Ya-Ya Chicken

Ya-Ya Chicken

Moist and flavorful, our Ya-Ya Chicken is a baked healthy alternative to traditional fried chicken.

Growing up in the South, I ate nearly everything fried, from pork chops and catfish to tomatoes and okra. But now that we’re older and watching our figures as well as our health, we can’t (or shouldn’t) always eat our Favorite Southern Fried Chicken, no matter how much we love it. In a recent Facebook poll, you all agreed with us and asked that we start featuring more low-fat fare. That’s why we’re thrilled to introduce you to a recipe that Heather says is her new favorite, Ya-Ya Chicken! “Ya-Ya” is an African word for “divine,” which is what this marinated and baked chicken is. Soaked in herbs and dredged in breadcrumbs, Parmesan and Romano cheeses, this chicken is guaranteed to be moist and flavorful. We know you’ll love it too!

PREP: 10 minutes + marinating time (1 hour to overnight)
COOK: 50 minutes


  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for baking sheet
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced and divided
  • 1 whole chicken (3 to 4 pounds), rinsed well, patted dry, and cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Pecorino-Romano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, fresh, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper


  1. Whisk together oil, vinegar, salt, red-pepper flakes, oregano, and 2 minced garlic cloves in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Add chicken to marinade in dish, turning each piece to coat. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  3. Stir together breadcrumbs, cheeses, parsley, pepper, and remaining garlic in a medium bowl. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and coat lightly with olive oil.
  4. Dredge each chicken piece in breadcrumb mixture to coat; shake off excess. Transfer to prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake chicken until breadcrumbs are golden and chicken is cooked through, 45 to 50 minutes. Using a spatula, loosen chicken from sheet before serving.

YIELDS: 4 servings

© 2011 Jadeworks Entertainment. All rights reserved.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

One Response to Ya-Ya Chicken

  1. Pingback: September Song « Jathan & Heather

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