Panko Crusted Chicken Thighs

I wanted some fried chicken, but didn’t want all the calories you’d get from eating it, nor bask in the greasiness of it. So I wanted to make a somewhat healthy version of fried chicken using panko crumbs and baking it in the oven. This is the recipe to use if you ever have a fried chicken urge. The chicken crisped nicely and was still tender and juicy inside. Score!

WHAT IS PANKO? For those that don’t know what panko is, it’s a flaky bread crumb used in Japanese cuisine; it’s used as crunchy coating for fried foods. It is made from bread baked by passing an electronic current through the dough, yielding bread without crusts. It has an airier and crispier texture than other bread crumbs found in Western culture.

Panko has become very popular and is being used in both Asian and non-Asian cuisine. You can find these bread crumbs in any grocery store.

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup olive oil

1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs

2 eggs

1 tablespoon spicy mustard

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1/4 teaspoon paprika

6 boneless chicken thighs (the meatier, the better)

DIRECTIONS

1. Set oven to 400 degrees. Rinse chicken and trim fat. Pat dry. In a bowl, drizzle chicken with olive oil.

2. In a shallow pan, mix eggs with mustard, salt, black pepper, oregano, garlic powder, cayenne, and paprika.

3. In another shallow pan, add panko crumbs. (I added about 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper to the crumbs and mixed it)

4. Dip chicken into egg mixture, making sure to coat well on both sides, then roll the chicken into panko crumbs and coat well. Place the chicken on a wire rack placed inside a shallow baking pan lined with foil. This allows the heat to evenly cook the chicken and allow it get crisp as it bakes. Continue process until all chicken is on the wire rack.

5. Place in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until chicken juices run clear.

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