Fake-and-Bake "Fried" Chicken

Photo by David Prince
Fake-and-Bake "Fried" Chicken 2.1 14 5 1
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  • Serves 4
  • Hands-On Time
  • Total Time
  • Nutritional Information

    Nutritional Information

    Per Serving

    • Calories 648 calories
    • Fat 39 g
    • Sat Fat 6 g
    • Cholesterol 165 mg
    • Sodium 659 mg
    • Protein 51 mg
    • Carbohydrate 22 g
    • Fiber 2 g
    • Iron 3 mg
    • Calcium 30 mg

Given the sputtering pan of hot oil and the kitchen floor fully dusted with flour, fried chicken is the quintessential "love to eat but hate to make" food. The cleanup (plus the guilt over clogging your family's arteries) has turned the onetime southern staple into an occasional splurge. The Real Simple version cuts out most of the prep--and hovering--time, fat, and mess by using potato flakes instead of flour and the oven instead of the stovetop. The full flavor of ranch dressing eliminates overnight marinating time; the flakes give the chicken a full-textured crunch without the need to deep-fry.


  1. Check 1 3 1/2- to 4-pound chicken, cut up and skin removed
  2. Check 1 cup ranch dressing
  3. Check 2 cups instant potato flakes


  1. Heat oven to 450° F. Coat a baking sheet with vegetable cooking spray. Lightly brush the chicken pieces with the dressing, then roll in the potato flakes.
  2. Arrange on the baking sheet and place in oven. Turn down oven to 350° F and bake 25 minutes or until the juices run clear when the chicken is pierced with a fork.