Crispy Southern Chicken

Healthy Living, Recipes

Perfect picnic food, this crispy Southern chicken recipe gives you all the flavor without the high fat of traditional fried chicken. A delicious marinade keeps the chicken tender and juicy.

Marinating your chicken in yogurt may be a new way to add flavor you’ve not tried before. The lactic acid in yogurt is a more mild acid than traditional marinades are composed of, and therefore it tenderizes meat to a pull-apart consistency. The flavors of the spices that are mixed into this marinade are dispersed throughout the meat as a result, and the carmelization of the yogurt when cooked adds a light crust to the outside of the meat. In this recipe, that crust complements the breadcrumb or panko used to coat the chicken nicely. If you’re wondering where all that sodium comes from in this recipe’s nutritional data, the breadcrumbs are the culprit. At 462mg per serving this is considered a high sodium meal. One way to reduce the salt content is to make your own breadcrumbs or purchase low salt versions available at your local store. To make this recipe gluten-free, utilize gluten free breadcrumbs.

Theresa Jackson RD, CSOWM, CDN

Clinical Nutrition Manager, Kenmore Mercy Hospital


  • 1 cup low fat plain Greek yogurt (gluten free if needed)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves or 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (1 3/4 to 2 lb)
  • 1 Tbsp trans fat free margarine melted
  • 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs or panko bread crumbs


In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, thyme, garlic, paprika, cayenne and salt and mix well. Add the chicken and coat it with the mixture. Marinate the chicken, covered and refrigerated, for 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 400°.

Lightly coat a shallow roasting pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a shallow dish, combine the margarine and bread crumbs. Dredge the chicken in the bread crumbs, shaking off the excess. Transfer the coated chicken pieces to the pan.

Bake chicken breasts for 25 minutes and thighs for 30 to 35 minutes, or until tender.

Yield: 6 servings

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Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 4-5 ounces of chicken

Calories: 256

Sodium: 462mg

Fat: 5g

Carbohydrates: 16g

Saturated Fat: 1g

Fiber: 1g

Cholesterol: 79mg

Protein: 35g

* Nutritional information is based on ingredients listed and serving size; any additions or substitutions to ingredients may alter the recipe’s nutritional content

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No information provided in any recipe and/or other product or service is a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be interpreted as treatment recommendations. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH PROVIDER WITH ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING A MEDICAL CONDITION.