Sometimes it’s OK to fall in love with a dish.

But when that dish happens to be your doctor’s biggest “no-no” . . . then you have a slight problem. Fried chicken is perhaps my favorite all-time comfort food, and like every health-conscious person out there, I’m inclined to pass on it when it’s offered to me — except on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.

That’s the one day I allow myself to indulge into this magnificent fried comfort food instead of going out and shopping. But once a year is just not enough. So I decided to lock myself in the kitchen and twist up this recipe into a healthier alternative with a guiltless appeal (but with the same guilt-full flavor).

What I came up with was a skinless, oven-fried chicken that tastes even better than those buckets of chicken.


  • 1 Cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon paprika
  • 1 Teaspoon chili powder
  • 3 Tablespoon water
  • Kosher salt or table salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 chicken thighs, skin removed
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 2 Cup panko (Japanese-style) bread crumbs


Step 1

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Step 2

In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, paprika, garlic powder and chili powder. Thin this with a little water, one tablespoon at a time, until you get the consistency of heavy cream, and season with salt and pepper.

Step 3

Add the chicken pieces and coat them well with the flavored mayonnaise.

Step 4

Lightly coat a non-stick baking sheet with the cooking spray. Pour the panko bread crumbs onto a plate.

Step 5

Toss the chicken thighs in the crumbs one at a time and completely coat them.

Step 6

Place the chicken onto the baking sheet and spray them with cooking spray.

Step 7

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, flipping them over halfway through, until the chicken is browned and cooked through.