Unfried Chicken

by Cate on August 6, 2008

Can you believe it’s been nearly a week since I did any serious cooking?  Well, unless you count some appetizers to bring to a friend’s house for a American Gladiators finale party.  Let’s see … Friday was sleepover take-out.  Saturday was out to a local pizza joint for Nicholas‘ birthday.  Sunday was dinner at The Neighbors.  Monday, said American Gladiators finale dinner at a friend’s house.  Tuesday was Girls Night Out.  And here we are.  I think that’s the longest stretch I’ve gone without making dinner in ages (except if I was sick).  Although y’all know how much I love to cook, sometimes it’s good to get a break.  This one was completely not planned, but given how h-o-t the kitchen gets lately when I’m cooking, it’s a welcome respite.

But tonight, all that changed as I headed back in.  I was filing some recipe clippings the other night and came across one that I ripped out two years ago, from a special issue of Self Magazine, Self Dishes.  Nashville “Fried” Chicken.  Who doesn’t love fried chicken?  But if you’re like me, you can happily do without the extra calories and fat, and with this recipe, you can have your fried chicken without the guilt.

This version is baked, instead of fried, and could not be simpler to make.  Toss together a bread crumb mixture.  Dip the chicken pieces in buttermilk, then the breadcrumbs and bake for 40 minutes.  Honestly, who can’t handle that?  The end result is ridiculously moist chicken, courtesy of the buttermilk.  I have no idea what makes it “Nashville,” but trust me, I don’t think it matters.  Finger lickin’ good without the Colonel’s secret recipe.

A year ago today… nothing.
Two years ago today … more Target love, but before I knew melamine was b-a-d.
Three years ago today… a favorite sandwich from Bermuda.

Nashville “Fried” Chicken
Recipe courtesy of Self Dishes, Spring 2006

Nashville: Try the “fried” chicken, y’all. Southern hospitality wouldn’t be quite so hospitable without corn bread, collard greens, and, of course, fried chicken. If you haven’t already guessed that grease is what’s so “finger-lickin’ good,” we’ll let you in on a secret: You can spend nearly half a day’s calories on one thigh of this Southern-fried favorite. So make our baked version instead.

Makes 6 servings.

3 cups Italian-style breadcrumbs
2 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp garlic salt
1 tbsp ground red pepper (I used chili powder)
2 cups 1.5 percent buttermilk
12 chicken pieces (6 breast halves, 6 thighs), skinless
Butter-flavored cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400°F. In a shallow bowl, combine breadcrumbs, paprika, garlic salt, and red pepper. Pour buttermilk into a separate shallow bowl. Dip chicken in buttermilk, then dredge in breadcrumb mixture. Place chicken, meaty side up, in a large baking pan. Generously coat chicken pieces with cooking spray. Bake for 40 minutes or until done. Check internal cooking temperature of chicken with a meat thermometer until breasts reach 170°F and thighs reach 180°F.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 440 calories, 11 g fat (3 g saturated fat)

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Claire August 6, 2008 at 11:35 pm

I probably haven’t cooked for real in over 3 weeks. With being out of town for 2 weeks and having a short week between not wanting left overs…no cooking here. Hopefully soon! THis looks great.


betsy August 7, 2008 at 12:20 am

that looks really good —- I will try it wtih your changes. One tablespoon of ground red pepper seems like a lot. I don’t ust that ingredient that often so might not be familiar with what is typical amount.



Maria August 7, 2008 at 5:29 am

It has been about two weeks for me because I haven’t been feeling well. I likely won’t cook this weekend either.

This looks like it is right up my alley. Thank you.


The Neighbor (Wife) August 7, 2008 at 9:05 am

That chicken was so good. I think I’ll even try to make it soon.


Mrs Ergül August 7, 2008 at 9:32 am

I will love to give a goal at baking chicken! I once tried soaking chicken in buttermilk overnight and it is good! The chicken was really moist!


Cate August 7, 2008 at 10:43 pm

Claire – wow, three weeks IS a long time, but enjoy it while it lasts. :)

Mrs. Ergul – I think the buttermilk really is key.

Maria – hope you’re feeling better soon.

Betsy – I think it sounded like a lot too. I can’t find mine anywhere, so the chili powder worked just fine. :)


Grant Hammond April 13, 2010 at 7:44 pm

I have no idea what makes this “Nashville” chicken either, but since I live in Nashville it only made sense that I tried it. I don’t know about you, but the paprika and ground red pepper really made this a little too spicy for me. The second time I made it, I cut each in half and substituted a little fresh ground pepper.


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