If you love the taste of fried chicken, do I have the perfect REAL food recipe for you! Believe it or not, now you can serve up homemade, extra crispy chicken with all REAL ingredients, the tasty twist of a crunchy cornbread coating, and none of the hassle and mess of deep-frying!
Now I don’t eat deep-fried foods much (if at all) these days. And given all the highly processed oils and trans fats most restaurants and fast food chains use, I try to avoid fried foods out as well. But more and more research is showing us that blood cholesterol levels really aren’t impacted much by dietary cholesterol (the cholesterol from the foods we eat). Furthermore, I believe that if those sources of dietary cholesterol are from REAL foods, we’re definitely better off. Here’s the watch-out, though. While the cholesterol fear from foods we eat may be waning, we can’t forget that fats still pack a powerful caloric punch!
What’s all this mean to me? I still consider my Crispy Cornbread Chicken an indulgent meal versus a truly “healthy” dinner, even though it uses all real ingredients. But if you keep your portion-size right and pair it up with some colorful vegetables, it can be part of a special meal. I must admit though, it’s great to finally have an option to get the crispy, crunchy taste of “fried” food with REAL ingredients! And once you taste my delicious, cornbread coating, you’ll know what I mean!
So if you haven’t done so already, say goodbye to KFC’s Colonel for good and give my Crispy Cornbread Chicken a try. You’ll be serving up a sure-fire hit of REAL food that you can definitely feel better about!
- 1 whole chicken cut up into pieces or 1 previously cut up fryer chicken (about 4 pounds)
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 2-3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- ½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
- ½ cup cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon salt or 1½ teaspoons seasoned salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup butter or coconut oil
- Preheat oven to 400F degrees.
- Cut up chicken into pieces.
- Mix together buttermilk and Dijon mustard in a shallow container big enough to dip chicken pieces.
- Mix together flour, cornmeal, salt, and pepper in a second shallow container big enough to dredge chicken pieces.
- Melt butter or oil in 9x13 glass baking pan.
- Coat chicken pieces in buttermilk mixture, then dredge in seasoned flour/cornmeal.
- Transfer chicken pieces to baking pan making sure to coat both sides of each piece in butter/oil. For example, dip the skin side of a breast first, then turn the bone side down and place the piece in the pan.
- Bake uncovered for 30 minutes then cover lightly with foil if chicken is sufficiently browned.
- Cook for another 10-20 minutes until a quick read thermometer reads 165F degrees.
Bob's Red Mill organic cornmeal and whole wheat pastry flour were used in this recipe. They're great products, and we've shared links for them in our "Kitchen Tips and Resources" section below.
We recommend using local, humanely-raised, organic chicken for this recipe.
Kitchen Tips & Resources:
I love my Thermapen splash proof, instant read thermometer! It works great for getting a quick read on whether your chicken is ready. That said, there are lots of other instant read thermometers on the market from all different retailers—just make sure when you buy one that you calibrate your thermometer to the proper temperature.
- These stainless steel kitchen shears are great to cut up your chicken although many of other options that can work. You just want something pretty sturdy since cutting up a chicken takes some well-made shears.
- For this recipe we choose Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat Pastry Flour and Bob’s Red Mill Organic Medium Grind Cornmeal to make a delicious, whole grain cornbread breading for your fried chicken.