minutes per mile blog

healthy-ish hot chicken recipe

So if you live in or have visited Nashville you know that hot chicken is kind of a big deal. nashville_hot_chicken_DSC0522Anthony and I love going out for this deep-fried delicacy and have even made it at home a couple of times!_DSC0336However, eating deep-fried chicken at home every not isn’t really an option for us. In part because yeah, gallons of peanut oil probably aren’t good for the body, but also because deep-frying at home is really messy and time-consuming. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

So, the other day when I had one of my unbelievably frequent hot chicken cravings I saved us some time, money, and calories by coming up with a healthier alternative! baked_hot_chicken_healthy_DSC0512This hot chicken is baked instead of fried, but still has the crispiness of the real deal thanks to panko breadcrumbs which are crispy and light. And this recipe still brings the heat! Add as much cayenne as you can handle :)baked_hot_chicken_healthy_DSC0438First step is to marinate the chicken a buttermilk/spice blend. I didn’t have buttermilk on hand but had read that whey is a great substitute. I had some whey left over from making my own yogurt (as, you know, most normal people do) and mixed it in with some whole milk to make my faux buttermilk. Sorry for the gross raw meat photo below:baked_hot_chicken_healthy_DSC0442After the chicken sat for a few hours I breaded it in a mix of panko, flour, and spices.baked_hot_chicken_healthy_DSC0473Then I baked and basted it!baked_hot_chicken_healthy_DSC0487I wish I had one of those wire racks to go on top of my baking sheet, because that would have kept the chicken nice and crispy on both sides. Mine turned out a little soggy on the bottom but it still tasted yummy.

Since I was on the health train already with the whole baked-instead-of-fried thing, I served my chicken with whole wheat bread instead of white bread and broccoli instead of pickles 😉 True Southerners will hate me for these substitutes.baked_hot_chicken_healthy_DSC0506Here’s the recipe!

Chicken & Marinade:

  • 1 whole chicken, cut into 6 pieces
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or milk + whey if you are crazy)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Breading

  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 1.5 cups panko crumbs
  • 0.5 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (or more!!)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • salt & peppa

Baste

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 0.5 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 0.5 teaspoon smoked paprika

Directions: In a large bowl, mix together the buttermilk, Dijon mustard, garlic, cayenne pepper and smoked paprika. Place the chicken pieces in the buttermilk marinade. Cover and chill for 3 to 12 hours. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine your panko crumbs, flour, cayenne pepper, chili powder, brown sugar, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, whisk two eggs. Remove the chicken pieces from your marinade one at a time, dip them in the whisked eggs and then coat them in the flour/panko/spice mixture. Place on a baking sheet, preferably with a raised baking rack. Cook for 50 minutes. Flip each chicken piece halfway through for even cooking. Remove from the oven and baste with additional oil/spice mixture as desired. Serve with bread and pickles (or broccoli).