Fried Chicken is no longer just a southern dish– in fact I think it’s as American as baseball, hot dogs and apple pie. But when many of us hear the words “fried chicken” we immediately think of a lot of fat and grease, as well as a famous fast food chain that can make our arteries go into panic mode. This is understandable if you fry your chicken in a pot full of oil, but keep in mind there are also healthier ways to fry a chicken.
Your Oven Isn’t Just for Baking
The healthiest alternative that I’ve found is to take a cookie sheet, spray it with cooking spray and bake your coated chicken in the oven.
This approach is good and fine, but to me you just wind up with baked chicken. If you really want to have it crispy outside, you have to keep the skin on and include a little “fat”.
What I am going to share with you is a technique for a healthier version — not the healthiest, just healthier. The key is to serve fried chicken as a treat, not a staple.
Depending on the method you choose for frying your chicken (and I mean frying, not baking), this technique will save you about 100 to 150 calories per serving. Granted….it’ll still be pushing 350 calories (with 25 grams of fat), depending on the chicken part and how many pieces you call a serving (my estimate is based on two chicken legs per serving). But regardless of the variables, this healthier alternative beats the almost 500 calories (41.5 grams of fat) you take in for a serving of skillet fried chicken. I wonder where that puts deep fried chicken on the calorie meter?
There is another benefit to oven frying… no splatters all over your stove to clean up afterwards. Wooo hooo!!!
1/4 cup shortening and 1/4 cup butter or margarine. Don’t use vegetable oil because it will spit and spatter and make a huge mess.
Prepare your chicken using your favorite recipe. I have my recipe posted on my blog – Peaceful Cooking – if you’re interested. Place your chicken on the prepared cookie sheet, skin side down.
Cook for another 25 – 30 minutes, until the chicken is done and is nicely browned and crispy.
Remove from the oven, and carefully (again, trying not to leave any of the crispy skin behind) place the chicken on a plate that has been lined with paper towels in order to remove excess fat. Let sit for a few minutes, and then enjoy your crispy, tender chicken with your favorite sides.