Sunday, August 12, 2012

Buttermilk Faux-Fried Chicken

My hubby and I have been trying hard to eat healthier.  Sometimes the one thing I REALLY want is some good ol' fried chicken!

Seriously, doesn't this look GOOD!???!

Ahem...  Sorry...  Well, we can't eat that way anymore...
So I'd like to share with you a recipe I found that is WONDERFUL!

I receive emails from Hungry Girl.  One of the recipes she shared was for Buttermilk Faux-Fried Chicken.   Now admittedly I was hesitant to try it because SO MANY chicken strip recipes leave the chicken so dry you have to douse it with dressing or something to choke it down... and that totally ruins the healthy eating you're trying to get!  This is Hungry Girl's picture... because... ummm... well... I didn't take one.  (DOH!)

I asked my husband and he said he was game for some bird if I was game to fix it.  So off to the store I went...

1/3 cup reduced-fat buttermilk

1/8 tsp. paprika
12 oz. raw boneless skinless lean chicken breast tenders (about 10 pieces)

1/3 cup
Fiber One bran cereal (original)
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs (like the kind by Progresso)

1 tbsp. dry onion soup mix
Optional: salt, to taste

Now, first on my list, buttermilk.  Where do y'all find buttermilk in the store?  In the milk aisle right?  Well I went there (3 times I swear!).  I looked over by the eggs.  I looked in the yogurt / butter / cheese aisle. I looked in the vegetable aisle.  (Are there any other cooler aisle spots??? Hmmm... The meat aisle! No - no buttermilk there either!) I finally said to myself, "I give up.  I'm just going to make my own!"  (1 cup milk - any {or zero} amount of fat + 1 tablespoon lemon juice wait 10 minutes.  You can also use vinegar or cream of tartar {1 TB of whichever} to make buttermilk).

  • Paprika <check> we ALWAYS have Paprika at home
  • Chicken breasts - I purchased a 'family pack' of skinless / boneless chicken breasts; 4.6 lbs of them! 

  • Fiber One cereal
  • Panko Breadcrumbs

  • Onion Soup Mix... I had a box in my cart then I said to myself, "I'm REAL sure we have some at home." So I put it back... I also said, "I could always just add onion powder if I needed to."
In a large sealable container or plastic bag, combine buttermilk with paprika and mix well. Add chicken and coat completely. Seal and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Once I got home I started slicing up my chicken breasts into 1/2" - 3/4" thick pieces.  We have 2 gal size zip lock bags (Walmart is the only place I've found them) and I put the cut up chicken in there.  I added the buttermilk and the paprika... ??? What??? I took EVERY.ITEM. out of the spice cabinet!!  We did NOT have any paprika!!! REALLY??? (ugh) OK...  I ground up some pepper and used that instead.  (My chicken did not marinate for an hour.  It did marinate while I was prepping the rest of the ingredients, and enjoying a sip or two of wine.  The total marinate time was probably 1/2 hour.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Prepare a large baking sheet by spraying it with nonstick spray. Set aside.

Using a blender or food processor, grind Fiber One cereal to a breadcrumb-like consistency. Pour crumbs into a large bowl. Add panko breadcrumbs and onion soup mix. If you like, add a dash or two of salt. Mix thoroughly. 

I multiplied the recipe by 3 since I had so much chicken.  I put the bread crumb mixture into a 1 gallon size zip lock bag.  I used the whole package of onion soup mix.  The kind we had had big pieces of dried onion in it so I just put it in the food processor a bit to grind it up a bit.  We don't use salt in our cooking, and I figured the soup mix would have PLENTY so - no more salt was added.  (I'm grateful we had that ONE package of onion soup mix because we don't have any onion powder either! - Sure do wish that hubby would write things down as he uses them!!)

One at a time, remove each piece of chicken from container/bag, give it a shake (to get rid of excess buttermilk), coat it evenly with the crumb mixture, and lay it flat on the baking sheet.

OK... I took a few pieces of chicken from the 2 gallon bag... gave it a bit of a shake and dropped it into the 1 gallon bag with the bread coating mixture in it... then I did my own version of "Shake-n-Bake" dance.   :)

Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Flip carefully (tongs work well!), and then bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until outsides are crispy and chicken is cooked through. CRUNCH time!

I put one cookie sheet in the oven to cook while I finished up the second batch.  I carefully set my timer for 10 minutes.  (My husband really dislikes for burned food... me... ah... it depends on how bad it is and how hungry I am... LOL)  After the first 10 minutes I carefully turned each piece of chicken and baked another 10 minutes.

Shortly after starting my second pan I realize I'm going to run out of bread coating... hmmm... I just threw some more panko in the bag... and I'll grab the onion powder EEERCH... that's right we don't have any... so... I threw in some garlic powder and more pepper.  (At this point I didn't even think about grinding up some more Fiber One... but I wished I did.)

This is pre-oven... see the 4 or 5 pieces on the left?  They are from the original batch of breading that includes the Fiber One cereal... the rest... well... it has panko on it.

While the second batch was in the oven I put our corn on the cob in the microwave. 
Yes, you heard me right.  I microwaved the corn on the cob.  I recently read {wish I could remember where} that you put your corn on the cob, husk, silk and all in the microwave and cook it for 4 minutes.  I put two ears in at a time and cook it.  These particular ears were a little larger than the last ones, so I cooked them for 4 1/2 minutes.  You have to use hot pads when they come out, but the silk practically melts away from the corn when you do it this way.  It is AWESOME!! 

I texted and told a girlfriend about this "new" way of cooking corn on the cob and how wonderful it is... she said she's done it that way for years!  (Well... she never told ME! Hmph!)  All is good... I still love her!  :)

Sorry no pretty pictures of the chicken and the corn on the plate.  All there is is the leftovers. 

  • The chicken was AMAZINGLY moist!  
  • Obviously you can change it up by changing the spices by what you do (or don't) have on hand.
  • We did not have "crunchy" chicken.  I would have "LOVED" to have crunchy chicken, but, my husband doesn't like crunchy.  And... I think I would have needed to have cooked it probably another 3-5 minutes on each side.  The chicken was perfectly done on the inside.
  • The next day after re-heating the chicken was STILL amazingly moist!  
Would I do this again?  MOST DEFINITELY!

Now go cook yourself up some chicken and ENJOY it!!  It truly is YUMMY!!

I have since made this chicken a second time.
I increased the oven to 380 degrees and I increased the baking time to 13 minutes on each side and I liked how it turned out much better.  (This could be due to oven variances.)

AND... I have also found out that if you cut the corn of the cob once it's out of the microwave, on the stalk end, Oh heck... just watch this video here!  It works!

I hope you enjoy!

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  1. ooo! I'll have to try this! I wonder if it would work w/fish (my favorite meat...) Thanks for posting!


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