by Olena

Easy Healthy Oven Fried Chicken

by Olena

4.3 from 3 reviews

How to bake EASY crispy fried chicken at only 320 calories per piece and without buttermilk, oil or flour.Everyone loves fried chicken, OK? OK! We never buy it for obvious health reasons and I put off making healthy version of fried chicken because many homemade recipes call for buttermilk, corn flakes and bread crumbs. It’s just not the ingredients I usually cook with. And the process of marinating in buttermilk sounds too time consuming to me.

This Oven Fried Chicken Recipe

I came up with my own version of the best oven fried chicken in the world! Just ask my kids!

  • Fried chicken without oil
  • Chicken pieces with bone in like drumsticks or thighs
  • Oven fried chicken without flour or no buttermilk
  • Healthy chicken coating
  • Simple and easy!

How to bake EASY crispy fried chicken at only 320 calories per piece and without buttermilk, oil or flour.

What Are Healthy Chicken Coating Ingredients?

Instead of traditional breadcrumbs and cereal I use a mix of coconut flakes and almonds. Breadcrumbs and cereal are processed foods with empty calories. Hard to call them healthy! I know not the end of the world but still.

Coconut Flakes

  • Type: I buy organic or at least unsulphured coconut flakes. Look at the ingredients list. It should only contain “coconut”. If you see “sulphites”, it is a preservative.
  • Long vs. short: For this particular recipe it is important to use short coconut flakes. They stick to chicken better. Don’t panic if you have long coconut flakes. Just give them a few pulses in a blender or food processor until coarse texture. That’s what I did!

Long coconut flakes

How to bake EASY crispy fried chicken at only 320 calories per piece and without buttermilk, oil or flour.

Short coconut flakes

How to bake EASY crispy fried chicken at only 320 calories per piece and without buttermilk, oil or flour.

Almond Meal or Almond Flour

  • Almond meal is finely ground almonds. You can buy almond meal or make your own by pulsing raw almonds in a food processor or blender. Or you can buy it to save time.
  • Almond flour is almonds without skin ground up into flour. It’s amazing for baking! Just check out my almond flour banana muffins.

I tested both products in the recipe. No changes in taste or crispiness. Yay!

Spices

Garlic powder, dried oregano, salt and pepper. That’s all you need. I do not like to make recipes complicated for no reason.

How to bake EASY crispy fried chicken at only 320 calories per piece and without buttermilk, oil or flour.

Is Oven Fried Chicken Healthy?

Sigh. As I always like to point out, everyone has their own definition of “healthy”. I think if you bake chicken instead of frying, and coat in coconut flakes and nuts instead of bread crumbs and cereal, you take fried chicken to the next level.

Is This Chicken Crispy?

Yes! When you eat it while warm and freshly baked. Of course with time it loses its crispiness. Just like with KFC fried chicken. Almonds definitely add the coating its crispiness. And also “fried” taste because they roast. And coconut flakes prevent the coating from over drying.

How to Make Oven Fried Chicken Crispy?

There are a few conditions you must follow for a crispy chicken! Don’t skip!

  1. Bake on a wire rack: Heat circulates around coated chicken baking it on all sides evenly. Think of a convection oven with a fan – same idea. Plus you won’t have to flip the chicken. I just place the rack on top of baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  2. Oil the rack: You have to make even non-stick coated wire rack less sticky. Spray with cooking spray very well or brush with a brush dipped in olive oil.
  3. Dredge twice: Dip in an egg mixture, then in coating and repeat one more time. It creates thick more crispy crust.
  4. Remove carefully: Once chicken is baked don’t just grab it off the rack. Especially when hot. You are risking to leave a chunk of crispy coating behind. Instead let cool a few minutes and using a butter knife or spatula push chicken from underneath the rack. Crispy coating in every bite guaranteed!:)

How to bake EASY crispy fried chicken at only 320 calories per piece and without buttermilk, oil or flour.

How to Make Easy Healthy Fried Chicken

1. Prepare for Baking

  • Place wire rack on top of baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
  • Spray with cooking spray or brush with oil the wire rack really well.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

How to bake EASY crispy fried chicken at only 320 calories per piece and without buttermilk, oil or flour.

2. Form Dredging Station

  • In a large plate with edges, add coconut flakes, almond meal or flour, garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir with a fork to combine well and set aside.
  • In another bowl, whisk the eggs with a fork and set aside.
  • Organize dredging station by placing in a row: chicken, egg and coating.

How to bake EASY crispy fried chicken at only 320 calories per piece and without buttermilk, oil or flour.

3. Dredge the Chicken

  • Take a drumstick, dip in egg mixture, dredge in coating, dip in egg again and finally dredge in coating last time.
  • Place on the wire rack and repeat with remaining 9 chicken drumsticks.

How to bake EASY crispy fried chicken at only 320 calories per piece and without buttermilk, oil or flour.

4. “Fry” Chicken in the Oven

  • Bake for 40-45 minutes or until when chicken is poked with a knife or fork juices run clear.
  • Do not panic the coating will burn. It will not. Although it will be very brown.

How to bake EASY crispy fried chicken at only 320 calories per piece and without buttermilk, oil or flour.

5. Enjoy!

  • Serve immediately for the best oven fried chicken ever!

How to bake EASY crispy fried chicken at only 320 calories per piece and without buttermilk, oil or flour.

Can I Use Boneless Chicken Breast?

I would say “yes”. Keep in mind that there is no bone involved and breast is dry white meat, so cooking time will be less, approximately 30 minutes.

What to Serve Fried Chicken With?

To me, it has to be something simple because I already put in my brain power and effort into following an actual recipe that can’t be just winged by. I’m talking about this healthy oven fried chicken. You know what I mean, right?!:)

Here is a list of side dishes I made/would make while chicken is baking in the oven:

More Healthy “Fried” Chicken Recipes to Try:

Print

Easy Healthy Oven Fried Chicken

4.3 from 3 reviews

How to bake EASY crispy fried chicken at only 320 calories per piece and without buttermilk, oil or flour.

  • Author: Olena of ifoodreal.com
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 10 pieces 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American
Scale

Ingredients

  • 10 chicken drumsticks
  • 3 eggs, large
  • 2 1/2 cups coconut flakes, short
  • 3/4 cup almond meal or flour
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp oregano, dried
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • Cooking spray or oil

Instructions

  1. Place wire rack on top of baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Spray with cooking spray or brush with oil well the wire rack. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. In a large plate with edges, add coconut flakes, almond meal or flour, garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir with a fork to combine well and set aside.
  3. In another bowl, whisk the eggs with a fork and set aside.
  4. Organize dredging station by placing in a row: chicken, egg and coating. Take a drumstick, dip in egg mixture, dredge in coating, dip in egg again and finally dredge in coating last time. Place on the wire rack and repeat with remaining 9 chicken drumsticks.
  5. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until when chicken is poked with a knife or fork juices run clear.
  6. Serve immediately for the best crispy healthy chicken in the world!

Notes

If you have long coconut flakes, pulse them in a food processor or blender until finer texture.

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.

olena osipov in the studio

Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family recipes blog. I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

What You Will Find Here

Healthy family recipes with simple ingredients. Many are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I share mostly dinner recipes because it just never ends... I’m obsessed with healthy freezer meals. And more than in love with my Instant Pot.

A Little More About Me

Originally from Ukraine, I now reside on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada with my family. I started this blog in 2012 when I ended up at home with 2 small kids unemployed and a wee bit chubby.

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