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RECIPE: Emma Coburn’s baked “fried” chicken sandwich

This delicious sandwich recipe features "the healthier cousin of fried chicken"

Emma Coburn Photo by: Kevin Morris

American Olympic medallist Emma Coburn knows a thing or two about fuelling as an athlete. She has been a professional runner since 2013, and in that time she has won two world championships medals (one gold and one silver) and Olympic bronze. Without knowing how to properly fuel during training, Coburn’s resume might not be so colourful. On top of her illustrious career as a pro, she has also written a cookbook, The Runner’s Kitchen, that shares her favourite recipes with fellow athletes. Here is one of her favourites, a baked “fried” chicken sandwich. Not sure how something can be baked and fried? Don’t worry, we’ll explain. 


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A post shared by Emma Coburn (@emmacoburn)


Coburn shared more than just the recipe for the chicken itself, adding directions for making pickled onions and a sauce to top the sandwich. She also notes that these recipes will serve “two hungry people or three to four light eaters.” For the chicken, you will need the following ingredients. 

  • two chicken breasts
  • 3/4 cup flour 
  • 1/2 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 tablespoon chilli powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon creole seasoning
  • two eggs
  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • brioche buns 

For the pickled onion, grab these ingredients. 

  • 1/2 red onion
  • one cup white vinegar  
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • two tablespoons salt
  • two tablespoons sugar 

For a spicy sauce, use these:

  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt 
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • two tablespoons sriracha sauce
2021 New Balance Indoor Grand Prix Track & Field Emma Coburn
Coburn competes at the 2021 New Balance Indoor Grand Prix. Photo: Kevin Morris


Starting with the pickled onions, thinly slice your half red onion. Put your vinegar, water, sugar and salt in a jar, then shake until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Add the onion slices and close or cover the jar. For your sauce, combine the three ingredients and mix. 

With the chicken, start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees. Slice the chicken so the pieces are around half an inch thick and divide into three separate sections. Next, pat your chicken dry with a paper towel. 

In one bowl, combine the flour and spices, and in another bowl, beat your eggs. Have a third bowl set aside for your breadcrumbs. Toss your chicken slices into the first bowl of flour and spices, coating each piece with the mixture. Then, dip the chicken in the beaten egg mix. Put it back into the flour and spices once more before dipping it in the breadcrumbs, coating each piece. Place your chicken on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes (or longer if the chicken doesn’t fully cook in this time). 

Once your chicken is ready, serve on brioche buns topped with your pickled onions and sauce. Coburn recommends adding a side of sweet potato fries or salad.