Crispy Cayenne Chicken

Some days I just crave a big ‘ol plate of fried chicken.  The kind I grew up eating when I didn’t think about things like cholesterol or my waistline.  Whenever my mom made “fried chicken” growing up it felt like a treat.  About once a month I would see her pulling the Shake N Bake box out of the cupboard, and I knew we were in for a good meal. Even though she didn’t actually fry it, the crispy coating created by this mix felt like I was digging my teeth into a deep-fried chicken leg.  Complimented by her buttery mashed potatoes and oven rolls, this meal always made a blonde little girl, who had a love affair with food, very happy 🙂  Not to mention a grown adult woman, who sits at a computer screen typing…

Well, this past Sunday was just one of those days.  It had been a wonderful day of hanging out with my boys, but I was feeling the effects of losing an hour of sleep the night before from springing ahead to Daylight Savings Time.  I love “springing ahead” because of how much later it stays light out, but I hate losing that hour of sleep.  Is it just me, or do we all feel the effects from this a little more the older we get??!!

I was tired so didn’t feel like putting a lot of effort into supper and since I was tired, I was craving something greasy and high in calorie…liked fried chicken 🙂  Not wanting to give into my cravings but still hoping to make something that would satisfy them, while not being too bad for me, I searched the pantry for a healthier way to bread our chicken breasts.  When I saw my box of Corn Flakes, I knew I was in luck!  I can remember about a month ago while I was running one Saturday morning on the treadmill tuning into Trisha’s Southern Kitchen.  This show plays after my fave, The Pioneer Woman, and is hosted by one of my longtime favorite country music stars – Trisha Yearwood.  She has lost quite a bit of weight over the past couple years and looks great.  She was doing a show on how to lighten up some of her favorite southern dishes, and I could remember her making chicken with Corn Flakes and baking it instead of frying it.

This was worth a try.  I also grabbed some flour (I opted for regular flour on this night but you could also use whole wheat flour), milk, an egg (usually I would use Egg Beaters, but we had some eggs that needed to be used so to make it lower in calories opt for the Egg Beaters), and of course being the spice lover I am, some cayenne pepper.

Rather than mashed potatoes I made some asparagus and topped them with a little alfredo sauce and parmesan cheese.  This complimented the meal perfectly, and I didn’t even miss the mashed potatoes of my childhood.  The chicken was juicy and crunchy all at the same time…perfect!  I can’t wait to do it again.  I’m excited to find different combinations with other flavorings I enjoy, such as ranch.

Here is what you’ll need on your grocery list:

**This recipe makes enough to serve 4 people.  As usual, I cut the recipe in half for us that night since I just made T.J. a small 3 oz tenderloin to go with ours.  However, the recipe is written for 4.**

4 (6oz) Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts

1 Egg

1/4 cup Skim Milk

1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper (You could always use 1 tbsp Ranch Seasoning Mix instead)

2 cups Corn Flakes

2 tbsp Flour

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Pour Corn Flakes into a ziplock bag and smash flakes into small crumbs.  I just used my fingers to do this.  They break up very easily.  Pour into a shallow bowl.  Add flour to cereal and stir to combine.

In a separate bowl (preferably a shallow bowl so you can dip chicken into the mixture) beat egg.  Then add milk and cayenne pepper.  Stir to combine.


Spray a baking dish with cooking spray.

Dip each chicken breast in egg mixture and then dredge through Corn Flake mixture.  Place each breast in baking dish.  After I put the chicken in the baking dish I took what was left of the Corn Flake mixture and sprinkled it over the chicken.  This made it have just a little extra topping, but if you are worried about the presentation, you may want to skip this if you used white flour.  As you will see in my final picture the flour on the breading is more prominent since I did this, but it tasted great!  If you use whole wheat flour, you may not see it as well or if you don’t mind this look, I would recommend doing as I did 🙂


Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Serve and Enjoy!


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