Even though the 4th of July is over, there’s still reason to celebrate! July 6 is National Fried Chicken Day, the perfect occasion for chicken lovers to revel in their love for this classic comfort food by enjoying it at their favorite restaurant or cooking some up at home.
But as satisfying as it is to indulge in some crispy, finger-licking good chicken today, you might want to consider opting for a lighter recipe after the holiday weekend. We’ve collected some of the best healthy fried chicken recipes that still deliver on the flavor and crispiness you crave so you can celebrate at home!
Health Benefits of Chicken
Before diving into some of our favorite recipes for National Fried Chicken Day, let’s start with highlighting a few of the health benefits of chicken. Chicken is a dietary staple used in cuisines around the world because of its versatility and nutritional value. In fact, it’s rich in a variety of important nutrients our bodies need to thrive, like protein, selenium, and phosphorus. The first of these, protein, helps enhance feelings of fullness and maintain muscle mass, making chicken a great post-workout meal.
Incorporating more chicken into your diet can also help promote bone and muscle strength. Since chicken is a lean protein source, it also gives your body amino acids that are used to build muscle tissue and bone mineral density.
However, it’s important to note that not all chicken is created equal. The health benefits of this protein are largely based on how you prepare and cook it. Fried and breaded chicken is higher in unhealthy fats and calories, and processed chicken (i.e. deli chicken, fast food chicken nuggets) also has added sodium. Luckily, there are many healthy chicken recipes that are just as delicious and easy to make right in your own kitchen.
5 Healthy Fried Chicken Meals
Craving some crispy goodness yet? Here are a few healthy fried chicken options you can make (or buy!) today!
This healthier oven-fried chicken recipe is perfectly crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside, plus it’s grain-free! The combination of homemade, dairy-free “buttermilk” and cassava flour is the perfect breading for this gluten-free option. Plus, no deep frying required.
Pro-tip: if you have an air fryer, you can easily use it for this recipe for faster cook time and easier cleanup!
Baked Chicken Wings
If you’re craving healthy fried chicken wings without the breading, this recipe should be added to your meal plan rotation. The trick to making crispy oven-baked chicken wings is to dry them really well, ideally using a paper towel to blot away any moisture. The less moisture left in the skins meals your wings will be crispier. Also, using baking powder can help your wings brown nicely in the oven and create a crispy coating that is just as satisfying as that from a deep fryer.
Celebrating National Fried Chicken Day with Snap Kitchen
Want to skip the cooking entirely? See below for a few of our comfort food favorite Snap Kitchen meals.
Want to spice things up? Whether you like your fried chicken hot or prefer dark meat over light, we have the perfect hot baked chicken for you. Since this is a Snap Kitchen meal, all you need to do is transfer the meal to an oven-safe dish and bake for 15-17 minutes. Then you’ll have a baked chicken thigh with perfectly crispy skin and our hot sauce. But wait, it gets better. This meal also comes with a side of creamy brown rice mac & cheese that complements the spicy chicken.
You can’t go wrong with our chicken tenders with turnip mash. The oven-baked tenders are sure to be a hit for your entire family (and are infinitely healthier than what you’d find at a fast-food joint). The chicken is almond-crusted, making it even healthier than a breaded alternative. And don’t forget the turnip mash and braised kale that adds more color and flavor to your comfort meal plate.
Mouthwatering Rotisserie Chicken
While rotisserie chicken is delicious in its own right, it’s also a good substitute for when you’re craving fried chicken. By using the right blend of spices and cooking temperature you can have an entire chicken with a crispy, flavorful skin that will be the star of the dish. If you don’t feel like making it yourself, our avocado ranch rotisserie chicken is an easy solution. You can have a perfectly cooked rotisserie chicken leg quarter, marinated in herbs and ghee made in minutes. Plus, we even gave you a peek at the recipe here.
If you don’t feel like cooking after the long holiday weekend, you can count on Snap to deliver delectable chicken recipes to your door. Browse our selection of meals where chicken is the star for some inspiration for your next box.
Want to learn more about making your favorite comfort meals healthy and any upcoming food holidays? Check out the Snap Kitchen blog!