coats the outside. A little hot sauce adds a tasty touch of heat.
- All-Purpose Flour. We start by dredging the chicken with flour. The “double dredge” is key to a crispy coating.
- Cornflake Mixture. A combination of cornflake crumbs, paprika, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and poultry seasoning make up the second part of the coating. This is what truly gives the baked fried chicken its addictive flavor and texture.
- Marinade chicken in the buttermilk and hot sauce.
- Place marinated chicken on a clean plate. Reserve the marinade.
- Dredge with flour.
- Coat in reserved marinade, then dip in cornflakes.
- Cover both sides completely with cornflakes.
- Cook baked fried chicken at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes on a wire rack coated with cooking spray.
- Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F and continue baking until it is cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes more.
- To Store. Store leftover baked fried chicken in an airtight container in fridge for up to 3 days.
- To Reheat. Reheat baked fried chicken on a baking sheet in the oven at 350 degrees F until hot.
- To Freeze. I don’t recommend freezing this dish, as the cornflake mixture will become soggy once thawed.
Recommended Tools to Make Baked Fried Chicken
- Baking Sheet. Perfect for making this oven baked fried chicken.
- Mixing Bowls. Easy to clean and store.
- Pie Dish. A pie baking dish is ideal to use for dredging. This one is so beautiful you could use it for serving future Sweet Potato Pie and Broccoli Quiche too.
You can feel good licking your fingers with this healthy baked fried chicken!
Frequently Asked Questions
You should not cover the chicken for baked fried chicken. Covering the chicken will trap the steam, making the cornflake coating soggy rather than crispy.
Most of the marinade is shaken off before dredging the chicken, so the dairy content is minimal, but if you need to totally omit the buttermilk, you can try making a dairy-free “buttermilk” by mixing soy milk (or another dairy free milk) mixed with 2 tablespoons lemon juice and letting it sit for 5 minutes.
There are many methods out there for how to make Baked Chicken Breast. For the baked fried chicken, the secret is to first bake the chicken at 400 degrees F, then reduce the temperature and continue baking at 350 degrees F. This will result in chicken that is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.
Although it will be missing some of the crunchy-crispiness the cornflakes offer, baked friend chicken could also be made with panko bread crumbs; see this Chicken Katsu for a panko version of oven fried chicken.
Baked Fried Chicken
- 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts pounded to 1/2-inch thickness
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 tablespoon hot sauce (I used Sriracha)
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 1/4 cups crushed corn flakes
- 3/4 teaspoon paprika
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 3/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- Place the chicken in a large ziptop bag with the buttermilk and hot sauce. Close the bag, turn 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 degrees F. Coat a wire rack with nonstick spray and place it on a large rimmed baking sheet.
- Set up your dredging station: Place the flour on a wide, shallow plate. Set a medium bowl beside it (this will be for the buttermilk). In a separate, wide bowl (a pie dish works well), mix the cornflake crumbs, paprika, salt, black pepper, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, and poultry seasoning in a shallow bowl until the ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Remove the chicken breasts from the bag and place them on a clean plate. Pour the marinade into the medium bowl.
- Dredge each breast with the flour until fully coated, shaking off any excess. Then coat the chicken in the marinade, shaking off any excess. Last, dip it in the cornflake mixture, patting it a bit if needed to help the cornflakes adhere.
- Arrange the chicken pieces on the prepared wire rack. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue baking until the chicken is cooked through (it should register 155 degrees to 165 degrees F on an instant read thermometer) and crispy, about 15 to 20 minutes more. Let rest 5 minutes, then serve
- TO STORE: Refrigerate leftover chicken in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
- TO REHEAT: Reheat baked fried chicken on a baking sheet in the oven at 350 degrees F until hot.
- TO FREEZE: I don’t recommend freezing this dish, as the cornflake mixture will become soggy once thawed.
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