As I am on a mission to change my eating habits and eat healthier, I’m trying to make some of my old favourites healthier. I have to say though that the Southern Fried Chicken you buy at fast food places is only good if I have a really bad hangover, but other than that it’s too oily and greasy for my liking. But I really like making it at home. I always feel it tastes fresher and the flavour is better. But of course, dunking chicken pieces in flour and deep frying them is not exactly waist-friendly.
A while ago I was watching TV and for the life of me I can’t remember what I was watching, but the cook used Cornflake Crumbs (the kind you get already ground up in a box) to coat the chicken. I really like that idea because Cornflakes are really crispy and they would add another layer of flavour to the chicken, which I’m always a fan of. But I thought, instead of buying the boxed crumbs, why not just process them myself, I mean is there a household that doesn’t have a box of Cornflakes in the cupboard?
I soaked the chicken in a spiced buttermilk mixture which I normally do because it tenderises the chicken and makes it melt in the mouth delicious. What I also like about using the buttermilk is that you don’t have to go through all the schlep of coating the chicken in flour, then egg and then crumbs. You just remove a bit of the buttermilk after marinating the chicken and then dunk them into the cornflake crumbs.And remember to keep the skin on the chicken or else the crumbs won’t have too much to stick to.
I baked the chicken at a very high heat to keep that crunch but it’s also important to place the chicken on a wire rack over a roasting tray or else the crumbs on the bottom of the chicken piece will become soggy and won’t stay nice and crisp.
I can’t promise that this tastes just like fried chicken (even though it’s really delish) but I can promise that you’ll get the same satisfaction eating it and it won’t cause your heart as much damage. I served the chicken with baked potato wedges and a mixed salad but I think if you served it with yummy Parmesan mash it would also be fantastic. So there you go, healthy and satisfying “Kentucky BAKED Chicken”.
4 chicken drumsticks
4 chicken thighs
1tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 cups cornflake crumbs (process the cornflakes in your food processor or place in a Ziploc bag and bash them with a rolling pin)
1/2 tsp salt
- Coat the chicken with the buttermilk and spices and cover the bowl with cling-wrap. Allow to marinade in the fridge for up to 3 hours but no less than 20 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 220°c.
- Remove the chicken from the buttermilk mixture but don’t take off all the buttermilk, leave enough on so that the crumbs have something to stick to.
- Combine the crumbs with the salt and paprika and coat the chicken.
- Place the chicken on a wire rack over a roasting tray and place in the oven.
- Because the heat of the oven is so high, you’ll have to check on the chicken every 7-10 minutes to make sure it’s not burning. If the chicken is browning too much in the first 10 minutes, turn your oven down to 180°c. The chicken should be cooked after approximately 25 minutes, just cut into a piece and make sure the flesh closest to the bone is not pink.
- Serve immediately.