Sunday, 7 January 2018

Recipe: Panko Chicken (aka Oven "Fried" Chicken)

I've tried to recreate a healthy(ish) version of fried chicken many times, and this simple coating of seasoned panko breadcrumbs and oven-baked chicken thighs is the one I keep coming back to. It is so easy to make and has that ever-so-pleasing crunch when you bite into a piece and find the succulent thigh meat inside which is SO close to the real decadence of proper fried chicken. I'd recommend buying the best quality chicken you can manage, and leaving the bones in the thighs for more flavour.

Serves 4


8 large chicken thighs, skin removed
1 large egg
100g panko breadcrumbs (my favourite brand is Yutaka)
3 tbsp fine breadcrumbs (yup, dried, from a tub - bit of a guilty pleasure in our house)
2 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp sea salt flakes
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

What to do:

1. Season the chicken thighs with a pinch of salt and pepper and prepare the coatings. Whisk the egg in a bowl. Mix the breadcrumbs, paprika, and salt and pepper in a wide shallow dish or container.

2. Heat the oven to 180C (fan) and prepare a baking tray by brushing lightly with oil.

3. Dip the chicken thighs one at a time into the egg and then toss them in the breadcrumbs mix, turning and covering each piece until well coated.

4. Pop the coated thighs onto the baking tray and cook in the oven for 20-30 minutes until cooked through, crisp on the outside, and a gorgeous golden/light brown all over. I usually turn the chicken (carefully!) after about 15 minutes.

Serve with hot sauce, skinny fries (also known as naughty oven chips), and peas. For a toddler-friendly version, we serve one thigh with mini roasties and a dip made with a couple of handful of peas, half a small avocado, a squeeze of lemon juice, and two fresh mint leaves whizzed in a blender until smooth.