My first summer in college when my culinary skills were nonexistent I ate Shake N Bake chicken almost daily. It was crunchy on top and on the bottom it was like eating down to the soggy bottom of a bowl of cereal! I loved it. But I avoided Shake N Bake after I was married because I found I could make my own crumb coating. In the various recipes I’ve tried, I’ve used cornflakes or breadcrumbs. Well, my son had a hankering for KFC this weekend, but I refused to give in to his craving for fast food. It was, nevertheless, a perfect excuse to try Art Smith’s recipe for Oven -Unfried chicken. It came out quite crunchy, tender, and moist with a slight spiciness so that even my son grudgingly admitted it was as good as KFC. However, I suspect he may have been merely diplomatic, after all he knows his mother is vain about her cooking. So here is my version of Art Smith’s recipe called
Yogurt-Marinated Oven-Fried Chicken Breasts (based on a recipe by Art Smith)
Prep time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
3/4 cup low fat Greek style yogurt
1/4 cup low fat milk
1 tablespoon Sriracha Sauce (reduce to 1 teaspoon if less heat is desired)
3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat and cut in half
1 1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs, preferably whole wheat
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons chili pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1. In a bowl, combine the yogurt, milk, and Sriracha. Coat the chicken in the yogurt mixture and marinate at least 1 hour
on the countertop (up to a maximum of 12 hours) in the refrigerator. Lightly spray a baking tray with cooking spray and set aside.
2. While the chicken is marinating, make the breadcrumb mixture. In a large gallon size plastic bag, put the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and spices. Shake to blend.
3. Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
4. Using tongs, pick up the chicken breasts, one at a time, from the yogurt marinade and put inside the bag. Shake the bag well, until the chicken is thoroughly coated.
5. Put the chicken on the prepared tray. Repeat until all chicken pieces are coated in the breadcrumb mixture. Put the tray with the chicken pieces, uncovered, in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. This dries out the crumb coating and may help it adhere better to the chicken.
6. Remove the tray from the refrigerator. Lightly spray each chicken piece with the cooking spray. Bake 30-40 minutes. Test a piece 5 minutes before cooking time is up to see if it is done. The juices should run clear or it should reach an internal temperature of 165˚F on an instant read thermometer.