Photo: Karry Hosford
4 servings (serving size: 1 breast half or 1 thigh and 1 drumstick)

Ditch the bucket of cold, greasy chicken and load up on these extra–crispy chicken breasts, drumsticks, and thighs. If you want a spicier kick, add a few drops of hot sauce to the buttermilk coating. If you prefer chicken fingers, you can use this same coating mixture on boneless chicken tenders.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 400°.

Step 2

Combine first 3 ingredients in a shallow dish. Place panko in a shallow dish. Dip chicken, one piece at a time, into buttermilk mixture; dredge in panko.

Step 3

Place chicken on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Lightly coat chicken with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 40 minutes or until done, turning after 20 minutes.

Chef's Notes

Panko—crunchy Japanese breadcumbs—can be found at Asian markets and produces the crispiest oven-fried chicken. You can try curry powder in place of the Cajun seasoning.

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Ratings & Reviews

Great "fried" chicken!

July 04, 2016
We love this!  I've made the recipe exactly as is, but eventually I started substituting Penzey's Northwoods seasoning in place of the Cajun & salt, and that's now our favorite way to do it.   (A tablespoon of Northwoods, by my calculations, contains about the same amount of sodium as would the salt-free Cajun plus 1/2 tsp. salt, so that's the amount I use.)  Delicious! 

CorinthCook's Review

May 27, 2014

EllenDeller's Review

September 22, 2013
Made this tonight with chicken legs, and it was so moist and tasty. I did marinate the chicken about 30 minutes in buttermilk with some Tabasco & oregano and followed another reviewer's good advice about using 50% panko and 50% seasoned bread crumbs. There's a terrific cajun seasoning mix on the CL website that one can adjust for salt and heat, and that's what I used. Served with corn on the cob and some sauteed okra & peppers for a great end-of-summer meal.

KarenDiane's Review

May 29, 2012

jmullins10's Review

May 22, 2012
This is delicious. My husband and I both grew up eating fried chicken. My mother makes the best fried chicken in the South as far as I am concerned. However, the hubby and I have changed our eating habits and I had to find a healthy version that would satisfy our high standards and this was it. This is our weekly Sunday dinner and we love it. Not to be rude but whoever says this is tasteless, dry and awful must have prepared it wrong. Perfect for those looking for a healthy version of what Mom or Grandma makes!

becka251's Review

April 30, 2012
This is a good, solid recipe that is easy enough to make every week. I made this with 12 drumsticks and a half panko/ half whole wheat breadcrumbs mix to dredge.

marilyng1950's Review

January 24, 2012

LauraMcGhghy's Review

January 20, 2012
This is one of my favorite recipes - it always tastes so good. I usually sub boneless/skinless thighs for everything except the breasts and leave everything else the same. It is quick to prep and then cooks so I have time to make salad and get everything ready to eat.

Patten's Review

December 05, 2010
i used skinless, boneless chicken breasts that i cut into strips. they cooked quickly. i didn't have buttermilk so just used regular milk. the this was a pretty easy weeknight meal and satisfied the 'chicken fingers' urge. served w/ ranch dressing and bbq sauce.

Carolinabev's Review

September 19, 2010
My husband loves fried chicken so was reluctant to try this. It has become one of his favorites!