ATK Kids

How to Make Cornflake-Crusted Crispy Chicken

A few tricks make this baked chicken a close dupe for the deep-fried stuff.

Published July 21, 2022.

Cornflakes? For dinner? Yes, please.

No, I’m not talking about a bowl of cereal (though there’s nothing wrong with suppertime cereal in my book). 

I’m talking about this supercrispy, cornflake-coated oven-fried chicken.

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I know. Not everybody is jazzed about “oven-fried” foods. How could they possibly compare to the real, deep-fried thing? But trust me when I say this chicken is a delicious—and weeknight-friendly—alternative to the real thing. Let me walk you through how it’s done.

First, we start by removing the skin from bone-in chicken pieces. Using bone-in meat instead of the boneless stuff helps keep the meat juicy and tender. We double down on that juiciness and tenderness by soaking the chicken in buttermilk that we seasoned with Dijon, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. The lactic acid in the buttermilk helps tenderize the chicken, and the salt keeps it moist. (You can refrigerate the chicken for as little as 30 minutes or as long as overnight.)


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The coating is a simple mixture of crushed cornflakes, poultry seasoning, and paprika. After dunking each piece of chicken in the cornflake mixture, we spray them well with vegetable oil spray, making sure each piece glimmers with oil for ultimate crispiness.

Baking the chicken on a cooling rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet optimizes heat circulation so that you get that 360-degree crunch. After 40 minutes in a 400-degree oven, the coating is nice and crisp—and the effects of the buttermilk soak stave off any fears of dry meat.

Next time you’re craving fried chicken but don’t want to deal with a vat of bubbling oil, oven-fry it. I know it’s not exactly the same, but it’s a heck of a lot easier.

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