Easy Heart-Healthy Oven-fried Chicken        

Skinning the chicken, using egg whites in the coating and baking (rather than frying) produces a more heart-healthy version of an old favorite, fried chicken.


What could be easier than baking “fried” chicken — typically,  the only decisions are:

(1) whether to use a nonstick cooking spray, butter, or vegetable oil, and

(2) what sort of crispy crust (and that decision could add a few minutes to your prep time!




This version of CRISPY OVEN-FRIED CHICKEN calls for a nonstick cooking spray; the decisions, which may depend on your larder, are:

(1)     whether to add pecans to the crispy cornflake crust, and

(2)     whether to use a honey-mustard mixture or a milder egg-white-based coating.

Crispy Oven-fried Chicken

 4 chicken breast halves, and 4 drumsticks, skinned or
             two 3 to 3 ½ pound cut-up frying chickens, skin removed
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
¼ teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
4 cloves garlic, crushed
½ cup honey*
¼ cup Dijon mustard*
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
½ teaspoon hot paprika
3 cups cornflakes, crushed, reduces to a cup+
¾ cup finely chopped pecans (optional)
Nonstick cooking oil spray

Preheat oven to 400° F.

Spray broiler pan with nonstick cooking spray.
If using the pecans, combine crushed cornflakes and ground pecans in a shallow dish; stir well. (or, place ground pecans and crushed cornflakes in a large plastic bag and shake to mix.)

Sprinkle salt and pepper evenly over chicken pieces; set aside.

*At this point decide whether to use the honey-mustard coating, OR, an egg white mixture*

For honey-mustard coating:
Combine honey, Dijon mustard, paprika, and garlic in a small bowl; stir well.
Brush both sides of chicken with honey mixture; dredge in cornflake mixture.  (To easily coat the chicken with the cornflake mixture, after covering with the honey mixture, shake the dipped pieces in a large resealable food storage plastic bag.)

Place chicken pieces on large baking sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray. 
Lightly coat chicken with cooking spray,

Bake at 400° F.  for 40 to 45 minutes or until done (chicken should be fork-tender and juices will run clear).

*If you prefer to avoid the hone-mustard coating, you can use an egg-white mixture as an alternative:

3 egg whites, mixed with paprika, and garlic. 

Dip chicken pieces in the egg-white mixture, then coat with crushed cereal,  Place on sprayed broiler pan.

Bake at 400° F. for 40 to 45 minutes or until chicken is fork-tender and juices run clear.

Yield:  Serves 4 to 6.

 Yet another version, with a lazy-day marinade of citrus juices is making the rounds during the summer months —

 Rice Krispies or Corn Flake Chicken

4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 small onion, peeled and sliced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (or use all orange juice)
1 good chicken, cut into serving pieces, or use 8 to 10 leg pieces (drumsticks and thighs), trimmed of excess fat
4 tablespoons melted butter
2 cups Rice Krispies, lightly crushed, or corn-flake crumbs
1. In a large bowl, combine cloves, onion, oregano, cumin and juices. Add chicken and toss; let sit while you heat oven, or marinate it, refrigerated, for up to a day.
2. Heat oven to 425° F. Spread half the butter on a 9-by-12 baking dish. Put Rice Krispies or corn flakes on a plate and roll chicken in them, patting to help crumbs adhere. Carefully transfer to baking dish.
3. Drizzle chicken with remaining butter and bake, rotating pan so pieces brown evenly, until they are browned and cooked through, 30 to 40 minutes. Serve hot.
Yield: 4 servings.

Want to compare the above heart-healthy oven-fried chicken recipe to a similar one using breadcrumbs and flour for the coating, double-click here on

No-Fry Fried Chicken.

For other versions of oven-fried chicken, less healthy but really tasty, using butter in the coating, double-click here on either Crunchy Parmesan Chicken or Parmesan Herb Chicken

You can find this and related recipes by tapping here on the Home Cookin’ index.


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