Walnut and Rosemary Oven-Fried Chicken

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I think if you grew up in the ’80s-’90s, the words “Shake N Bake” (and not just in reference to Talladega Nights) had to be a part of your vocabulary. Admittedly, we had shake-n-bake-chicken here and there when I was a kid, and now I feel like a total sucker. Not because we were eating processed food (not the best, but you know, it was the ’80s-’90s and that’s what people did), but because they were essentially selling us breadcrumbs for twice the price.  Damn  you, Kraft! It’s almost as bad as that KFC commercial that tries to tell you that frying your own chicken will cost you, like, a hundred dollars to do at home.

At any rate, I really enjoy trying different coatings for chicken, and I’ve found that nuts make one of the best. They add a great toasty flavor and a crunchy crust that would be difficult to achieve without at least a quick pan-fry before finishing off in the oven. This chicken also utilizes toasted panko to further the crispiness, and a great combo of rosemary and Dijon for flavor.

Remember my crazy trip to the Asian grocery store? One of the best finds there was whole wheat panko! This seemed to be quite the elusive ingredient, but apparently it does exist. I should have stocked up.

I didn’t have buttermilk and I used the only lemon I had to make a light dressing for our side salad, so I ended up using a combo of milk and lowfat sour cream to dip the chicken in. The recipe just calls for a quick soak, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to marinate these ahead of time, if you want one less step to do later on. Either way, it’s a very quick recipe that can easily be made and enjoyed on a weekday.

Here’s a quick tip, too. We had this with roasted potatoes and I started roasting those on one half of a large baking pan, as I was preparing the chicken. When I had the chicken dredged and on the rack, I added the rack (carefully, of course) to the other half of the baking dish. This way everything was done all at once and I didn’t have to wash a second pan.

Walnut and Rosemary Oven-Fried Chicken

  • That looks delicious, I’ll have to give it a try. Awesome photo too!

  • This would be a great way to use up some of the fresh rosemary I still have from the okra potato salad!

  • Wow stunning photo and sounds like a nice recipe. I’m a fan of oven friend chicken and I’ll have to give it a try. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • All too familiar with shake n bake! I love nut coatings on chicken or pork. Add a great crunch and terrific flavor!

  • I would love to try this recipe. I’m pinning this for sure. I’ve never tried oven fried chicken, but I think I’d really like it.

  • I made this and blogged it last year, it was delicious. Thanks for the reminder to make it again! Beautiful photo.

  • Goodness gracious this looks incredible! Funny back in the 80’s – 90’s “Shake N Bake” was awesome, even my Greek mother would break out of the traditional Greek food role and explore. I can’t wait to make this and so glad I stumbled upon you!

    • elly

      My mom was the same, Georgie. My family would die before opening a can of Campbell’s, but for some reason Shake N Bake was the bees knees. 🙂

  • The KFC comment cracked me up! But I’m going to have to go outside of the box and look for WW Panko! I had no idea it was out there.

  • My mom could use an update to her chicken cutlet breading, so I’m going to pass this along to her! Cornflakes also make an awesome coating.

  • Ew, Shake n’ Bake. Pork chops were the worst! This looks much, much better. I’m sure the flavor from the toasted walnuts and rosemary is out of this world.

  • Pam

    I have always loved rosemary flavoring on chicken. This looks particularly wonderful. I love breading and this one is baked, not fried, so that is a plus. It looks and sounds wonderful. Thanks.

  • This looks so good to me right now – definitely adding it to the menu soon.

  • Kathleen

    I made this for dinner last night – it was fantastic. Both my husband and I loved it. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • elly

      Glad you enjoyed it, Kathleen!

  • This chicken really looks amazing! I often bread my chicken with panko, but need to finally mix it up a bit and try with walnuts 🙂

  • I love walnut coated chicken – looks so good! And I will definitely look for wheat panko the next time I’m at HMart, thanks for the tip!

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  • Wow! I’d actually like to try this with peanuts if that’s not weird. ;]