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Joy Bauer's Baked 'Fried' Chicken


Chef notes

Enjoy all the goodness of fried chicken without the added fat and calories. Baking the chicken in the oven gives it a wonderfully crispy crust, seals in all the juices and enhances the spicy flavors.

Swap option: If you can't find seasoned panko breadcrumbs, season plain panko with your favorite dried herbs and spices, and some salt, before coating it on the chicken.


  • pounds skinless chicken (any combination of chicken on the bone, including breast, thighs, and/or drumsticks)
  • 1/4 cup nonfat or low-fat buttermilk (shake well before measuring)
  • 1/2 cup flour, preferably whole grain
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon low-fat milk
  • 3 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 3/4 cup Italian-seasoned Panko breadcrumbs



Place chicken in a re-sealable plastic bag. Add the buttermilk to the bag and seal. Squish the contents around to ensure all the chicken is well coated. Marinate for at least 30 minutes, or for up to 24 hours.


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil, and coat the foil with nonstick cooking spray.


Set out 3 shallow dishes for a 3-step breading station. In the first dish, combine the flour, onion powder, salt and black pepper; mix well. In the second dish, combine the egg whites, milk and hot sauce. Whisk together until slightly frothy. Pour Italian panko breadcrumbs into the third dish.


Shake the excess buttermilk off of the chicken and press it into the first dish (with seasoned flour), coating both sides. Shake off the excess flour, and then dip it into the second dish (with the egg white mixture), coating all sides.


Finally, lay the chicken in the third dish, thoroughly coating all sides with panko breadcrumbs. Place the coated chicken on the prepared baking sheet, and repeat with all remaining chicken pieces. Then, liberally mist the top of each breaded chicken pieces with oil spray and bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until browned and crispy.