Oven “Fried” Chicken

No-Fry Chicken

From Step-by-Step’s Quick and Easy, this recipe oven-bakes the chicken; it gives that deliciously crisp, crunchy crust without the fat of traditional deep-frying.

Prep time = 15 mins; total cooking time = 50 minutes. Recipe serves 4-6.


• 1.5kg chicken drumsticks
• 185ml (3/4 cup) buttermilk (see note below)
• 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
• 150g (1 cup) polenta/cornmeal
• 100g (1 cup) dry breadcrumbs
• 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
• 2 eggs
• 40g unsalted butter, melted


• Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F
• Place the drumsticks in a bowl, add the buttermilk and oil and toss to coat.
• In a separate bowl, combine the polenta, breadcrumbs and chilli powder, and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
• Put the eggs in a small bowl and whisk with a tablespoon water.
• Dip the chicken in the egg mixture, then coat with the polenta mixture, pressing with your fingers to make the crumbs stick.
• Grease a foil-lined baking tray. Arrange the drumsticks on the tray and drizzle with melted butter.
• Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the chicken is crisp and golden.

• Serve with sweet potato mash and a green salad.

Extra: If you want really moist chicken, marinate the drumsticks in the buttermilk and oil for up to 8 hours.

Note: Buttermilk substitute is easily made at home. The equivalent of one cup of buttermilk is made from one cup of milk with one tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice, mixed together and left to stand for five minutes.

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