Who doesn't love a perfectly crispy piece of chicken hot on their plate? Whether it's a sandwich, tender, or otherwise, I love all forms of crispy chicken. What I don't always love though is the deep fried grease that inevitably comes with the deliciousness of crispy breading. That's why I sought out a way to make this crowd-pleasing food a little less guilt-ridden without losing any of the crispy, crunchy goodness.
As someone who lives in the south, fried chicken is a way of life. Admittedly, I've loved fried chicken all my life, but I've never been a fan of deep frying anything at home. It's messy, it smells up your kitchen, and let's be honest, it's not the healthiest thing in the world. Not that I'm a health nut or anything, but finding ways to make something a little healthier without losing flavor is always a great idea. Plus, you won't have grease splattered all over your stovetop!
There are a few keys to making this method work:
Panko bread crumbs. They are naturally crunchier than traditional breadcrumbs and they just work so well for this.
Wire cooling rack. This keeps the breaded chicken elevated in the over so the air and heat circulate evenly and everything crisps up how you want it too. If you don't have one, that’s ok. You'll just want to grease your pan and flip your chicken during cooking.
Convection. If your oven doesn't have convection, that's ok, but if it does, use it! It circulates the air in your oven for a move even cooking and I've found it really makes a difference, particularly with this recipe.
You can use this method to make an entree piece of chicken breast that you serve with sides, put it on a bun for a sandwich, or make tenders for a kid-friendly meal. For the first iteration of this recipe though, I decided to serve it up as an entree with a zippy, creamy dipping sauce on the side. This would also be great sliced up over a salad or between a bun with the sauce drizzled over top. No matter how you make it, you're going to love it. And trust me, don't skip the honey mustard sauce!
Crispy Oven-Fried Chicken w/Creamy Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce
Makes ~ 4 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes | Cook time: 20-30 minutes
Click the file below to download and print the recipe
I recommend reading the recipe all the way through, including the recipe notes at the bottom, before you start cooking.
Breading + Chicken
1/3 C. all-purpose flour
1.5 C. panko bread crumbs
3/4 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1.25-1.5 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast
Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce
1/4 C. mayo
1 TB honey
1 TB + 1 tsp. dijon mustard
Special equipment needed: Wire cooling rack such as one like this.
First set up your breading station with 3 wide, shallow bowls. In one, mix the flour with a pinch of salt and pepper. In the second, whisk the egg. In the third, mix together the panko, paprika, onion and garlic powders, a pinch of salt and pepper and 3 TB of olive oil. You'll want the panko mixture to look like wet sand. You may need to add more olive oil to get to this consistency.
Place a wire cooling rack onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil (for easy clean up). Lightly spray the rack with cooking spray to avoid sticking.
Preheat the oven to 425°
Using a meat mallet, pound out the chicken breasts until they are about 1/2"-3/4" thick. I like to place the chicken between plastic wrap to avoid chicken pieces or juice splattering around the kitchen. To make 4 servings, either cut the pounded out chicken to make 4 pieces or you can cut them in half after cooking.
Bread the chicken: Working one piece at a time, entirely coat the chicken in the flour, shaking off any excess. Next, dip the flour-coated chicken in the egg, making sure everything is covered in egg and no dry flour is left. Let excess egg drip off. Lastly, coat the chicken with the panko mixture, using your hands to press the bread crumbs onto the chicken if need be. Make sure every bit is covered. Place the breaded chicken directly onto the prepared wire rack. Repeat with remaining pieces of chicken.
Bake the chicken at 425° for 20-30 minutes (on convection if you have it), depending on the thickness of the chicken, or until the breading is golden brown and the chicken is cooked through. If the breading isn't browning to a golden color, drizzle with a little more olive oil.
While the chicken bakes, whisk together all of the ingredients for the creamy honey mustard in a bowl and set aside.
Remove chicken from the oven when it is cooked through and serve up with the dipping sauce and your favorite sides or with a salad.
*Recipe notes + Variations*
There are so many ways to vary this recipe and I will likely share them all in future posts. But get creative with it. It's a crispy chicken breast! Drizzle with buffalo sauce and bleu cheese dressing for a buffalo chicken sandwich; serve over arugula or spinach for a hearty salad; make chicken tenders instead of full breasts; the list goes on!
If you don't have a wire wrap, place the chicken directly onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and flip the chicken halfway through cooking. You may end up with some wet breading at the end, but it shouldn't be too bad.