Who doesn’t love fried chicken? It’s crispy and juicy all at the same time, and it’s just all-around fantastic. But it’s not so fantastic when it comes to calories or fat content, so I try my hardest to only treat myself to it once in awhile. I’ve always heard that you can make “authentic” fried chicken in the oven without soaking it in hot oil, but as of yet, I haven’t been able to find anything that really caught my eye when it came to ingredients and methods. I’m also constantly on the search for easy, delicious, healthy chicken dinners to make during the week because we always have tons of frozen chicken on hand but usually not enough time to make something fancy and overly involved. Therefore, when I found this recipe a few weeks ago in Cooking Light magazine’s “best of” issue, I immediately bought some buttermilk and walnuts, and put it on the menu. It definitely deserves to be classified so highly, because Frank told me last night when I made it that we’re now required to have this at least once a week for dinner. For not being fried, this chicken is extremely crisp and full of much more flavor than you’d expect from your generic fast food fried chicken. The Dijon mustard and rosemary make a wonderful flavor profile, and the combination of the panko breadcrumbs and the chopped walnuts yield an amazing crust. I recommend you make this immediately and skip the fast food drive-thru!
¼ cup buttermilk [40 calories]
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard [30 calories]
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, halved (about 16 ounces total weight) [400 calories]
1/3 cup panko/Japanese breadcrumbs [90 calories]
1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts (yields from about ½ cup unchopped nuts) [380 calories]
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese [60 calories]
1 – 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese [60 calories]
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Yields 2 moderate portions, or 4 small portions
Calories per serving: 265 (for 4 portions)
Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Halve the chicken breasts, rinse under cold water, and then dry off fully with paper towels.
Heat a medium-size skillet over medium-high heat. Add the panko to the pan, and allow to cook for 2 – 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until the breadcrumbs are golden brown. Remove the panko from heat. In a small bowl, combine the chopped nuts, rosemary, cheeses, salt, and pepper, then add the toasted panko.
Cover a large baking sheet with aluminum foil, then place a wire rack above it. Spray the wire rack well with cooking spray.
In a shallow dish, whisk together the buttermilk and Dijon mustard until smooth. Submerge the chicken breast halves, one at a time, in the mixture, turning to coat each side. After coating with the buttermilk/mustard mixture, dredge the chicken breast halves in the panko mixture and try to obtain an even coating of the crust on each side of the breast halves. Place the chicken breasts on the wire rack, then spray the chicken with a light coating of the cooking spray. Bake the chicken for 15 – 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature is at least 155 degrees F. Serve alongside the Toasted Garlic Escarole to complete an extremely healthy and satisfying meal.
This recipe was found in Cooking Light magazine, and we followed the recipe pretty exactly, except that we used chicken breasts instead of cutlets, and we threw in some shredded Parmesan cheese for extra texture as well. If you’d like the original, it can be found here