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Is there anything more satisfying than fried chicken? Juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside, it's the ultimate comfort food!
But what's not so comforting? The fat and calories that come along with the traditional version of the dish. My kids absolutely love fried chicken so I worked to create a recipe that would satisfy any craving but still be finger-lickin' good.
In my baked version, I use seasoned panko breadcrumbs for an amazingly crunchy texture, plus some other joyful spices to pump up the flavor. It's one of my absolute, all-time favorite favorite recipes so that's why I'm featuring it in the very first episode of my new original series "Joy Full Eats!" Learn my ultimate tips tricks behind my signature recipes and get never-before-seen insight behind the inspiration for my flavorful foods.
Traditional fried chicken has about 800 calories for every two piece serving. My version has 270 calories, with a whopping 34 grams of protein and just 4 grams of fat — leaving you with plenty of room to enjoy some extras.
And of course, any fried chicken dinner needs some delicious sides to go along with it.
French fries are deliciously addictive. But, of course, they're not exactly the healthiest dish on the block. Fortunately, there are so many better-for-you ways to enjoy your french fry fix, like with these deceptively indulgent Bacon-Cheese Carrot Fries.
I chose carrots as the base because they're rich in nutrients like fiber, potassium and beta-carotene, plus they crisp up nicely when you bake and broil them. If you're feeling less adventurous and craving tried-and-true spuds, swap in my oven-roasted sweet potato fries, a fabulous fall veggie that's also rich in antioxidants. Once the carrot fries are nice and crispy, simply top 'em with crumbled turkey bacon, shredded cheddar cheese and scallions.
In my house we also add a generous drizzle of hot sauce to kick up the heat, but certainly, you should feel free to experiment with other toppings like Parmesan and garlic, or a sprinkle of Mexican cheese and jalapeños. No matter how you top them, these fries pair perfectly with my crispy Oven-Baked "Fried" Chicken!
Check out "Joy Full Eats" on YouTube.com/TODAY and TODAY.com every other Monday and find out how to cut the fat from your favorite comfort dishes, amp up the brain-boosting power in your morning meal and learn my favorite foodie tips and tricks.
For more amazingly tasty food remedies to boost energy, fight bloating, help combat headaches and more, check out Joy's new book, "Joy's Simple Food Remedies," which is now available for preorder.