Healthy Crunchy Juicy Fake Fried Chicken

Healthy, Crunchy, Juicy “Fake Fried” Chicken

SuperBowl is here, people! Whether you were stuck in the house because of superstorm Juno, or not, you are probably already making plans for February 1st i.e. “the day Katy Perry tries to prove she’s better than Taylor Swift”. I won’t take a position in the feud as I didn’t express my opinion on deflate gate (my heart goes to Giselle…. Oh, sister, if your man can’t tell the football is deflated…). But a party is a party and in the best American traditions we need to plan ahead.  Oh wait …. less than a month ago you were swearing that you’d be healthy in 2015, you’d go to the gym and eat all the right stuff and avoid all the bad stuff, so WHAT are you to do? Eat a chicken wing and destroy all the hard work? I say we find a better option so you don’t have to use a “cheat day” or forfeit the new year resolutions.

Last fall I was in Dallas and ate at Stampede 55, one of my favorite restaurants. My friend Hugh suggested that I try the fried chicken and I did… It was glorious! Light years away from what I had learned from my grand mother. After all in Italy we don’t really make friend chicken, we have cotoletta, instead.  But the flavor and crunch of that fried chicken stayed with me over the holidays and decided that I would make it my way, i.e. lighter and healthier but with all the flavor. Then, I accidentally on purpose, I bumped into a recipe posted on Leite’s Culinaria, one of my favorite food porn websites. The idea of using different types of crunchies instead of breadcrumbs is revolutionary for a cotoletta purist like me. It’s opened a world of combinations. After this epiphany, I have been buying LOTS of chicken drumsticks and the poor Pirate has been exposed to a TON on experimentation. The end result is a juicy yet crunchy drumstick that is baked in the oven instead of deep fried. Here it is, people, and don’t say I don’t have good timing, ok?

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6 bone-in skinless chicken drumsticks

For the Marinade:

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp of honey mustard (I used Maille Honey Mustard because they just opened a store near me)
  • 1 tbsp of rosemary (I used dried leaves but if fresh is always better)
  • 1/2 of water
  • 1 cup of AP flour
  • Salt to season the drumsticks

For the Crunchy Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cup of panko
  • 1/2 cup of rosemary chips, crushed
  • 1/4 grated parmigiano
  • canola spray





  • Season the drumsticks with salt and dredge them with flour.
  • In a large bowl whisk egg, water rosemary and honey mustard.
  • Place the floured drumsticks in the bowl and make sure that the egg mixture covers them on all sides. Leave to marinade for a minimum of 3 hours.
  • When you are ready to cook the chicken, pre-heat the oven at 400F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray the aluminum foil with canola oil and set aside.
  • Combine the breadcrumbs, crushed chips and parmigiano into a large bowl or ziplock bag.
  • One by one place the marinated drumsticks in the crunchy mix and press down so that the coating sticks.
  • Place the coated drumsticks on the aluminum covered baking sheet and spray with canola to coat the top part of the chicken.
  • Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes.

An alternative flavor profile we have tested is substituting honey mustard with barbecue sauce and rosemary chips for sriracha chips. It was spicier but equally delicious!