Let's get one thing straight. This recipe is not a substitute for fried chicken. Because fried chicken is heavenly and FATTY. Fatty as in all the way to your thighs, butt, and heart. We do not approve.
Adapted from Cook's Country
Ingredients adapted to serve 2 with a few leftovers
Baked "Fried" Chicken
1 cup buttermilk*
1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/8 teaspoons garlic powder
3/4 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (omit if you don't like heat)
1 1/2 cups panko/Japanese bread crumbs (orig. recipe calls for cornflakes and fresh bread crumbs)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (orig. recipe calls for poultry seasoning but I didn't have any)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes or cayenne
1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used olive. Oil will help the coating brown)
Approx. 1.5-2 lbs of chicken in cut up pieces. I used 1 large breast (cut in 2 pieces), 1 thigh, 2 drumsticks, 2 wings.
*Don't have buttermilk? Me neither. Mix 1 teaspoon of white vinegar or lemon juice in a cup of whole milk and let sit for 5 minutes before use.
Prepare the chicken
In a large bowl, mix the buttermilk, Dijon mustard, black pepper, salt, garlic powder, hot sauce.
Rinse and pat dry each piece. Place in buttermilk mixture. Make sure each piece is coated and try to submerge all the pieces. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour or up to overnight.
Making the "Fried" Outside
Arrange oven rack to the upper middle section. Preheat oven to 425F.
Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment or foil to catch the chicken juices. Place a cooling rack on top of the sheet. In a rimmed baking sheet or roasting dish, gently combine panko bread crumbs, garlic powder, black pepper, salt, and red pepper flakes. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil and mix the crumbs to evenly coat.
Bake at 425F for 15-20 minutes. Reduce heat to 375F. Bake for another 20-30 minutes until internal temperature of the chicken breast is 170F or until juices run clear when cut. If you use a meat thermometer, make sure to poke it through the thickest part of the breast through the side if possible. Remove baking sheet from oven. Allow meat to rest 5-10 minutes.
For sides, I heat up a pre-made / heat 'n' eat (don' make me say "semi-homemade" because that creates feelings of an outfit matching table decor) of baked gruyere & parmesan mac & cheese. And leftover mashed potatoes. I consider it the smart thing to do. (But if you want to make one, try this one).