Healthier Oven “Fried” Chicken

I was looking over requests from readers. One was for cranberry walnut bread (a reader bought this from the bakery during the holidays and wanted to learn to make her own). 

I was looking over requests from readers. One was for cranberry walnut bread (a reader bought this from the bakery during the holidays and wanted to learn to make her own). 

A couple of readers wanted me to share goetta recipes again. 

Another request came in for roasted root vegetables. 

All of these are good winter recipes, so I’ll do those in weeks to come. 

Today, though, I’m sharing a healthier version of “fried” chicken. It’s for the reader cleaning out his freezer. He found 3 pounds of skin on, bone in chicken pieces hiding behind some frozen pork.

“The use-by date is up. Frying is not an option, health wise. Any suggestions?”  Well, I have a nice recipe for him, and maybe you. It’s oven fried chicken which is healthier than pan fried. Instead of bread crumbs, I’m using panko crumbs. They absorb less oil. The crumbs are seasoned just right with cheese, herbs and spices, resulting in a light textured crisp crust.

Are you trying to cut down, calorie wise, after the feasting of the holidays, too? Try this crispy oven fried chicken recipe and let me know how you like it.

Oven fried panko crusted chicken


1 frying chicken, cut up, or your choice of chicken pieces, 3 pounds or so, with skin on and bone in

3 eggs, lightly beaten

3 tablespoons or so water

Olive oil

2-1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs

1/3 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated or shredded finely

1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons salt

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

3/4 to 1 teaspoon garlic powder

3/4 to 1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

1 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme


Preheat oven to 425. 

Film the bottom of an ovenproof pan with olive oil.

Whisk eggs and water until blended. Pour into shallow bowl. 

Mix crumbs, cheese and seasonings. Pour into shallow bowl. 

Dip chicken in egg mixture, then into breadcrumb mixture, pressing firmly to coat pieces thoroughly. This gets a little messy. 

Place chicken in single layer in baking pan, skin side up.

Drizzle each piece with a little olive oil. Or use cooking spray to keep fat content lower. Olive oil gives a richer flavor. Both help develop a golden crisp crust.

Bake until temperature reaches 165 degrees, 35-45 minutes. But here’s the deal: I like to cook bone in, skin on dark meat, like drumsticks and thighs to 175 or so. This softens the connective tissue.


When checking temperature of small pieces of meat, insert thermometer into the side, where meat is fleshy. Don’t touch bone.

Panko bread crumbs

Without getting technical, panko crumbs are made from bread baked by electrical current, then ground into airy flakes. That gives fried or baked foods a crunchy coating. Panko crumbs absorb less oil than regular crumbs.

Sub in boneless, skinless chicken

Depending on kind and size, check after 25 minutes and go from there.

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