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Best Southern Fried Chicken Batter

Best Southern Fried Chicken Batter

Crispy Southern-Style Baked Chicken: A Healthier Take on a Classic

Craving the satisfying crunch and juicy tenderness of classic Southern fried chicken, but looking for a healthier option? Look no further than this Best Southern-Style Baked Chicken recipe!

This recipe takes all the flavor elements you love about fried chicken – the perfectly seasoned coating, the crispy exterior, and the moist, tender meat – and transforms them into a healthier, oven-baked version.

Imagine golden brown, crispy chicken breasts that are juicy and bursting with flavor. This recipe achieves that deliciousness without the need for deep-frying. It's perfect for those watching their fat intake or simply seeking a lighter alternative.

The secret lies in the clever use of a buttermilk bath and a crunchy cornflake crumb coating. The buttermilk adds a touch of tanginess and helps tenderize the chicken, while the cornflake crumbs create a delightful textural contrast – a satisfying crunch with every bite.


  • Cooking spray (3 sprays)
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (4 pieces, approximately 4 ounces each)
  • ½ teaspoon table salt, divided (or to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, divided (or to taste)
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 ounces low-fat buttermilk
  • ½ cup cornflake crumbs


  1. Preheat and Prep: Get your oven ready by preheating it to 375°F (190°C). Grab a 13x8x2 inch baking dish and give it a light coating with cooking spray. This will help ensure the chicken doesn't stick during baking.

  2. Seasoning for Flavor: Pat your chicken breasts dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. Now, it's time to add some Southern-style flavor! Season the chicken breasts with half of the salt and cayenne pepper (adjust the amount to your taste preference). Set the seasoned chicken aside for a few minutes while you prepare the coating station.

  3. Creating the Coating Trio: In separate shallow bowls, prepare your coating assembly line. In one bowl, whisk together the flour with the remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt and ⅛ teaspoon of cayenne pepper. In another bowl, pour the low-fat buttermilk. Finally, in the last bowl, crush the cornflake crumbs to create a coarse mixture.

  4. The Coating Process: One by one, dredge each chicken breast in the seasoned flour mixture, ensuring both sides are evenly coated. Next, dip the floured chicken into the buttermilk, letting it soak briefly to coat both sides. Finally, dredge the buttermilk-coated chicken in the cornflake crumbs, pressing gently to ensure good adhesion.

  5. Baking to Golden Perfection: Place the coated chicken breasts in your prepared baking dish. No need to overcrowd the pan – space them out a bit for even baking. Now, pop the baking dish into the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. You're looking for the chicken to be cooked through – no longer pink in the center – and the coating to be beautifully golden brown and crispy. The beauty of this recipe is that there's no need to flip the chicken during baking.

  6. Enjoy! After 25-30 minutes, take the baked chicken out of the oven and let it rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in even more flavorful and tender chicken.

This Best Southern-Style Baked Chicken recipe is a true winner. It delivers on taste and texture, all while being a healthier alternative to traditional fried chicken. So ditch the guilt and enjoy the satisfying crunch and juicy goodness of this recipe!