Monday, February 24, 2014

Potato Chip Chicken

Does anyone remember the liquid diet? People lost quite a bit of weight, but they didn't eat a thing. I haven't heard about it in a long time, so maybe it finally disappeared. One of my friends who went on that diet told me that the day it ended, she zigzagged up and down the street buying fried chicken to eat. I was surprised by her choice. After months of not eating, I think I might have gone for ice cream and cherry pie. 

Her story reminds me how much we love fried chicken. To be honest, I don't eat it often. Instead, I'm always searching for baked "fried chicken" recipes. There are a million ways to make it like panko, corn flakes or bread crumbs. Lately though, I've seen the same claim over and over again. Potato chips make the best oven-fried chicken.

As luck had it, I saw a recipe for Tyler Florence's oven-fried chicken shortly before a trip to the grocery store. It recommended using thick cut potato chips. Okay, I was game! Time to try it.

Tyler's recipe makes a bucket full of chicken. 12 pieces, in fact. I cut the ingredients way back and made two boneless chicken breasts. I even cut those in half because chicken breasts have gotten so ridiculously large. This recipe makes about two servings.


  • It's so simple and fast, you can whip this up in a snap.
  • It's good.
  • It's crunchy. The potato chips stay crunchy, even when cold.
  • The chicken is wonderfully tender.
  • It's not fried.
  • Except for the chicken and potato chips, the recipe relies on standard pantry items.
  • If you're having a bad day, smashing the chips may be therapeutic.
  • It's much faster and less hassle than frying.
  • No one will mistake this for oil-fried chicken.
  • Potato chips have a lot of calories and fat. Not sure there's a big gain over frying.
  • It relies on a lot of salt.

Oven Fried Chicken
the Tyler Florence way

canola oil
1/3 cup milk
3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup flour plus 1 tablespoon flour (separated)
4 ounces potato chips
Kosher salt
2 large boneless chicken breasts

Preheat oven to 400.

Spritz or rub canola oil on a rack set over a baking tray. Whisk the mustard into the milk and season with salt and pepper. Pour 1/4 cup flour into a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Crush the potato chips in the bag. Pour them into a bowl and mix with 1 tablespoon of flour. Season with salt and pepper. Cut the chicken breasts in half. Season with salt and pepper. Dust each piece of chicken with the flour, dip into milk, and press into potato chips. Lay chicken pieces on the rack. Bake 20 minutes.

Before baking.

Nice and crunchy.

Moist inside.


  1. My mother was an eternal dieter. Anyone remember Ayds? Great theory: eat this caramel-like thing and lose weight. Nope. Then she got into Metrecal. Me, I did try one of those powdered liquid diets about twenty years ago, and it worked well--but it all came back, sigh. This recipe sounds delicious and simple, but we can't keep potato chips in the house because we eat them! Would a single-serving snack package be enough for a recipe for two?

  2. Sheila, just check the bag weight to see if it's enough.

    Krista, this looks glorious. I don't know that I'd bother with the salt and pepper in the flour and chips. The chips may well have enough and you can add a little if it's needed when you are eating. (Actually, I'd probably add a little Braggs Amino Acids in the milk bath. Flavor and a bit of saltiness.) And the mustard is a great addition to the flavoring.
    That's only 2 oz. of chips per person. Not such a dreadful amount.
    Hm...Wonder how it would work with corn chips?

    1. Libby, I thought exactly as you did about the salt. I added it according to the recipe, but went very light on it. Surprisingly, I found it needed a little bit more salt!

      Corn chips sound good to me. I wonder if they would get soggy? If you try it, let us know!


    2. Sounds like a challenge. I'll have to see what I can do!

    3. I did the comparison--one half with potato chips and one half with corn chips.
      As to crunchiness, they both work.
      The corn chips have enough of a pronounced flavor (while the potato chips are a bit more neutral) that they are rather overwhelming. I think they would work better if you wanted a Tex-Mex feel and added chili powder and cumin to the coating.
      When I do this again, I will make the following adjustments--
      More mustard in the milk--it adds a lovely undertone
      Some grated Parmesan or Romano cheese in the chips coating, plus some herbs.
      Thanks for the inspiration.

    4. Very odd. I thought I posted an update last night, but it isn't here.
      I experimented and did 1/2 with potato chips and 1/2 with corn chips. Both stayed about even on crispness. The potato chips are a bit more neutral in flavor than the corn chips. The corn might work best with Tex-Mex seasonings. I used more mustard than called for because I like the undertone it imparts.
      If I try it again, I will used the potato chips (unless going south of the border), additional mustard, and garlic and herbs in the coating. I did not use any of the salt called for but put Bragg's amino acids liquids (similar tasting to soya sauce) in the milk.

    5. Libby! You're wonderful! I can see how the corn chips might lend themselves beautifully to a Tex Mex version. Oooo. And I love the addition of Parmesan to the potato chips. I bet even Tyler Florence would kick himself for not thinking of that. Great idea!!!


  3. Sheila, I remember Ayds. They always sounded too good to be true!

    I know what you mean about potato chips. I have the same problem with some foods. Just don't dare keep them in the house. I used about 2 ounces per chicken breast, which turned out to be two small bags of potato chips. I think they were probably individual serving bags, but they weren't teeny.


  4. Looks delish! I remember making "fried" chicken by rubbing chicken breasts with mayonnaise and dipping them in crushed corn flakes. The crust was amazing!

    No liquid diets for me unless it's milkshakes. :O

    Daryl / Avery

    1. Daryl, if you invented a milkshake diet that worked, you could make a fortune! LOL!

      I think this is very much like the mayo/cornflake recipe, except the potato chips are saltier and keep a nice crunch.


  5. I'm drooling, this looks so good! I've done the baked with corn flakes thing and it's pretty good, but I'm going to try this. I remember Ayds, too. I believe they acted as a laxative if you ate too many. My mother tells a story about the time she and her girlfriend gave someone a bunch of Ayds caramels telling the victim that they were candy...

    1. Oh no! Your mother was quite the prankster! I think you'll like this method of "frying" chicken. It's very quick, and the chicken turns out lovely and moist.


  6. This looks wonderful, Krista, and it's made me very hungry for chicken. Breakfast will now be a let-down, but I'm going to try this soon.