Have a hankering for fried chicken, but don’t want to fry? Then this healthy fried chicken recipe is for you. The crispy chicken you love, but a lot healthier as it is oven baked and not deep fried!
I admit that I have a soft spot for most things fried. Who can resist the crispy, crunchy texture? Of course, the healthy-mom-and-wife in me is shouting, “NO WAY!”
But, it doesn’t stop the kids and I from craving some KFC to get our fix of fried chicken. What to do?
Over the years I have been preparing this recipe for a healthy fried chicken for my family, tweaking it every time I do. It has become a staple in our dinner menu for years.
Why this recipe is so great
Don’t get me wrong. There is not a thick crispy batter coating these chicken pieces. The chicken is seasoned and lightly dusted with flour. The skin comes out extra crispy and the meat delicious and moist.
My kids love the taste, we all love the crunch and I especially love that it’s easy to make and easy on the arteries! I introduced this recipe to my girls during my cooking camp last summer and they ate it all up. It really is ridiculously easy to throw together.
The key is to use bone-in chicken legs and thighs. Do not use boneless chicken without adjusting the cooking times or you will end up with dried up meat.
This makes great picnic and potluck food. It reheats beautifully. It is such a fabulously easy recipe to make even my oldest son, a college student, makes it regularly on his own.
Ingredients you need
- Bone In Chicken Drumsticks and Thighs: Do not use boneless chicken for this recipe. They will dry out. You can use all drumsticks or all thighs.
- Seasonings: paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper
- All Purpose Flour: The chicken is coated in flour which allows the chicken skin to crisp up while baking in the oven.
- Butter: A little melted butter is drizzled over the flour coated chicken pieces. The butter provides moisture and flavor, as well as crisps up the chicken.
Step by step recipe instructions
1. In a small bowl whisk together paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder.
2. Season the chicken generously with this spice mix.
3. In a resealable bag combine flour and remaining seasoning mix. Place one piece of chicken at a time into the flour mixture and coat evenly.
4. Put chicken skin side up on a baking sheet or broiler pan and drizzle with melted butter.
5. Bake chicken in a 425ºF oven for 45-50 minutes until skin is crispy, and juices run clear.
Expert Tips and Recipe FAQS
There’s nothing Earth-shattering with the recipe, just a touch of melted butter, some flour and an assortment of spices. You are basically roasting the chicken pieces of your choice (my personal favorite way to cook).
- Be sure to use bone in chicken thighs or legs, not boneless. You could also use bone in chicken breasts, just add a bit more melted butter over the breasts as they dry out faster as they have less fat.
- You can make these dairy free by using vegan butter. Olive oil could also be used, but it wouldn’t taste the same.
If you want the skin crispy when you reheat it, I suggest using a toaster oven. You can microwave it first for a minute then pop it in the toaster over for a couple of minutes until the skin is crackling and crispy!
Chicken is safe to eat and done cooking when it reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF. You can also visually see if chicken is done when the juices run clear, not pink.
Once chicken is cooked and cooled, transfer to an air tight container. Chicken will keep in the refrigerator like this for 3-4 days.
If you are enjoying my recipes, I would love for you to sign up for my newsletter (and get my free citrus e-cookbook!) or follow me on Instagram or Facebook.
Healthy Fried Chicken
Have a hankering for fried chicken, but don't want to fry? Then this healthy fried chicken recipe is for you. The crispy chicken you love, but a lot healthier as it is oven baked and not deep fried!
- 6 bone in chicken drumsticks
- 6 bone in chicken thighs
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepepr
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- 1 TBS melted butter
- Preheat oven to 425ºF.
- In a small bowl whisk together paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder.
- In a large bowl toss chicken drumsticks and thighs together with half the seasoning mix (approx 2 ½ tsp)
- In a resealable bag or a shallow bowl combine flour with remaining seasoning mix.
- Place one piece of seasoned chicken at a time in the flour mixture and press to coat evenly.
- Put chicken, skin side up, on a baking sheet or broiler pan.
- Drizzle melted butter all over the chicken.
- Bake chicken for 45-50 minutes until skin is crispy, and juices run clear.
- Remove chicken from the broiler pan and let it rest 5 minutes on a plate lined with 2-3 layers of paper towels.
- Place chicken on serving platter and serve hot or room temperature. Also tastes great cold, right from the refrigerator.
Serving Suggestions: Great for the dinner table or on a picnic blanket.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 505Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 287mgSodium: 854mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 54g
PS If you try this recipe, why not leave a star rating in the recipe card right below and/or a review in the comment section further down the page? I always appreciate your feedback.
You can also follow me on Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram. Sign up for my eMail list, too!
this recipe looks great and sounds yummy really want to try it will let you know how it turns out
I’m taking this recipe on the road. We have two family vacations this summer where I will be cooking. I can put the spices together at home and packaged them ready for the chicken when we arrive at our vacation destination. I’ll be the hero on the road in the kitchen not at home. Awesome!
Oh yum! The ingredients look delicious. I love the idea of crispy without frying (and without the mess of all that oil). It’s just hard to imagine crispy in the oven. So many times I’ve seen recipes call for frying, then baking which still leaves the need for lots of oil (and lots of cleanup from splatter).