Crispy chicken

Crispy fried chicken

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(10 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 20 mins plus 1 hr or overnight marinating


Serves 4

If you love Southern fried chicken you'll be amazed with this healthy makeover- some clever swaps mean taste isn't compromised

Nutrition and extra info

  • Healthy

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal319
  • fat10.5g
  • saturates1.1g
  • carbs18.6g
  • sugars2.2g
  • fibre0.8g
  • protein37.1g
  • salt0.7g
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  • 150ml buttermilk
    Buttermilk pancake mixture in bowl with whisk



    There are two types of buttermilk. Traditional buttermilk is a thin, cloudy, slightly tart but…

  • 2 plump garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 x skinless, boneless chicken breasts (total weight 550g), preferably organic
  • 50g Japanese panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp self-raising flour
  • ½ rounded tsp paprika



    A spice that's central to Hungarian cuisine, paprika is made by drying a particular type of…

  • ¼ rounded tsp English mustard powder
  • ¼ rounded tsp dried thyme


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • ¼ tsp hot chilli powder
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp rapeseed oil
    Rapeseed oil

    Rapeseed oil

    If you want a light alternative to other cooking oils, rapeseed is a great choice and has…


  1. Pour the buttermilk into a wide shallow dish and stir in the garlic. Slice the chicken into chunky slices, about 9.5cm long x 3-4cm wide. Lay the chicken in the dish and turn it over in the buttermilk so it is well coated. Leave in the fridge for 1-2 hrs, or preferably overnight.

  2. Meanwhile, heat a large, non-stick frying pan and tip in the panko crumbs and flour. Toast them in the pan for 2-3 mins, stirring regularly so they brown evenly and don’t burn. Tip the crumb mix into a bowl and stir in the paprika, mustard, thyme, chilli powder, pepper and a pinch of fine sea salt. Set aside.

  3. When ready to cook, heat oven to 230C/210C fan/gas 8. Line a baking tin with foil and sit a wire rack (preferably non-stick) on top. Transfer half the crumb mix to a medium-large plastic bag. Lift half the chicken from the buttermilk, leaving the marinade clinging to it. Transfer it to the bag of seasoned crumbs. Seal the end of the bag and give it a good shake so the chicken gets well covered (you could do all the crumbs and chicken together if you prefer, but it’s easier to coat evenly in 2 batches).

  4. Remove the chicken from the bag. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large, non-stick frying pan, then add the chicken pieces and fry for 1½ mins without moving them. Turn the chicken over, pour in another ½ tbsp of the oil to cover the base of the pan and fry for 1 min more, so both sides are becoming golden. Using tongs, transfer to the wire rack. Repeat with the remaining seasoned crumbs, oil and chicken.

  5. Bake all the chicken on the rack for 15 mins until cooked and crisp, then serve with the Crunchy coleslaw (see 'Goes well with', below right).

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Comments, questions and tips

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ewe2lambs's picture
10th Jan, 2018
The whole family adore this recipe, we make it spicier as it can be a bit bland, I add the oil (1 tbsp) to the crumbs and then all you need to do is pop in the oven, its much easier that way I find, as long as you marinade the chicken for a while then it stays nice and moist. Excellent for a healthier option to chicken nuggets.
22nd Jun, 2017
Having read previous comments on whether to fry off before putting in the oven I was unsure how much effort to put in. I did fry them off first and most of the coating came off and was left in the frying pan so i ended up trying to stick it back onto the chicken with my fingers, once they were on the oven rack. A bit messy but I did get lovely crispy chicken after 25 mins in the oven. As others have previously stated seasoning wasn't very strong so would definitely up it next time.
12th Oct, 2016
were do i get Japanese panko breadcrrumbes from
nitabix's picture
28th May, 2017
I bought mine from Waitrose
suses22's picture
2nd May, 2015
I used thighs and drumsticks, the marinate of buttermilk and garlic was a very pleasant surprise - overall a really tasty recipe but tbh will just put straight into oven to cook next time I make it
katycooks's picture
2nd Jan, 2014
I made this a little while ago when it was in the Good Food magazine. It was a little bit of a faff to be fair, but I must say it was very very tasty and I am making it again this week. (And it does go very well with coleslaw.)
jburton's picture
19th Sep, 2013
Im guessing you could make these in advance up to the point of putting them in the oven.
11th Sep, 2013
I also agree the frying beforehand makes it so much crispier. I couldn't fit 3 chunks of chicken in the frying pan when I tried this recipe so just oven cooked them with the rest of the chicken and they were not crispy compared to the others. I would agree with a previous comment about doubling the seasonings as it was really tasty! Definitely going to make this again, it went down a treat with some green salad and homemade chips!
10th Sep, 2013
I was really impressed with this. I like to try something new on a Saturday but still want a treat while I'm dieting and me and my partner were both impressed. I wouldn't have said it was fiddly and the frying beforehand does help it to have a crisper coating. I couldn't get panko breadcrumbs, so used standard and also replaced the mustard powder for turmeric as had ran out. I served it with baked sweet potato fries and we had the rest last night, bulked up with diced turkey in wraps. Yum!
9th Sep, 2013
BBC. Please remove these awful 'work from home' scam entries! Surely you can set up a filter for them?


27th Jan, 2020
I’ve tried this three times and each time I could not get the coating to stick to chicken. What ami doing wrong? Love the taste though.
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