The Best Oven-Fried Chicken

Ditch the deep fryer for this succulent oven-baked version of fried chicken. A leisurely soak in seasoned buttermilk keeps the meat super moist, while a whole grain breading forms a tasty crust during baking. Cutting the breasts in half before marinating them keeps them portion-perfect.

2 1/4 lb. bone-in chicken breast halves, thighs or drumsticks
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/3 cup whole-wheat flour
3 tablespoons yellow cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon pepper

1. Remove skin from chicken by grasping with a paper towel and pulling. Trim visible fat. With large knife or kitchen shears, cut breast pieces diagonally in half.

2. Whisk buttermilk, mustard, garlic, hot sauce and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt in medium bowl. Place chicken in large resealable plastic bag; pour in buttermilk mixture. Refrigerate 2 to 8 hours.

3. Heat oven to 425°F. Line large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place wire rack over foil; spray with cooking spray.

4. Whisk flour, cornmeal, paprika, baking powder, pepper and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in shallow dish. Remove chicken from buttermilk mixture, gently shaking off excess.* Coat in flour mixture; place on rack. Spray chicken with olive oil cooking spray.

5. Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until chicken is golden brown and no longer pink in center.

6 servings

PER SERVING: 185 calories, 5 g total fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 28.5 g protein, 5 g carbohydrate, 75 mg cholesterol, 260 mg sodium, .5 g fiber

TIP *When coating food in breading mixture, prevent clumping by using one hand to remove chicken from buttermilk mixture and other hand to roll chicken in flour mixture.


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