Healthier southern fried chicken

Healthier southern fried chicken
  • Serves icon Serves 4
  • Time icon Hands-on time 20 min, oven time 20 min, plus marinating

Our healthy makeover recipe cuts over 100 calories without losing any of the flavour and crunch you’d expect from southern style fried chicken.

delicious. makeover (2 drumsticks)
398kcals, 16.8g fat (2.9g saturated), 42.3g protein, 19.7g carbs (1.3g sugars), 1.5g salt, 1g fibre

Traditional version (2 drumsticks)
535kcals, 24.6g fat (5.7g saturated), 48.8g protein, 30.3g carbs (2.7g sugars), 3.1g salt, 1.6g fibre


  • 400ml buttermilk
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp Tabasco
  • 8 free-range chicken drumsticks, skin removed
  • 200g plain flour
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • Sunflower oil for frying

To serve (optional)

  • Coleslaw


  1. Combine the buttermilk, salt and Tabasco in a bowl. Add the chicken pieces and make sure they’re covered by the buttermilk mixture. Cover with cling film and marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours or preferably overnight (see make ahead).
  2. Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Take the chicken out of the marinade and lightly pat dry with kitchen paper. Combine the flour, cayenne, mustard powder and celery salt, season with salt and pepper, then dip the chicken into the seasoned flour until evenly coated.
  3. Heat 1-2cm oil in a large frying pan until shimmering hot. Add the chicken pieces and fry on each side for 3 minutes until golden. You may need to do this in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan. Remove to a plate thickly lined with kitchen paper.
  4. Put the chicken pieces on a baking sheet, then roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes until cooked through. Serve with coleslaw, if you like.

delicious. tips

  1. Marinate the chicken up to 48 hours in advance. Keep covered in the fridge until ready to use.

  2. Marinating the chicken in the salted, spicy buttermilk tenderises the meat and adds juiciness and flavour.


    How we did it: Instead of double-dipping the chicken in egg and flour, we took the skin off and went for a single dip in a lighter coating, which gives you the spicy crunch without all the extra calories. Ours is also easier as we’ve shallow fried the chicken (rather than deep-frying it), then finished it off in the oven.


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