So juicy and crunchy, you'll never even miss the fat and calorie-ridden original! Absolutely one of my favorite healthier twists on a classic recipe I've come up with so far, this oven-fried chicken satisfies my every craving for crispy, savory goodness. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do! * For an even leaner version: remove skin from chicken pieces ** For gluten-free version: skip French's Fried Onions and use gluten-free Rice Krispies
- 1 skinless chicken, cut into 8 pieces
- 1 quart low-fat buttermilk
- 4 cups puffed rice cereal (such as Rice Krispies)
- 1 1⁄2 cups French's French fried onions (optional, found in canned vegetable aisle)
- favorite hot sauce, 20-35 drops (to taste)
- 4 teaspoons paprika, divided
- 4 teaspoons garlic powder, divided
- 4 teaspoons onion powder, divided
- 3 -4 bay leaves
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- generous amounts salt and pepper
- **For gluten-free version: skip French's French Fried Onions and use gluten-free Rice Krispies.
- In a large bowl, combine buttermilk, 2 tsp paprika, 2 tsp garlic powder, 2 tsp onion powder, large pinch red pepper flakes, hot sauce, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Whisk to incorporate; mixture should be a light pink color. Add chicken pieces, cover, and let marinade in fridge for 1 to 3 hours, or overnight.
- In a large ziplock bag, add puffed rice cereal, French's French Fried Onions, 2 tsp paprika, 2 tsp garlic powder, 2 tsp onion powder, a pinch of red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste. Close bag, free of large air bubbles, and lightly crush contents with rolling pin (The cereal pieces should remain MOSTLY INTACT). Toss and turn bag to evenly distribute spices in the breading mixture.
- Once ready to bake, preheat oven to 425ºF (I just discovered my own oven runs 50º hotter, so 425º for ME is more about a 475º for a more accurate oven, so adjust accordingly).
- Remove chicken from fridge; set aside. Pour breading mixture into a large plate or pie dish. Pick up a chicken piece, shake off excess buttermilk marinade then place in breading dish. Pat each side of the chicken piece into breading until well coated on both sides. Place on a large metal baking sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken pieces. Discard left over marinade along with the bay leaves.
- Once oven has reached 425º, bake chicken on middle rack of oven for 35-40 minutes then enjoy the juiciest, crunchiest oven-fried chicken you've ever had!