Buttermilk Cast Iron Light Fried Chicken

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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Cast Iron Skillet Buttermilk Light Fried Chicken

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.
Yield 4 servings
Prep Time 8 hours
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 8 hours 35 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder

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

  • 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).
  • Preheat oven to 425º F.
  • Combine flour and saltine crumbs in a shallow dish.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Notes

Adapted from Cooking Light

Nutrition

Calories: 413kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 148mg | Sodium: 895mg | Potassium: 786mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 432IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 2mg
Keyword: Buttermilk Cast Iron Light Fried Chicken, cast iron skillet recipes, chicken, easy recipes, Fried Chicken, light fried chicken

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 ½ 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.

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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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Comments

  1. 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 🙂

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Oh man! I am so finding this recipe I can’t believe the chicken is skinless and it looks like that. I love every ingredient in it so its has to taste great

    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!

  5. oh my lorrddd! this looks amazing! I dont cook much but I am gonna have to try this. Thanks for sharing. Recipe A++++++++

  6. Totally in awe that the skinless chicken still has a crunchy layer! However if it’s cooked in cast iron, it’s gotta be good! <3

  7. Wow, this definitely looks like the fried chicken I know! I’m so glad that you made these skinless!

  8. I love finding new chicken recipes. My family is going to love this one. I am going to try it tomorrow.

  9. 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.

  10. 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!

  11. Oh, that looks so good! I wonder how it would turn out using Gluten free flower instead.

  12. 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!

  13. You had me at fried chicken and bttermilk. Sounds delish and so much easier than the way I normally make it. I’ll have to try it in my skillet!

  14. I want this. I truly want to eat that entire panful. I rarely allow myself fried chicken of any kind but I’d be powerless before this one.

    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.

  15. Yum! I love fried chicken and they way you made this chicken looks so good! Going to have to try out your recipe! Thanks!

  16. Fried chicken is one of my all time favorite foods. This looks like a tasty way to prepare it.

  17. 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!

  18. Oh my gosh that looks amazingly yummy! I think I will try to get someone to make this for me when I go on maternity leave!

  19. 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!

  20. 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!

  21. Man that looks absolutely amazing! I am going to have to try this out sometime! I need to buy a cast iron skillet soon!

  22. Yummo! I have a cast iron skillet that I haven’t given nearly enough play time to. Time for coach to put him in!

  23. That’s amazeballs. I’ve never tried cooking in cast iron skillet before, but I think it’s time I tried.

  24. I love popping by your blog, Sabrina because you make everything look so good and it works! Fried crispy chicken without skin?! Awesome for anyone watching their weight!

  25. 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!

  26. Love using my cast iron skillet, it’s perfect for fried chicken. Your fried chicken looks crunchy and moist – love a piece right now!