Healthy Oven-Fried Chicken in a Bucket

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We love to have dinners where we eat everything with our fingers. Chicken in a bucket is a great start to what can be a fun and silly dinner the whole family will love. This oven-fried chicken is so great you won't miss any of the fat from traditional fried chicken. The ground almonds closely attach to the chicken to make a sweet crust around it while the panko gives the chicken that extra-crispy crunch. For sides, use your imagination. We love sliced vegetables and sweet potato french fries with our favorite condiments. I have even included my homemade ranch dressing recipe. It is a family favorite and is easy to make not to mention so much healthier than anything you can buy in the store.

Oven-Fried Chicken
Image: Courtesy of A Family That Eats Together

Servings: 8-10

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts sliced into 4-inch strips
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 cups whole-wheat panko bread crumbs
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder (optional)
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup nonfat milk


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Place a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet.
  • Pulse almonds to a crumbly mixture in either a blender or food processor.
  • Stir together the almonds mixture, panko, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and chili powder, if using.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and milk together.
  • Line up the bowls in this order: egg mixture then crumb mixture. Place the baking sheet with rack next to the crumb mixture. Dip each chicken strip in the egg mixture and then the crumb mixture, fully coating the chicken in the crumbs. Place each strip on the rack on the baking sheet. Repeat with all the chicken. Place the chicken in the oven and cook for approximately 30-40 minutes. Watch the chicken so that the crumbs don't burn. Flip the chicken over if one side gets too brown.
  • Plate the chicken in a decorative bucket. Serve with your family's favorite condiment.

Homemade Ranch Dressing

Yield: 2 cups

Prep Time: 10 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, minced, or dried dill
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives, minced
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup mayonnaise--use your favorite fat content
  • ½ cup sour cream--use your favorite fat content
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar or good white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk or regular milk (as needed for desired consistency)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • Pulse the dill, chives and garlic in a blender or food processor until finely chopped. Add mayonnaise, sour cream, Worcestershire and vinegar. Pulse to thoroughly combine. While pulsing the mixture, slowly add buttermilk until you reach the consistency you prefer. Season with salt and pepper to your taste.

Nicole Cibellis

A family that eats together... from foodie to kid-friendly in one dish



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