Fabio Viviani's Recipe Hack Makes Fried Chicken So Much Easier — and Healthier

The #TopChef cheftestant shares his 30-minute recipe.

Who doesn't love some good old-fashioned crispy, juicy fried chicken for dinner? But deep-frying and dealing with all that hot oil can make a huge mess; plus, anything fried is loaded with extra fat and calories. Here's an easier and healthier solution from Top Chef's Fabio Viviani—"fried" chicken that's actually baked in the oven.

It's a lot less of a hassle to make, and while it's cooking in the oven you can whip up a spicy ketchup for dipping. And afterwards, there's no icky oil to discard. All of the flavor, none of the guilt or mess.

Oven “Fried” Chicken with Balsamic Chile Ketchup

Serves 4

Fabio Says: Here’s an idea for anyone who “breads” meat and poultry often. Buy yourself two lidded trays, each two to three inches deep and measuring about eight by five inches. Put flour in one, to a depth of about an inch, and the same amount of breadcrumbs in the other. This way, your breading station is ready and waiting for you. Sift the flour and breadcrumbs after each use, and after four or five times, toss ‘em and start fresh. The food you bread will be cooked, so there are no worries about cross-contamination.

10 minutes prep time

30 minutes cooking time


For the chicken:

  • 2 pounds chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • 1 ½ cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons minced rosemary
  • ½ cup grated Grana Padano cheese
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon salt

For the ketchup:

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ cup aged balsamic glaze
  • ¼ cup minced Calabria chilies
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • Sliced lemons, for garnish


1. Heat oven to 375°F.

2. Cut chicken lengthwise to make thin breasts. Then cut those breasts in half to give you 4 portions per starting breast.

3. Combine breadcrumbs with rosemary and Grana Padano. Dip chicken into eggs and then press crumb mixture into chicken.

4. In a separate bowl, combine black pepper, garlic powder, paprika and salt. Then season breaded chicken with that mixture. Set chicken on a baking rack on a sheet tray and place in oven. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until chicken is done and golden.

5. While chicken cooks, combine the garlic, honey, balsamic, chilies and ketchup. Use this as your dipping sauce. Serve with lemon slices.

Credit: From Fabio’s 30-Minute Italian by Fabio Viviani; published by St. Martin’s Press. Copyright ©2017 by Fabio Viviani. All Rights Reserved. Used with Permission. Page 190.

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