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EatingWell: The perfect amount of crunch in every bite

By Stacy Fraser, EatingWell on

A blend of whole-wheat panko and fine cornmeal gives this healthy chicken recipe the perfect amount of crunch even though it's not deep fried. Making an easy homemade buttermilk ranch dressing recipe means you can skip bottled, which may have additives and stabilizers.

Fried Chicken Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

Serves 4

Active Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

1 1/2 cups buttermilk, divided

1 1/4 teaspoons garlic powder, divided

1 1/4 teaspoons ground pepper, divided

3/4 teaspoon salt, divided

1 pound chicken tenders, halved crosswise

1/3 cup mayonnaise

3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives and/or dill

3/4 cup whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs

1/3 cup fine cornmeal


1/4 cup peanut oil

2 heads butter lettuce, trimmed

2 medium tomatoes, each cut into 8 wedges

1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (from 2 large ears)

Combine 1 cup buttermilk, 1 teaspoon each garlic powder and pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a shallow dish. Add chicken, turn to coat and let marinate for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk mayonnaise and chives (and/or dill) in a small bowl with the remaining 1/2 cup buttermilk and 1/4 teaspoon each garlic powder, pepper and salt. Set aside.

Combine breadcrumbs and cornmeal in a shallow dish. Remove the chicken from the marinade, and coat with the breadcrumb mixture. (Discard the marinade.)

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the chicken, and cook until browned on the bottom, 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, turn the chicken, and cook until browned and an instant-read thermometer registers 165 F, 5 to 7 minutes more.

Divide lettuce, tomatoes corn and the chicken among four large plates, and drizzle with the reserved dressing.

Recipe nutrition: Per serving: 536 Calories, Total Fat: 32 g, Saturated Fat: 6 g, Cholesterol: 72 mg, Carbohydrates: 34 g, Fiber: 5 g, Total Sugars: 10 g, Added Sugars: 0 g, Protein: 31 g, Sodium: 543 mg, Potassium: 819 mg, Folate: 108 mcg, Calcium: 114 mg

Carbohydrate servings: 2 1/2

(EatingWell is a magazine and website devoted to healthy eating as a way of life. Online at



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