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Healthy Southern fried chicken recipe

Healthy Southern fried chicken recipe

92 ratings

Find out how to make healthy Southern fried chicken in the oven with this clever recipe. Although baked rather than fried, the spicy buttermilk marinade and crunchy panko breadcrumb coating mean that the chicken remains beautifully tender inside yet crisp and golden on the outside - exactly what you want from a simple breaded chicken recipe. See method

  • Serves 6
  • 20 mins to prepare and 35 mins to cook, plus marinating
  • 337 calories / serving
  • Healthy


  • 600g pack skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • 750g pack chicken drumsticks
  • 200ml buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp hot chilli sauce or sriracha
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion salt
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 80g plain flour
  • 30g panko breadcrumbs
  • sunflower oil spray
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges, to serve
  • 2 x 140g tubs pink slaw, to serve (optional)
If you don't have any limes, try a lemon instead

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    14g 19%
  • Saturates

    4g 18%
  • Sugars

    2g 3%
  • Salt

    0.9g 15%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 16.4g Protein 38.5g Fibre 1g


  1. Trim any visible fat from the chicken thighs and remove the skin from the drumsticks by pulling the skin down from the fat end of the drumstick until it reaches the bone end and then snipping it away with scissors.
  2. Combine the buttermilk with the hot sauce, ½ tsp of each of the spices and some seasoning in a large bowl, add the chicken and toss to coat. Leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hrs or overnight if possible.
  3. Preheat the oven to gas 9, 240°C, fan 220°C. Mix the remaining spices with the flour and the breadcrumbs and tip half onto a large plate (using half the flour at a time stops too many clumps forming; add the rest when you run out). In turn, take each piece of chicken from the marinade and dip into the flour mix to coat on both sides. Transfer to a wire rack set over a baking tray and repeat until all the chicken is coated. Discard any leftover marinade.
  4. Spray each chicken piece with 2-3 sprays of sunflower oil. Cook for 30-35 mins at the top of the oven, until the juices run clear when a skewer is inserted into the thickest part of the meat. Serve with the lime wedges for squeezing over, and the pink slaw, if you like.

Tip: Cooking on a wire rack over a baking tray helps keep the chicken crisp all over as it bakes without the need for frying.

See more Chicken recipes

For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home.

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