Crispy chicken marinated in spiced buttermilk then breaded with flour, panko, cornmeal and spices then baked in a little butter for the BEST Baked “Fried” Chicken!
You guys, I have to warn you that you might go a little crazy for this Best Baked “Fried” Chicken. NO EXAGGERATION.
And when I say crazy, I mean can’t stop obsessing about it, craving it, wanting every meal to be it.
Because this Best Baked “Fried” Chicken tastes like KFC but with a fraction of the fat – which means you can eat your very own KFC whenever-you-want.
I made this chicken while my brother was in town from New York over the holidays but it was coming out of the oven right when he had to leave to pick my other brother up from the airport….but he couldn’t pull himself away. He said he would “try” the chicken, ended up eating his share of chicken tenders, taking one on the road and asked if I could bring any leftovers over – and “are they on the blog yet?”
And what makes this chicken so much better than other baked “fried” versions? The chicken is marinated in buttermilk and spices so it becomes super tender as it soaks up all the spicy goodness and then the breading isn’t just flour but a harmony of flour, panko breadcrumbs and cornmeal that has been spiced to perfection for extra crispiness and flavor then baked in a little butter (a fraction of the fat from frying) resulting in moist chicken on the inside, crispy breading on the outside but without the guilt or soggy grease of their fried counterpart. I’d say that’s a win-win.
Now go get crazy and make this Best Baked “Fried” Chicken – your family and arteries will thank you!
- 10 chicken tenderloins
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup cornmeal
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon salt (it won't taste salty)
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (may sub. regular)
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- Mix Spices together in a small sealable bag. Add 1 tablespoon Spices, 1 cup buttermilk and chicken to a large freezer bag and marinate 6-24 hours. Store remaining spices.
- Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Line a large rimmed baking tray with parchment paper (foil will NOT work because the chicken sticks to it). Add butter to baking tray and melt in oven while it preheats. Remove baking tray once butter is melted.
- Mix together flour, panko, cornmeal and remaining spices in a large bowl. Add half of this breading mixture to a large freezer bag.
- Remove chicken tenders from buttermilk and allow excess marinade to drip off (I line my sink with paper towels then dab the chicken with paper towels as I add them to the breadcrumb mixture.)
- Add half of the chicken to the breadcrumb bag and shake until well coated, pressing the breadcrumbs into the chicken with your fingers through the bag. Lay breaded chicken in butter on baking tray. Add remaining breadcrumb mixture to bag along with remaining chicken and repeat.
- Bake at 400F degrees for 10-12 minutes until golden then carefully flip chicken and bake another 5 minutes then broil to desired crispiness.
- Serve with your favorite dipping sauce. Enjoy!
Carlsbad Cravings Original
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