Fried Chicken Breasts

Fried Chicken Breasts

The Spruce

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Refrigerate: 2 hrs
Total: 2 hrs 35 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Yields: 6 breasts

Fried chicken is a comforting dish, often reminding us of picnics, summer, and simpler times. But many recipes require lots of ingredients and hours of marinating. This easy fried chicken recipe calls for ingredients you probably have in your pantry. There's no egg or milk, and you don't have to worry about dipping the chicken in multiple bowls.

The recipe relies on a one-dip dry batter of flour, salt, pepper, and baking powder. While the chicken cooks up quickly, you will need to refrigerate it for 2 to 4 hours to ensure the breading stays on while it's frying in the oil.

Boneless or bone-in chicken breasts can be used for this pan-fried chicken recipe. Keep in mind that boneless chicken breasts cook faster than bone-in chicken. You can also use thinly sliced chicken cutlets, which take a fraction of the time when compared to classic Southern fried chicken on the bone. 

If you like, make a quick cream gravy using a little of the pan drippings along with some flour, milk, and cream. Serve the chicken with buttermilk biscuits, mashed potatoes or smashed garlic potatoes, and green beans or another green vegetable.


Click Play to See This Classic Fried Chicken Breast Recipe Come Together


  • 6 split bone-in chicken breasts (or boneless)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (plus more to taste)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Vegetable oil (for frying)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Fried Chicken Ingredients
    The Spruce 
  2. If you will be cooking in batches, line a large baking sheet with foil and top with a wire rack (such as a cooling rack).

  3. Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  4. In a food storage bag or wide, shallow bowl, combine the flour, 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper, and the baking powder. Shake or stir to blend. Put the chicken pieces in the flour mixture and shake or mix gently until well coated.

    Coat chicken with flour
    The Spruce
  5. Place the chicken on a rimmed baking dish or large platter. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.

  6. Pour about 1 1/2 inches of vegetable oil in a deep skillet or Dutch oven and place it over medium heat. Heat the oil to 350 F.

  7. Add the chicken pieces to the hot oil. When the chicken is hot and browning well, reduce the heat to medium-low. Continue cooking for 8 to 12 minutes on each side, or until well browned and juices run clear when pierced with a fork. (Boneless chicken breasts will take about half the time.)

    Fry the chicken
    The Spruce
  8. If cooking in batches, remove the chicken pieces to the rack on the prepared pan and tent loosely with foil; fry the remaining chicken.

  9. Serve with your favorite sides and enjoy.


  • If you don't have a deep-fry thermometer, there are a couple of methods to check the temperature of the oil. One is to drop a 1-inch cube of bread into the oil. It will brown in about 1 minute when the oil is at the right temperature. You can also dip the handle end of a wooden spoon into the oil. When it starts to bubble steadily around the wood, the oil is hot enough for frying. If the oil is too hot, it will bubble very vigorously and should be cooled a bit before you add food.
  • Check the temperature of the chicken with an instant-read food thermometer to be sure the chicken is not overcooked or undercooked. The minimum safe temperature for chicken and other poultry is 165 F (74 C). Insert the thermometer into the center of the thickest part of the chicken breasts, making sure not to touch bone.

To Make Cream Gravy

Remove all but 3 tablespoons of drippings from the skillet and place it over medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons of flour and stir, scraping the dregs from the bottom of the skillet, for 2 minutes. Add 2 1/2 cups of milk and 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring, just until thickened and smooth. Taste and add salt and pepper, as needed.