This Oven Fried Chicken is baked in the oven, yet still has so much flavor and a satisfying crunch! 

I’ve tried a lot of oven fried chicken recipes using a variety of crunchy coatings, and this is the only one I’ve made again and again.

Oven Fried Chicken - on Checker Paper in Red Basket

The recipe comes from my friend Gina Homolka, in her book the Skinnytaste Cookbook, and it’s the best buttermilk oven fried chicken I’ve ever tried.

A lot of skinny recipes tend to lack flavor, but not this one. Soaking the chicken in buttermilk gives a great tangy flavor and also keeps the meat juicy.

There are also lots of spices to keep things flavorful, and a combo of panko and cornflakes on the outside for crunch.

Buttermilk Baked Chicken- On Checkered Paper in Red basket

While Gina’s recipe calls for using drumsticks, I have tried this over the years with other cuts, and had success with breasts and thighs too.

Just make sure to adjust cook times as necessary, especially since white meat tends to be less forgiving than the darker cuts like drumsticks or thighs.

How to Make Oven Fried Chicken:

To get the chicken started, season skinless chicken drumsticks with a mixture of salt, pepper, paprika, poultry seasoning (I used thyme), and garlic powder:

Seasoning Raw Chicken Drumsticks in bowl

Pour over a cup of buttermilk:

Pouring Buttermilk Over Seasoned Drumsticks

Then squeeze in the juice of half a lemon. I also threw the juiced lemon half right into the bowl, because why not?

Marinating Chicken Drumsticks with Buttermilk and Lemon in Bowl

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.

Cornflakes, Cheese, Spices, and Salt in Mixing Bowl

Dip each chicken drumstick into the bowl until it’s completed coated on all sides:

Chicken Drumstick Breaded Before baking

Now you bake the chicken for 45 minutes in the oven:

5 Oven Fried Chicken Legs on Sheet Pan

When the chicken comes out, it will be golden and crispy:

Oven Fried Baked Chicken Drumsticks on Sheet Pan

Serve it with a Caesar SaladColeslaw, or Red Potato Salad to round out the meal, and you’ve got a great light lunch or dinner. Enjoy!

Oven Fried Chicken on Checker Paper in Red Basket

Buttermilk Oven "Fried" Chicken

This is truly the BEST oven baked “fried” chicken recipe. You soak it in buttermilk then coat it in a special crunchy coating of panko and cornflakes.

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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.


*I recently tried bone-in, skinless chicken thighs and it went well! However, they did need an extra 15 minutes in the oven in order to reach a proper temperature, so expect a longer cook time.
Each serving (2 drumsticks) is 294 calories
This recipe is from my friend Gina's book the Skinnytaste Cookbook.


Calories: 269kcal, Carbohydrates: 36g, Protein: 18g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 63mg, Sodium: 1624mg, Potassium: 312mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 1205IU, Vitamin C: 6.2mg, Calcium: 121mg, Iron: 9.7mg

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

Post updated in May 2019. Originally published September 2014.