Crunchy Baked Chicken

Crunchy Baked Chicken -1-16 I grew up in the dark ages. We ate our meals at the kitchen table instead of in front of the tv. We spent almost all our time playing outside instead of playing video games and we actually had to do chores. That was the best childhood ever.

As most of you already know, I was an avid reader and still am. I would try to read anything and everything. In the mornings before school, I didn’t have enough time to pull out my latest book, so I would read the back of the cereal boxes. My siblings and I would even argue about who would get to read which cereal box. Ha ha! Wow, we were dorks. I learned all about the importance of fiber, solved the multiple choice questions, crossword puzzles and helped the little cereal figures make it to the other end of the maze. Once in a while, I would be so excited to see a recipe on the back or the side of the box. In those days, recipes were not as readily available as today. The internet didn’t have millions of recipes, food blogs were nonexistent and the only recipes we had were in our handwritten notebooks, cookbooks and magazines. Even cereal box recipes were exciting to find. I found this recipe for Cornflake Chicken and had to give it a try. It was delicious. Over the years, I’ve created my own version of this very popular recipe.

Most importantly, I start out with brining the chicken in a buttermilk mixture and add a whole slew of other flavorful ingredients and spices. The chicken is so juicy and flavorful all the way through, not just on the outside. The coating made from crushed cornflake cereal is extra crispy and uber flavorful because I drizzle the coated chicken with melted butter and then bake it in the oven on top of a rack. The crisp coating is so crunchy and doesn’t fall off when you take a bite. The actual meat of the bird is so delicious too, because it’s flavored with aromatics and spices. It reminds me a lot of fried chicken, but I think this version tastes even better. It’s definitely healthier. You can serve the chicken hot or even make it ahead of time and take it to work for lunch or bring it on a picnic, since it’s just as delicious when it’s cold. 

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken, cut into 10 pieces (you can also use 8-10 bone-in, skinless chicken thighs, drumsticks or chicken breast pieces)

2 cups buttermilk

2 Tablespoons table salt

1/4 -1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

2-3 dry bay leaves, slightly crushed

3-5 garlic cloves, smashed

6-7 cups cornflake cereal (about 2 cups when crushed)

4 Tablespoons melted butter

Instructions:

Crunchy Baked Chicken -1 Cut the whole chicken into pieces, so that you end up with 2 thighs, 2 drumsticks and 2 chicken breast halves that you will cut in half as well, so a total of 10 chicken pieces. Save the chicken wings and the backbone to be used in Chicken Broth. How To Cut Up a Whole Chicken-1-12 In a medium – large bowl, combine the buttermilk with the salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, paprika, dry mustard, ground coriander, bay leaves and garlic cloves. Whisk until the salt is dissolved. Crunchy Baked Chicken -1-3 Submerge the chicken pieces in the buttermilk mixture. Place it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, up to 2 hours. I don’t recommend leaving it in the salty buttermilk for a longer period of time, since it will be too salty.

This is essentially a brine solution, which not only makes the chicken very juicy, but will also disperse so much incredible flavor all the way THROUGH the chicken, not just on the outside.

Crunchy Baked Chicken -1-4

This is a bone-in split chicken that is cut in half.

This is a bone-in split chicken breast that is cut in half.

Crunchy Baked Chicken -1-6 Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a wire rack into a large rimmed baking sheet.

Crush the cornflakes with your hands, or place them in a ziptop bag and crush them with a rolling pin or even use a food processor. Make sure you have coarse crumbs; don’t pulverize them into a powder. Place the crushed cornflakes into a shallow dish, like a pie plate. Crunchy Baked Chicken -1-8 Take each piece of chicken out of the buttermilk  mixture, letting the excess drain off, and then coat each chicken piece in the crushed cornflakes, pressing with your hands on all sides. Try to cover the chicken completely in crushed cornflakes, without having any bald spots. Crunchy Baked Chicken -1-7

Crunchy Baked Chicken -1-9

Crunchy Baked Chicken -1-10 Place the chicken on the prepared baking dish, on top of the rack. Crunchy Baked Chicken -1-11 Drizzle the melted butter over each piece of coated chicken. Crunchy Baked Chicken -1-12

Baking the chicken on a wire rack makes sure the the heat will circulate all around the chicken. If you place the chicken directly on the baking sheet, the chicken will be soggy on the bottom and most likely that bottom portion of coating will simply fall off. Drizzling melted butter on top of the coating, will also help to crisp up the coating. You can also use oil instead of butter, but I think butter tastes so much better. 

Bake the chicken in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes, until the center of the chicken breast registers 165 degrees Fahrenheit on an instant read thermometer and the dark meat is 175 degrees Fahrenheit.  Crunchy Baked Chicken -1-14

Crunchy Baked Chicken -1-15 This crunchy and delicious chicken can be served warm or cold.  Crunchy Baked Chicken -1-16   Crunchy Baked Chicken -1-19

Crunchy Baked Chicken
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 whole chicken, cut into 10 pieces (you can also use 8-10 bone-in, skinless chicken thighs, drumsticks or chicken breast pieces)
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 Tablespoons table salt
  • ¼ -1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2-3 dry bay leaves, slightly crushed
  • 3-5 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 6-7 cups cornflake cereal (about 2 cups when crushed)
  • 4 Tablespoons melted butter
Instructions
  1. Cut the whole chicken into pieces, so that you end up with 2 thighs, 2 drumsticks and 2 chicken breast halves that you will cut in half as well, so a total of 10 chicken pieces. Save the chicken wings and the backbone to be used in Chicken Broth.
  2. In a medium - large bowl, combine the buttermilk with the salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, paprika, dry mustard, ground coriander, bay leaves and garlic cloves. Whisk until the salt is dissolved. Submerge the chicken pieces in the buttermilk mixture. Place it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, up to 2 hours. I don't recommend leaving it in the salty buttermilk for a longer period of time, since it will be too salty.
  3. This is essentially a brine solution, which not only makes the chicken very juicy, but will also disperse so much incredible flavor all the way THROUGH the chicken, not just on the outside.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a wire rack into a large rimmed baking sheet.
  5. Crush the cornflakes with your hands, or place them in a ziptop bag and crush them with a rolling pin or even use a food processor. Make sure you have coarse crumbs; don't pulverize them into a powder. Place the crushed cornflakes into a shallow dish, like a pie plate.
  6. Take each piece of chicken out of the buttermilk mixture, letting the excess drain off, and then coat each chicken piece in the crushed cornflakes, pressing with your hands on all sides. Try to cover the chicken completely in crushed cornflakes, without having any bald spots.
  7. Place the chicken on the prepared baking dish, on top of the rack.
  8. Drizzle the melted butter over each piece of coated chicken.
  9. Baking the chicken on a wire rack makes sure the the heat will circulate all around the chicken. If you place the chicken directly on the baking sheet, the chicken will be soggy on the bottom and most likely that bottom portion of coating will simply fall off. Drizzling melted butter on top of the coating, will also help to crisp up the coating. You can also use oil instead of butter, but I think butter tastes so much better.
  10. Bake the chicken in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes, until the center of the chicken breast registers 165 degrees Fahrenheit on an instant read thermometer and the dark meat is 175 degrees Fahrenheit.
  11. This crunchy and delicious chicken can be served warm or cold.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Katy says

    You weren’t the only one reading cereal boxes! I remember fighting with my younger brothers over the best boxes that were covered in activities. I miss those days when we would be carefree and played outside all the time. This is an awesome recipe, I will need to try it asap!

  2. says

    OMG Olga…this looks to DIE for! I hate making fried chicken at home because of the splashing! But I think you hit this right on the head! Looks absolutely amazing!

  3. Paramitha Nasimova says

    Can’t wait to try this recipe! :)) Would it be working with skinless chicken as well?

    Thank you!

  4. Vita says

    I used to be the kid who was excited to read anything including cereal boxes too ;) I totally get it. And can’t wait to try this!

  5. Paramitha Nasimova says

    Silly I was… Asked if skinless chicken would work or not :p Surely you’re omit the skin after I look at the pictures once again. Sorry Olga! I should have paid attention more :))

  6. Olena says

    Thank you! My husband cut the chicken for me:) and I prepared it for us and for the guests. We like it:)) I need to share the recipe now:) thank you very much Olga!!!

    • says

      Ground mustard is a powdered form of the mustard seed.
      Ground mustard is prepared by mixing the ground mustard with something liquid (like water, vinegar, white wine) salt, and other seasonings. In most cases you can use 1 tablespoon of prepared mustard in place of 1 teaspoon dried mustard, Olga.

  7. elena says

    Olga, I really like this recipe the chicken was so flavorful! Thanks so much. The only problem I had was some of the corn flake coating fell off when I took the chicken out of the oven. Do you have any tips for that? Thanks.

    • says

      This chicken has flavor in every bite:).
      Here are the tips to keeping the coating on the chicken.
      1. Make sure to use skinless chicken. Skin-on chicken is much more likely to have the coating come off.
      2. When you are applying the coating on the chicken, use both hands to firmly pat it on the chicken from all sides and keep dipping and pressing until it’s all covered.
      3. Drizzling the chicken with melted butter will also help the coating to be extra crisp.
      4. Use a rack to roast the chicken. If you don’t use a rack, the coating will come off and be soft.
      I hope that helps, Elena.

  8. says

    What great lighting you have! I love your photos. Anyway, this chicken looks fantastic and so well-coated. I don’t like making fried chicken and rarely eat it, but a baked version sounds perfect. I like that you used a whole chicken. Pinned!

    • says

      Thanks, Memoria. Lighting is definitely a big deal in photography. I feel very blessed to live in sunny Florida.
      I agree about not liking to make fried chicken. I prefer this oven method for sure.

  9. Caroline says

    My mother used to make “chicken in cornflakes” and it was one of my favourites growing up. She used chicken legs and left the skin on. The best part was pulling off the skin with its crunchy coating and saving that for last. I have never been able to make it quite the same. I will give your recipe a try, it looks delicious.

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