Thursday, February 7, 2013

Faux Fried Chicken

So I mentioned in Sunday's post that I had made a very tasty "oven-fried" chicken.... who doesn't LOVE fried chicken?  Come on!  But, as Chris could tell you, I am always trying to take rather unhealthy recipes, even comfort food, and make them healthier without sacrificing flavor.  I'll admit, its hard sometimes.  Fat is naturally rich and makes food, for the most part, extra delicious.  Some foods that have been made low-fat or even fat-free, many times, do NOT taste very good.

But this chicken?  Oh yeah, its pretty awesome.  And you know what the secret is?  Cornflakes.  They don't lose their crispiness!  Not even on the bottom of the chicken pieces.  This recipe is great too because its a "wing-it" recipe.  Everything is to YOUR taste!  Want it spicier?  Add more chili powder.  Want more Italian flavor?  Add some parmesan.  Its all up to you.  Here's what I did, and this made more than enough for Chris, myself, and James:

Faux Fried Chicken

8 oz chicken breast
marinade of your choice if using (buttermilk, milk, etc) OR flour and 1 egg
2-3 cups cornflake cereal (measured before you crush it)
garlic powder
chili powder
creole seasoning

Slice chicken breast into bite-size pieces (alternatively, you can slice it into tender-like strips).  Marinate the chicken (I used a low-cal honey mustard dressing that I happened to have on hand) for at least 20 minutes.  While the chicken is marinating, put the cornflakes in a bowl and crush them.  I used the bottom of a measuring cup to do this.  The cornflakes don't have to be a fine powder - in fact, its nice to have a good amount of texture to your mix.

I didn't include measurements for the spices because I honestly was just winging it.  I probably used about a teaspoon of garlic powder, and about a quarter to a half teaspoon of chili powder and creole seasoning (think Old Bay).  Then add some salt and pepper, and TASTE your mixture to see if you are happy with it.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil, and place an oven-safe cooing rack on top.  A few at a time, take pieces of chicken from the marinade and completely coat it in the cornflake mixture (or, if you are not using a marinade, dredge the pieces in flour, dip in the egg, then coat with the cornflake mixture).  Transfer each piece to the cooling rack.  Bake for 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and pieces are golden brown.  For us, 20 minutes was spot on, but if you use larger pieces of chicken, it may take just a bit longer.  Just keep an eye on it, everyone's ovens are different.  Enjoy with your favorite sauce, mixed into a salad, or on their own.

This chicken passed the taste test with both men of the house, and if you know our family, you know that these two can be equally picky.  The chicken is every bit as crispy as it looks in the picture, and I couldn't have been happier with how it turned out.

So there you go - a great recipe for when you want some comfort food, but you don't want to compromise that great workout that you just put in, or the great healthy habits you've been following... or want to start following.

Enjoy!  And hey, it's almost the weekend!  Woo-hoo!