Buttermilk Cast Iron Light Fried Chicken

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Crunchy Buttermilk Oven Fried Chicken that is made with skinless chicken breast and coated in saltines makes for the most surprising, amazing “fried” chicken you’ll eat. The fact that it is both a “light” fried chicken recipe and cooked in butter makes it truly AMAZING.
Crunchy Buttermilk Oven Fried Chicken that is made with skinless chicken breast and coated in saltines makes for the most surprising, amazing "fried" chicken you'll eat. The fact that it is both a "light" recipe and cooked in butter makes it truly AMAZING.

Many moons ago I signed up for Weight Watchers while I was working a desk job that unwittingly gave me internet access to myrecipes.com and almost nothing else. So when it was time to unwind in the early afternoons (3:00pm doldrums anyone? check out my blog!) I would search myrecipes.com for new Weight Watcher friendly recipes. One day I came across a recipe for Buttermilk Oven-Fried Chicken that I looked at with a side eye thinking there was no way this was going to be a winner. As fate would have it, bone in chicken breast was on sale at Whole Foods for $1.99 a pound (seriously, this was 7 years ago, why I remember this is beyond me!) and so off I went to make this recipe I thought was destined to be a dud.

Let me just tell you. Since that evening I have made this no less than 100 times, maybe even 150 times. This is our go to for light “fried” chicken, chicken tenders, and even for chicken fried steak. When I tell you it is craveable, what I mean is you will stand over the pan as it comes out of the oven picking at it, not even wanting to wait until you sit down to eat it. Then you will hover over your child’s plate like a hawk hoping they leave some behind. Craveable!

There are a few twists to this Light Fried Chicken recipe you wouldn’t expect from a “light recipe” or a fried chicken recipe for that matter.

  1. Skinless! Yes, skinless fried chicken and it still has a delicious crunch-able layer
  2. Buttermilk soak, okay fine this one isn’t WAY out there, but it is more unique than most.
  3. Saltine Cracker coating! THIS is the what makes the sauce so awesome (Parks and Recreation reference anyone?)
  4. My favorite, the butter. Yes, a light recipe and it is cooked IN BUTTER. One tablespoon of fat (butter) per serving of this delicious “fried” chicken.

So look, I will accept all side eyed looks at this recipe, if you feel like I am pumping this recipe up and it won’t live up to the hype I challenge you to make it and tell me what you think. Take a bite and tell me you aren’t enjoying the heck out of your meal and smirking to yourself how delicious it is while staying so healthy! I serve them with roasted yukon potatoes and carrots. To roast them off, cut into chunks, spray with canola oil, add garlic salt and roast at 375 for 25-30 minutes.  If you don’t have a double oven, I would roast them on the top rack while the chicken is in the oven at 425 for 20 minutes but be careful they may over brown a bit if they stay in too long. Crunchy Buttermilk Oven Fried Chicken that is made with skinless chicken breast and coated in saltines makes for the most surprising, amazing "fried" chicken you'll eat. The fact that it is both a "light" recipe and cooked in butter makes it truly AMAZING.Add the buttermilk and tabasco sauce in a bowl or ziploc bag with the chicken and marinate for at least 4 hours (I marinate overnight but even if you toss it together before heading out to work it will be PERFECT when you get home at night). Crunchy Buttermilk Oven Fried Chicken that is made with skinless chicken breast and coated in saltines makes for the most surprising, amazing "fried" chicken you'll eat. The fact that it is both a "light" recipe and cooked in butter makes it truly AMAZING.
Combine flour and saltine crumbs in a shallow dish. Crunchy Buttermilk Oven Fried Chicken that is made with skinless chicken breast and coated in saltines makes for the most surprising, amazing "fried" chicken you'll eat. The fact that it is both a "light" recipe and cooked in butter makes it truly AMAZING.
Take chicken out of buttermilk mixture and sprinkle with salt and pepper (mostly on the top side since there isn’t much in the way of meat on the bone-y side. Dredge chicken in flour mixture, shaking off excess; set aside. Really press the top of the chicken into the mixture to get a nice crust on top. Crunchy Buttermilk Oven Fried Chicken that is made with skinless chicken breast and coated in saltines makes for the most surprising, amazing "fried" chicken you'll eat. The fact that it is both a "light" recipe and cooked in butter makes it truly AMAZING.
Melt butter in a large cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan, meat side down and cook 4-5 minutes or until golden brown. Spray the bone-y side quickly with canola oil spray so that it can crisp up in the oven too once we turn it over. Crunchy Buttermilk Oven Fried Chicken that is made with skinless chicken breast and coated in saltines makes for the most surprising, amazing "fried" chicken you'll eat. The fact that it is both a "light" recipe and cooked in butter makes it truly AMAZING.
Turn chicken over, and bake at 425° for 30-35 minutes or until cooked through.
You don’t cook the bone-y side of the chicken on your stovetop, so don’t worry about the butter all being gone by the time the top is cooked. Crunchy Buttermilk Oven Fried Chicken that is made with skinless chicken breast and coated in saltines makes for the most surprising, amazing "fried" chicken you'll eat. The fact that it is both a "light" recipe and cooked in butter makes it truly AMAZING.

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Recipe

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Cast Iron Skillet Buttermilk Light Fried Chicken

  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Prep Time: 8 hours
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 8 hours 35 minutes
  • Course: Main Course
  • Cuisine: American

Crunchy Buttermilk Oven Fried Chicken that is made with skinless chicken breast and coated in saltines makes for the most surprising, amazing "fried" chicken you'll eat. The fact that it is both a "light" recipe and cooked in butter makes it truly AMAZING.

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon tabasco sauce
  • 4 bone-in chicken breast halves skinned
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup ground saltines (I have tried unsalted ones, trust me, use regular)
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • Canola Oil Spray

Instructions

Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Add the buttermilk and tabasco sauce in a bowl or ziploc bag with the chicken and marinate for at least 4 hours (I marinate overnight but even if you toss it together before heading out to work it will be PERFECT when you get home at night).
  2. Preheat oven to 425º F.

  3. Combine flour and saltine crumbs in a shallow dish.
  4. Take chicken out of buttermilk mixture and sprinkle with salt and pepper (mostly on the top side since there isn't much in the way of meat on the bone-y side.
  5. Dredge chicken in flour mixture, shaking off excess; set aside.
  6. Really press the top of the chicken into the mixture to get a nice crust on top.
  7. Melt butter in a large cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  8. Add chicken to pan, meat side down and cook 4-5 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. Spray the bone-y side quickly with canola oil spray so that it can crisp up in the oven too once we turn it over.
  10. Turn chicken over, and bake at 425° for 30-35 minutes or until cooked through.
  11. You don't cook the bone-y side of the chicken on your stovetop, so don't worry about the butter all being gone by the time the top is cooked.

Recipe Notes

Adapted from Cooking Light

Nutrition Information

Yield: 4 servings, Amount per serving: 412 calories, Calories: 412g, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 42g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 148mg, Sodium: 895mg, Potassium: 785mg, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 8.6g, Vitamin C: 4.3g, Calcium: 8.2g, Iron: 9.4g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert, Inc.

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Dinner then Dessert TIPS This recipe makes for a great basic light fried chicken. If you want to kick up the flavors or add some spice add in 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne, garlic powder and onion powder to the breading or some herbs you love. One other quick punch of flavor would be Old Bay seasoning. But I can assure you, made as it is in the recipe card will be absolutely delicious!

Crunchy Buttermilk Oven Fried Chicken that is made with skinless chicken breast and coated in saltines makes for the most surprising, amazing "fried" chicken you'll eat. The fact that it is both a "light" recipe and cooked in butter makes it truly AMAZING.

Crunchy Buttermilk Oven Fried Chicken that is made with skinless chicken breast and coated in saltines makes for the most surprising, amazing "fried" chicken you'll eat. The fact that it is both a "light" recipe and cooked in butter makes it truly AMAZING.

Crunchy Buttermilk Oven Fried Chicken that is made with skinless chicken breast and coated in saltines makes for the most surprising, amazing "fried" chicken you'll eat. The fact that it is both a "light" recipe and cooked in butter makes it truly AMAZING.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.

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Chicken Main Course Main Dishes Meat & Seafood Recipe

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Comments

  1. That looks so good! I live in the south, and if there’s two things we have, it’s cast iron skillets and a love of fried chicken. Yum!

  2. There is alight way to fry? I so want to try this! I am trying to get myself back on the healthy track and something like this would make the transition easier!

  3. I’ve never made ‘fried chicken’- just baked chicken with breading. This looks like such a hearty, homestyle, meal the family would really love. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Ahhhck! You drive me nuts with these yummy looking meals! Seriously, you could be a chef at a restaurant with all these recipe you have under your belt! Yummy!

    1. Now you can eat it guilt free! I’ve lost 45 pounds in the last 5 months and I probably eat this recipe once a week, haha.

  5. I love using saltines as a coating for chicken. This looks and sounds delicious. I will be giving this a try, for sure. Thanks for sharing… YUMMY!

  6. Yet another of your recipes that we will be trying. I buy a lot of skinless chicken breast but always feel like our kids are cheated out of fried chicken… so this would be perfect for us!

  7. Crunchy Buttermilk Oven Fried Chicken looks so delicious. I will have to try this recipe on the weekend. Chicken is my favorite meat to make.

    1. Thanks Shelley! When I actually made it for the first time I was pretty taken aback. I sort of expected it to be “eh,” but the crust was awesome!

  8. Crunchy Buttermilk Oven Fried Chicken look so amazing. I am always looking for new chicken recipes. I am going to try this on the weekend. It just might be a new favorite.

  9. I need a cast iron skillet. This sounds so yummy and I know my entire family would be standing in the kitchen waiting for it to be done.

  10. I just found this on Pinterest, looks like an older recipe so not sure if you’re still tracking comments, but have you ever made this with boneless/skinless chicken? I have an aversion to chicken with the bones in it, I know, I’m weird. Even if you’re not tracking anymore, I’m going to give this a try with boneless and watch the cook time, we’ll see how it comes out!

    1. Yes! I have. The best way to get the breading to “take is to score the chicken, like you would a ham, deep little cross cuts to give you a more jagged surface area for the topping to adhere. Then dip in the buttermilk and the crackers. You may need more breading because you have more chicken surface area (since the bone in doesn’t really bread the bottom side) but it will be delicious. You can also probably shave off about five minutes of cook time in the oven 🙂