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Southern Semi-Fried Chicken

This dinner recipe has less fat but the same mouth-watering flavor!

Dinner recipes: Southern Semi-Fried Chicken

Everyone loves fried chicken, but many never make it because they worry about the fat and the mess.

Our version solves both problems: The chicken is marinated in a buttermilk-like mixture and coated with whole-wheat flour, bread crumbs and spices. We briefly pan-fry the chicken in olive oil and finish the cooking in the oven, so the chicken comes out crispy outside, tender inside, and not greasy.

If you want to reduce even more fat and calories, remove and discard the skin before marinating.


2 cups reduced-fat (2%) milk

1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

One (4-pound) broiler chicken, cut into eighths, or 4 chicken breasts halves on the bone, or 8 drumsticks

¾ cup whole-wheat flour

½ cup plain dried bread crumbs

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil


1. Combine the milk and vinegar in a large non-reactive bowl; add the chicken pieces, turning to coat, and chill for 1 hour or overnight.

2. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large shallow baking sheet with heavy-duty foil, lightly grease the foil, and set aside.

3. Combine the flour, bread crumbs, salt, thyme, and pepper in a medium bowl; whisk to blend. Coat the chicken pieces one at a time in the crumb mixture, and place on a plate. Repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.

4. Heat the oil in a 10-inch cast-iron or other heavy skillet over medium heat until hot. Add half of the chicken pieces to the pan skin side down, and cook until golden underneath, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn and cook for 2 minutes more. Transfer the chicken pieces to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat browning with the remaining chicken.

5. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake until chicken is browned and sizzling and juices run clear when the thickest part of a thigh or breast is pierced with the tip of a knife, about 30 minutes.

Serves 4

Prep: About 1 hour (includes marinating)
Cooking: 36 minutes
Per serving (1 piece light meat, 1 piece dark meat): 580 calories, 27g fat (8g saturated), 16g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 62g protein

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