Food Star Friday – Unfried Chicken


I have been a big fan of Paula Deen for a long time. Way back when, before I lost weight, I did cook a few of her meals. Once I lost the weight and started eating healthier I stopped cooking her meals but still loved to watch her. I love her personality, the way she loves her kids, her sense of humor, etc. Plus my Dad had a huge crush on her so it was fun to watch her shows with him. 
Once it came out that she had diabetes, and a lot of the public slammed her for her unhealthy cooking practices, I was so happy to see her son Bobby step up to the plate to help his Mom (and himself) lose weight and eat healthier. (Paula has lost 30 pounds) I mean, I used to live in the south and I love Southern food, but if you are from the south you know that there is a lot of fried food, and the gravy, oh my goodness I could have eaten gravy on just about everything. In fact I think I did for a while. So Bobby trying to “healthify” some of his Mom’s favorite dishes was wonderful for all of us that love southern food too!

One of my hands down favorite things that my ex-mother in law used to make was her fried chicken. Ohhh heaven on a plate! Sometimes it was eaten just about as fast as it came out of the oil! Trying to avoid burning your mouth was secondary to eating the chicken before anyone else could!
Well once I lost weight and started down my path of healthier eating I figured that fried chicken was a thing of the past that I could only dream of (along with that gravy!!). I had tried several oven baking methods for chicken and they just didn’t come close to the “real” thing. Until I found Bobby Deen’s show. If you haven’t seen it you really should check it out. It is on the Cooking Channel and is called “Not My Momma’s Meals”. He just did a lightened up version of his Mom’s Pimento Cheese Sandwiches and save about 500 calories with his version!! Holy crap!
Anyway, I watched the show and he made his unfried chicken. His Mom was very reluctant to try it (she tries everything he makes and gives her opinion of the old verses the new version) but once she did she was Mmmmming and Ooohhing so much she told Bobby she was going to call him back so she could finish her chicken! Well if Paula Deen is saying this version of unfried chicken is that good you know I am going to check it out. Boy am I glad I did!!! Everyone loved it, which surprised me because Kevin has always bragged about his fried chicken (although I have yet to taste it in 4 1/2 years)! I will be making this one again (and again) I can guarantee it!
Unfried Chicken
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 8 skinless boneless chicken thighs, trimmed of all visible fat (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Paula Deen’s House Seasoning, recipe follows
  • 1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (I used Sriracha and of course used more)
  • 2 egg whites
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/4 cups cornflake crumbs 


  • 1 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a large cast-iron skillet with nonstick spray over medium-high heat.

Sprinkle the chicken with the Paula Deen House Seasoning. Combine the buttermilk, hot sauce, egg whites and lemon zest and juice in a large bowl and toss the chicken to coat.
Pour the cornflake crumbs into another large bowl. Dip the chicken into the crumbs, pressing to adhere, and then place in the skillet and into the oven. Bake until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through or an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees F, 40 to 45 minutes.
Mix together the salt, garlic powder and pepper and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months. Yield: 1 1/2 cups.

SERVES: 8 (MAIN); Calories: 146; Total Fat: 3 grams; Saturated Fat: 1 gram; Protein: 18 grams; Total carbohydrates: 10 grams; Sugar: 1 gram; Fiber: 0 grams; Cholesterol: 71 milligrams; Sodium: 197 milligrams

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