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“Healthy” Fried Chicken

January 22, 2012

Greetings, fellow surfers of the internet!  As some of you know, a few weeks ago, I ran the half marathon in Disney.  (For anyone that is considering running an endurance race, Disney does a great job entertaining the runners and “celebrating” the event.  Look for them here.)  Since I was already training, my younger brother asked if I would run the Miami Half Marathon with him.  I agreed and so it would seem that I’ve started a small obsession.  So I continued the training and am looking at my second half marathon in less than a month.  I am also realizing that while I enjoy running, I’m not sure I will ever be a truly dedicated runner.  It’s too much work!

So, for those of you that are a bit more sane than I have been lately, I offer a healthy option for dinner or lunch.  It is my version of a baked chicken breast.  This recipe is based on a dish by Art Smith that he contributed to that food magazine extrodinaire, Runner’s World.  Yes, Runner’s World.  I found it very interesting that Art is a runner and he gave what he called his Southern Unfried Chicken.  The first time I made this, my family claimed that as they put their first bite into their mouths, fired began shooting from their eyes and ears because it was so hot.  So, I’ve had to mellow it out a bit so that it would be acceptable.  So without further ado, here’s my:

FaT Healthy Fried Chicken        Print Healthy Fried Chicken Recipe

Inspired by recipe by Art Smith in Runner’s World Magazine, Oct. 2011

Serves 4-5

1 1/2 cups Buttermilk

1 1/2 tsp Hot Sauce

5  Skinless Chicken Breasts

2 cups Panko Bread Crumbs

1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese

2 tsp Onion Powder

2 tsp Garlic Powder

1 tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper

1 1/2 tsp Ground Red Pepper Flakes

1 tsp  Paprika

1/2 tsp Kosher Salt

 
To get things started, we’re going to marinade the chicken breasts in a mixture of buttermilk and hot sauce.  I recommend using a gallon zip top bag.  Pour your buttermilk and the hot sauce into the bag.  Add your chicken breasts and seal the bag, removing all the air inside.  (It works just find if you just squeeze most of the air out.  But if you’re fanatical like me, you can remove most of the air, seal the bag almost all the way, insert a straw and suck out the remaining air, and quickly seal it up.  Decide for yourself just how crazy you want to be.)  Put the bag in the ‘fridge for anything from 1 hour to 1 day.  The longer you marinade, the hotter the chicken breast will be.  Turn the chicken over at least once and even a few times if you’re letting it sit for more than an hour.

When you’re about 30 minutes away from cooking, preheat your oven to 400’F.  In a shallow dish, combine panko bread crumbs, Parmesan Cheese, the onion powder, the garlic powder, black pepper, red pepper flakes, paprika and salt.  Mix it all together with a fork.  (Alternately, use a container that has a lid and shake, shake, shake to your heart’s content to mix everything together.)  Prepare a  baking pan by spraying it with cooking spray.  Then take each breast out and place in in the bread crumbs.  I usually work one at a time and spoon the crumbs over the top before turning the breast over.  Press the Panko mix on with your fingers.  Move the chicken over to the baking pan.  Do this with your remaining breasts.  Then, place the pan with the chicken into the refridgerator for about 30 minutes.  Once they have chilled, pull the pan out and spray the coated breasts with the same cooking spray you used to prepare the pan.  Don’t be shy here.  This coating of oil will help brown the outside.

Place your pan in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes.  Enjoy!

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