When Lena from Frozen wings suggested the theme, baked chicken for Joyce from Kitchen Flavours and I to bake along... I can't stop thinking of unfried chicken!!!
Unfried chicken? Chicken that is cooked with no frying and yet crispy??? To do that, baking seems to be the next-best alternative option.
Many years ago, I used to bake oven baked chicken fingers coated with wholemeal breadcrumb and grated Parmesan cheese for my family. Then all I heard were...
"Mum, this chicken is not crispy enough!"
"This chicken is too dry!"
"Huh! NO fried chicken???"
With the least amount of cleaning and fat, I'm not complaining! LOL!
Maybe the wholemeal breadcrumbs and cheese are not fatty enough to coat the oven baked chicken and so I tried other interesting options like Ritz crackers and potatoes chips. I have to say that I like the potato chips coated chicken nuggets the most!!! Afterall, I can't fight the fact that it is the fat on the coating that makes oven baked chicken crispy!
Then, when I saw this highly rated Bobby Deen's unfried chicken recipe from Food Network that uses the 99.8% fat free cornflakes to coat the oven baked chicken, I tell myself... Is this for real? Well, let's see...
|Unfried Chicken baked using the buttermilk and cornflakes method|
|First, combine these to season the chicken.|
|It is better to use skinless chicken thighs to cook with this recipe as the low fat coating tends to make chicken breast meat not as moist and delicious as the thigh meat.|
Did I just said that the coating that we used here are low fat? Yes! Yes! Yes!
Check these out ...
|Instead of the usual eggs and flour, we are using 98% fat free buttermilk to dip the chicken before coating.|
|Instead of using bread crumbs, we are using 99.8% fat free cornflakes to coat the chicken before baking.|
|Combine buttermilk, egg whites, lemon zest and juice.|
Notice that they are all low fat ingredients?
|Place cornflakes in zip lock bag and crush them into crumbs.|
|Place a little oil to grease the pan lightly and then do these.|
|After baking ...|
This chicken is tender and crunches when you bite but they are NOT exactly crispy!
I can assure you that this healthier version of unfried chicken is actually pretty good by yielding nice, moist, tender and not dry unfried chicken but... due to the lack of fats in its cornflakes crumbs coating, I have to say that the coating is not exactly crispy. You know... It crunches just once at my first bite but the crunching doesn't continue as I munch.
Once again... With the least amount of cleaning and fat, I'm not complaining! LOL!
Here's the recipe that is mostly adapted from Food Network
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp fresh ground black pepper
8-9 skinless boneless chicken thighs, medium pieces, trimmed of all visible fat (about 1 kg/2 pound)
1/4 cup buttermilk (98% fat free)
2 egg whites
zest and juice of 1 lemon
adequate salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp hot sauce, optional and I didn't add it
Nonstick cooking oil spray or 1/2 tsp vegetable oil to grease
about 3-4 cups (200g) cornflakes crumbs
Combine salt, garlic powder and pepper in a small bowl and sprinkle the salt mixture evenly onto the chicken. Combine the buttermilk, egg whites, lemon zest and juice and hot sauce (optional) in a large bowl. Season the buttermilk mixture with adequate amount of salt and pepper and toss the chicken to coat.
Preheat the oven to 380°F or 180°C. Grease a large oven friendly pan or a cast-iron skillet with nonstick cooking oil spray or 1/2 tsp vegetable oil. Place the pan or skillet on the stove with medium-high heat until the pan or skillet is hot. Remove from the heat.
Working very quickly; pour the cornflakes crumbs into another large bowl. Dip the chicken into the crumbs, pressing to adhere, and then arrange them in the heated pan or skillet and into the oven. Bake until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through, about 40 to 55 mins or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked.
Please note that the linky tool for bake-along is no longer available.