Here's a fun way to serve oven-fried chicken at a tailgate party or when watching a game at home: Put it on a stick. It's fabulous served with this homemade Vidalia onion and honey-mustard sauce, but it's also great with barbecue sauce or hot sauce. This is an easy recipe to double or triple depending on the size of your crowd.
Unlike the usual fried tailgate fare, however, this recipe is light and heart-healthy. Now that is something to cheer about.
Oven-Fried Chicken on a Stick
Prep Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 1/2 hours
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons paprika, preferably sweet Hungarian, divided
1 teaspoon onion powder, divided
1 teaspoon garlic powder, divided
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed
2 cups coarse, dry whole-wheat breadcrumbs or white Japanese-style panko breadcrumbs (see note)
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 large egg whites
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Honey Mustard-Vidalia Dipping Sauce:
1/2 Vidalia or other sweet onion, cut into 4 pieces
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup canola oil
Equipment: 6 (12-inch) bamboo skewers
To make chicken: Combine kosher salt, 1 teaspoon paprika and 1/2 teaspoon each onion powder and garlic powder in a large bowl. Add buttermilk and whisk until the salt is completely dissolved and the spices are dispersed in the liquid.
Cut chicken lengthwise into about 1-inch-wide strips. Add to the marinade and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. (Do not marinate any longer and don't refrigerate, or the chicken will be too salty.)
Combine breadcrumbs, the remaining 1 teaspoon paprika and 1/2 teaspoon each onion powder and garlic powder in a large shallow dish (a 9-by-13-inch baking dish works well). Add 2 tablespoons oil and toss well to coat. Whisk egg whites and mustard in a second large shallow dish. Season both mixtures with pepper.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, then set a large wire rack on it. Coat the rack with cooking spray.
Remove the chicken from the marinade, shaking off any excess, and thread onto six 12-inch bamboo skewers, dividing evenly. Dip the chicken into the egg mixture, coating both sides. Place in the breadcrumb mixture one at a time, sprinkle with crumbs to cover and press so the coating adheres to both sides. Gently shake off any excess crumbs and place the skewers on the prepared rack.
Bake the chicken, turning halfway through, until golden brown and the juices run clear, about 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the dipping sauce: Place onion in a food processor fitted with a metal blade and process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. Add vinegar, honey, mustard, salt and pepper; process until smooth. With the motor running, add oil through the feed tube in a slow, steady stream until the mixture is thick and well combined. Taste and adjust seasoning with more honey, salt and/or pepper, if desired.
Serve the chicken with the dipping sauce.
To make ahead: Prepare the chicken up to 4 hours ahead and refrigerate; serve cold. Cover and refrigerate the sauce for up to 3 days. Serve at room temperature.
Tip: To make your own dry breadcrumbs, trim crusts from whole-wheat bread. Tear bread into pieces and process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. Spread breadcrumbs on a baking sheet and bake at 250 F until dry, about 10 to 15 minutes. One slice of bread makes about 1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs.
Per serving: 351 calories; 18 g fat (2 g sat, 10 g mono); 63 mg cholesterol; 20 g carbohydrate; 3 g added sugars; 28 g protein; 2 g fiber; 309 mg sodium; 255 mg potassium
(EatingWell is a magazine and website devoted to healthy eating as a way of life. Online at www.eatingwell.com.)