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Oven Fried Rosemary Chicken - A fantastically flavored chicken recipe that your family will love. And better yet - it's low calorie!

There’s a popular saying about dieting that goes something like this:

“It’s not what you eat between Thanksgiving and New Year’s…it’s what you eat between New Year’s and Thanksgiving!”

It’s definitely a true statement – but even at this time of the year when many diets fall off, I still try to find a balance between eating the holiday season sweet treats and eating healthier, lower calorie foods! So that’s where our delicious Oven Fried Rosemary Chicken comes into play!

This recipe is actually an adaptation of a Weight Watcher’s recipe from here – an oven-fried chicken recipe where the skin has been removed to cut back on unwanted fat and calories!

Oven Fried Rosemary Chicken - A fantastically flavored chicken recipe that your family will love. And better yet - it's low calorie!

Crushed corn flakes help give this oven fried rosemary chicken it’s crispy coating, and we changed up the recipe to include some fragrant and super flavorful chopped fresh rosemary to the breading. The flavors in this dish are so fantastic you won’t believe this is a lower calorie meal!

We also include the steps to brine the chicken overnight in the refrigerator and soak the chicken in buttermilk before breading and baking it. These extra steps help this oven fried rosemary chicken come out extremely juicy and moist – but if you don’t have the time, these steps can be skipped! (But it might not come out as moist and juicy – so make the time to include these steps if you can!)

Interested in more chicken recipes?
Click here for our 100+ Best Chicken Recipes.

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Oven Fried Rosemary Chicken - A Family Feast

Oven Fried Rosemary Chicken

  • Prep Time: 24 hours
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 24 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings


Note: Because the skin has been removed from the chicken, the breading is very delicate and can slide off fairly easy. Be extremely careful when turning the chicken as you prepare this recipe, and also when removing to a serving platter so that the crust stays attached. Your diligence will be rewarded!


For the Brine

  • 1 quart water
  • ¼ cup salt
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 juniper berries (optional)
  • 2 peppercorns
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 quart ice

Other Ingredients

  • 2 pounds bone-in chicken parts, skin removed
  • ½ cup fat free buttermilk
  • ¾ cup corn flakes crushed
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 4 teaspoons canola oil


  1. Place all brine ingredients except ice in a medium pan and bring to a boil. Lower to a medium boil and cook five minutes. Remove from heat and add ice and stir.
  2. While brine is cooling, skin chicken pieces and discard skin. If brine is at room temperature, place chicken pieces and brine together in container or zip lock bag and brine overnight in the refrigerator (at least 12 hours).
  3. Remove chicken from brine and discard brine. Place chicken in buttermilk and let sit at room temperature for one hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray.
  5. Mix crushed corn flakes, rosemary, flour, salt and pepper and pour into a pie plate or bowl. Remove chicken from buttermilk and dredge in cornflake mixture, coating completely.
  6. Place chicken pieces on prepared pan and drizzle canola oil over pieces.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes, turn chicken and bake for another 15-20 minutes until done.

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  • Lew Wiffen wrote:

    I gave my wife a holiday from cooking today and made the “Oven Fried Rosemary Chicken”, as written I guess except that when I couldn’t find Star Anise, I used “5 Chinese Spice” powder. The meal was so delicious and attractive on the plate… I served with candied sweet potatoes and frenched green beans.
    I too had concern about the sodium. If you say the step can be skipped without affecting the flavour, why do it? I did brine but was curious about your comment to Richard in January.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Lew – The purpose of the brine is really to add moisture to the chicken and prevent it from drying out while it bakes – although you can also add flavor when the brine has seasonings added to it as well. Hope that helps explain things a little better – and we’re glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Richard Craig wrote:

    Martha, this recipe looks both inviting and delicious. However, I have a safety-related question relative to the treatment of the chicken and then a couple of general queries.
    1. In recipe step #2, you brine the chicken but you don’t say where. I’m preparing this but brining in the fridge for obvious safety purposes. Problem with that approach?
    2. General Question — For those of us who try to limit our salt intake, doesn’t the brining process infuse the meat with a high level of sodium and shouldn’t we be avoiding that? (Or is it a case of the brine curing the meat’s surface so the natural juices locked in?
    3. General Question — I use olive oil; you call for canola. Any problem with making that substitution?
    Thanks for your recipes. You’re very generous to share them.


    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Richard! Thank you for your message. Yes – the chicken should be brined in the refrigerator and we will be sure to update the recipe to reflect that important detail!! Thank you for alerting us to that omission. And yes – brining does increase the sodium content. You can skip that step in the future and the recipe will still be delicious. Using olive oil is perfectly fine! Thanks for taking the time to write to us tonight…I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  • Ami wrote:

    This looks delicious and will have to try it next time I buy chicken quarters! I’m wondering how you made the sweet potatoes on the side? They look beautiful next to this chicken!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Ami! Those are sweet potatoes that have been glazed and roasted with some shallots and agave nectar! We’ll be sharing the recipe soon!

  • Cynthia Briggs wrote:

    Make this recipe tonight and it was delicious. The only thing I’ll do differently the next time I make it is to not turn the chicken half-way through baking. I lost my crust on one side…

    Excellent recipe, hubby liked it very much and I will definitely make it again.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Cynthia!

  • Kathy wrote:

    This looks delicious! And that saying is so true! I had been doing so well with healthy eating habits and then Thanksgiving came and life just happened! I like making lighter things during the holidays as well, since there are so many opportunities for more decadent meals.

    • Martha wrote:

      Oh I know Kathy…my own diet has been very challenged this year with all of the holiday treats! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Becki’s Whole Life wrote:

    I love weight watchers recipes. I always try to cook lighter dinners during the holidays so I can eat a few more cookies! This sounds absolutely wonderful – don’t think you would miss the skin at all. The coating with the rosemary sounds delicious!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Becki! I am a big fan of Weight Watchers recipes…even when I’m not dieting! Thanks for visiting us today!

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