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Oklahoma Favorite Foods Made Healthier: Fried Chicken

13 July 2017

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Welcome to another entry in our “Oklahoma Favorite Foods Made Healthier” series, where we tweak some of Oklahoma’s favorite comfort foods so you can enjoy them in a better-for-you way. You’ll still get the great flavor that made the foods favorites in the first place, but limit the parts (like grease, lard, bad fats and refined sugar) that aren’t so healthy. Small changes like the tweaks in these recipes can eventually produce big results and help build momentum to establish other healthy food habits.

There’s no doubt Oklahomans love their fried chicken. It’s perhaps the quintessential summer food. Whole families have been been practically torn apart debating who has better fried chicken, Eischen’s or The Drum Room.

But no one can argue fried chicken is very healthy. Traditional versions tend to be heavy on calories, sodium and saturated fat. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Courtesy of Cooking Light, here is a twist on the traditional fried chicken recipe that still provides juicy fried chicken flavor with much less fat and sodium. Cooking in a small amount of heart-healthy peanut oil adds flavor and makes the chicken crispy, too.

So go ahead, enjoy this delectable Southern fare, guilt-free! This pan-fried recipe cuts calories in half and reduces saturated fat by a whopping 92 percent. Trust us―you won’t miss any of it.

Pan-Fried Chicken


1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 bone-in chicken breast halves (about 1 1/4 pounds), skinned
2 chicken thighs (about 10 ounces), skinned
2 chicken drumsticks (about 10 ounces), skinned
1/4 cup peanut oil


Place first 5 ingredients in a large heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag. Seal bag, and shake to blend. Sprinkle salt evenly over chicken. Add chicken, one piece at a time, to bag. Seal bag, and shake to coat chicken. Remove chicken from bag, shaking off excess flour. Place chicken on a cooling rack; place rack in a jelly-roll pan. Reserve and refrigerate remaining flour mixture in bag. Loosely cover chicken with wax paper and chill 1 1/2 hours.

Let chicken stand at room temperature 30 minutes.

Return chicken, one piece at a time, to flour mixture, shaking bag to coat chicken. Discard excess flour mixture.

Heat peanut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan. Reduce heat to medium, and cook 25 minutes or until done, carefully turning every five minutes.

Line a clean cooling rack with several layers of paper towels. Drain chicken on paper towels.

Let stand five minutes before eating.