This buttermilk oven fried chicken is the healthiest way to get your fix of crispy, tender faux fried chicken. Marinate it in buttermilk and bake with homemade panko breadcrumbs!
Unless you’re my Grandma who doesn’t have a computer because, as she puts it, “It’s too late for me,” you know who Gina Homolka is. She’s a superstar.
Her blog, Skinnytaste.com, is a phenomenon, and I don’t say that casually. It’s everywhere, and it’s headed even more places. Not only are the recipes delicious, but they’re light in calories, healthy, and just generally wholesome. I’ve admired the meals, the desserts for years, and with every one I’ve tried, I’ve been met with perfect results.
But this year, I came to love the blogger behind Skinnytaste.
Now, I’m lucky in that Gina and I share the same editor and team at Clarkson Potter. We have the greatest ladies group going (we’ve even got Joy the Baker!). And we’re all pretty fierce about one another. We’re the types who make special dinner dates that are unrelated to our work together, go out for drinks just because, who comment on every last thing the others do on Facebook. I text with my friend and publicist, Erica, during The Mindy Project and I’ve even asked her why I’m not the godmother to her son. It’s all taken beyond the borders of normal. If I really got into the nitty gritty about how deep this weird kind of love runs, you’d really start to question where you are right now.
This year, especially over the past few months, I’ve gotten to know Gina better. And beyond the star blogger that she is, she’s also shown me what an incredibly kind and generous person she is. Through our interactions, I feel this genuine warmth from her. She wrote an amazing blurb for my memoir, for heaven’s sake! She’s the sort who would definitely make you a meal and bring it to your house if you were sick. (Note to self: get sick).
Last Tuesday, her cookbook came out. And, I think you can imagine where I’m going with this: it’s wonderful. I mean, just wonderful. Even just as a book to thumb through, it’s gorgeous. But then, there are these 125 fabulous recipes — ones that are both creative and comforting. They’ve all got Gina’s signature healthy spin — everything from fettucine alfredo and chicken marsala to “Pumpkin-Obsessed Scones”. If that woman is good at one thing, it’s making you feel satisfied with a healthy recipe — which is always what I’m after. Flavor is never sacrificed to cut calories, that’s for sure.
Gina often says that her food weakness is fried chicken, so naturally, the first recipe I had to make from the book is her “Buttermilk Oven “Fried” Chicken.” Drumsticks are given a nice long soak in buttermilk to tenderize them, then coated in a seasoned panko crust, and baked to a crisp. The resulting drumstick was crunchy, perfectly seasoned, and tender on the inside. A huge hit.
I can’t recommend the chicken or the cookbook enough. Both will be everything you could want: delicious and wholesome enough to leave you feeling good.
Buttermilk Oven "Fried" Chicken
- 8 chicken drumsticks about 3 1/2 ounces each, skinned
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup buttermilk
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Cooking spray or oil mister
- 2/3 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup crushed cornflake crumbs
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- For the chicken: In a medium bowl, season the chicken with the salt, paprika, poultry seasoning, garlic powder, and black pepper. Pour the buttermilk and lemon juice over the chicken and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours, preferably overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place a rack on a baking sheet and lightly spray with oil.
- For the coating: In a shallow bowl, combine the panko, cornflake crumbs, Parmesan, salt, parsley, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and chili powder.
- Remove the chicken from the buttermilk, dredge each piece in the crumb mixture, and put the pieces onto the prepared baking sheet. Spray the tops of the chicken with oil.
- Bake until golden brown and cooked through, 40 to 45 minutes.