Crunchy Lemonade Chicken

A recipe for oven-fried chicken with a crunchy lemon and panko coating. A chicken so incredibly tender that every bite will melt in your mouth in a burst of lemon sunshine. Thanks to the marinade.A combination of fresh lemon juice, lemon zest and buttermilk. And to the coating. A mixture of panko, thyme and more lemon zest.

I think everyone should have a good, oven-fried chicken recipe up their sleeve. Just like this one. Equally delicious hot from the oven, at room temperature or cold, this is a perfect addition to your picnic basket! Nothing is more classic.

With the zingy lemon, crispy crust and juicy insides this is far too tempting to pass up. Everyone will love it.

Crunchy Lemonade Chicken

Rating: 51

Yield: 4 - 6 servings

Crunchy Lemonade Chicken

Oven-fried chicken with a crunchy lemon and panko coating.


2 tablespoons grated lemon zest, divided
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup water
1 cup buttermilk
3 1/2 to 4 pounds chicken pieces, bone-in, skin-on
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 cup mayonnaise
olive-oil cooking spray


  1. Mix 1 tablespoon lemon zest and lemon juice in a large bowl. Whisk in water and buttermilk.
  2. Pierce chicken pieces several times with a fork and season well with salt and pepper. Toss in the marinade making sure all sides are well coated, cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
  3. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator 1 hour before cooking and bring to room temperature.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Put the panko, thyme, the remaining lemon zest, cayenne, 1 teaspoon salt, and a couple dashes black pepepr in a large resealable plastic bag and shake to mix.
  5. Put the mayonnaise in a wide, shallow bowl. Set a wire rack on a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray - if you don't have an oven proof wire rack spray a large non-stick baking sheet with sides.
  6. Remove the chicken from the marinade, dip in the mayonnaise, then drop into the bag and shake to coat, transfer to the rack.
  7. Mist the chicken lightly all over with cooking spray. Bake until golden about 35 minutes then flip and bake until cooked through (breasts don’t need to be turned), juices should run clear and internal temperature should reach 165-174 degrees F.


Adapted from Food Network

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  1. kitchen flavours says

    Wow, this looks really crispy and delicious. I like that it is baked and not fried. Yummy…

  2. Deb in Hawaii says

    This looks perfectly delicious–love the panko and all the lemon too. The fact that it is oven-baked just makes it all the better. ;-)

  3. Sutapa says

    Yum Yum! Lemony crisp chicken something I would like to have any time and the best part is, crisp yet not fried.

  4. Magic of Spice says

    That is the most beautiful crispy chicken…I bet the lemon adds a nice summery touch :)

  5. Jenn says

    The joys of having a supply of panko handy. :) This looks fantastic. I think I'll make myself a crispy chicken sandwich. Yum!!

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