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Healthy Balance

National Fried Chicken Day: Try Crispy Southern Chicken Instead

fried chicken

Yes, Virginia, there is a National Fried Chicken Day, and it’s today! I’m usually not too excited about chicken, but it’s hard to resist when it’s coated in a salty crackly crunch. But that same flavor and crunch comes with some health concerns.

A Healthier National Fried Chicken Day Recipe

Fried chicken is “one of those foods that tends to be overindulged in, because it satisfies a lot of cravings at once — for something salty, crunchy, and greasy,” says Katherine Basbaum, a registered dietitian with the Heart and Vascular Center. “But eating fried chicken (or other fried foods for that matter) on a regular basis can put you at increased risk of developing chronic conditions such as heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and obesity.”

Instead, try this recipe for crispy southern chicken. Basbaum explains what makes it better for you:

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 256
  • Fat: 5g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Cholesterol: 79mg
  • Sodium: 462mg
  • Carbohydrates: 16g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 35g



1. 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.
2. Preheat the oven to 400°.
3. 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.
4. Bake chicken breasts for 25 minutes and thighs for 30 to 35 minutes, or until tender.

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