The Best Buttermilk Oven “Fried” Chicken
Fried chicken gets a skinny makeover by Gina Homolka, author of the Skinnytaste Cookbook. This oven baked chicken has so much flavor and a satisfying crunch!
I couldn’t just call this “Buttermilk Oven ‘Fried’ Chicken,” because I’m pretty sure it’s THE BEST Buttermilk Oven Fried Chicken.
I have tried a lot of “oven fried” chicken recipes with a variety of crunchy coatings, and this is the only one I’ve made more than once. It’s a great recipe!
This recipe is from my good friend Gina’s new cookbook, The Skinnytaste Cookbook. If you don’t know Gina, she’s wonderful! She is the creator of the food blog Skinnytaste, and her mission is to share lightened up food that still tastes good. I think a lot of skinny recipes tend to lack flavor, but every recipe I’ve tried from Gina always has that flavor component there.
Gina’s cookbook was really well done, and I know Gina poured her heart and soul into this book. If you’re a fan of light, flavorful dishes, I think her book is well worth adding to your cookbook collection (you can get it on Amazon, or wherever books are sold).
To get the chicken started, season skinless chicken drumsticks with a mixture of salt, pepper, paprika, poultry seasoning (I used thyme), and garlic powder:
Pour over a cup of buttermilk:
Then squeeze in the juice of half a lemon. I also threw the juiced lemon half right into the bowl, because why not?
(Okay, that’s only half true. I accidentally dropped the lemon half into the bowl after squeezing it, so I just left it in there. But, it does add extra flavor)!
Let the chicken marinate for 6 hours, or overnight if you can. I know sometimes it’s hard to wait for these things, but here it’s definitely worth it when you taste the chicken the next day!
When you’re ready to bake the chicken, mix together panko, crushed cornflakes, parmesan cheese, salt, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and chili powder. Gina also uses dried parsley, which I didn’t have, but the coating was still really flavorful.
Dip each chicken drumstick into the bowl until it’s completed coated on all sides:
Now you bake the chicken for 45 minutes in the oven:
When the chicken comes out, it will be golden and crispy:
Buttermilk Oven "Fried" Chicken
For the chicken:
- 8 chicken drumsticks skinned (or chicken thighs*)
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp sweet paprika (I used smoked paprika)
- 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning (I used dried thyme instead)
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup buttermilk
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- cooking spray
For the coating:
- 2/3 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup crushed cornflake crumbs
- 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
- 1.5 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp dried parsley flakes
- 1.5 tsp sweet paprika
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp 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.