This is such a simple dinner recipe that can be used any day, any time of the week. This is an oven fried chicken recipe that is so juicy and tender, but it still has that crispy exterior, and it is easy to make. It tastes so much more indulgent than a simple baked chicken without carrying the weight and feel of deep-fried chicken. The preparation process takes no more than 10 minutes, and then the rest of the work is done in the oven. I paired the chicken with the recent fennel and cucumber salad recipe that I posted, but throw any greens on the side and you have a beautiful and healthy balanced meal.
These are the key reasons I choose oven baked chicken over deep fried:
It is so much healthier, and you can still add some indulgent touches (note, a small side of a sour cream base sauce)
It is easier to make, and just as easy to flavor
There's virtually no cleanup required.
To make the chicken juicy and tender, I used drumsticks as the dark meat tends to hold a lot of flavor and moisture. I used drumsticks with skin on, but this is purely a personal preference. You can use chicken thighs if you don't want any bone, and if you want to keep it really healthy then you can definitely opt for chicken breast.
The first thing that needs to be done to retain flavor and create a tender chicken is squeezing lemon juice everywhere before kicking off the process. From there, you roll the chicken around in egg batter, and top it off by rolling it around in seasoned panko bread crumbs. I choose panko bread crumbs over regular bread crumbs because they have a great bite to them and they're extra crunchy, and they are also easy to find in any grocery store. Stick it in the oven and ta-da! Dinner is ready to go.