Simple Fried Chicken Breasts

Simple Fried Chicken Breasts

The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 24 mins
Refrigeration: 2 hrs
Total: 2 hrs 39 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Yield: 6 breasts
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
490 Calories
29g Fat
16g Carbs
39g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 490
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 29g 37%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 102mg 34%
Sodium 267mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 39g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 67mg 5%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 333mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Fried chicken is often a family favorite, but with so many recipes requiring lots of ingredients and steps, it could be intimidating to try to make your own. This recipe uses just a few ingredients (that are probably in your pantry) and an easy cooking method. This no-egg, no-milk, no-breadcrumb dish uses a one-dip dry batter of flour, salt, pepper, and baking powder. While the chicken cooks up quickly, refrigerating the dredged chicken is a must as it ensures the breading stays on while the chicken is frying in the oil.

Boneless or bone-in chicken breasts can be used for this pan-fried chicken recipe, but keep in mind that bone-in chicken breasts cook slower than boneless chicken. If the boneless breasts are very thick, it's best to butterfly them or place them in a plastic bag and pound them thinner with a rolling pin. Alternatively, you can use thinly sliced chicken cutlets, a great choice when you don't have much time to cook.

Serve these simply fried chicken breasts with buttermilk biscuits, mashed potatoes, corn salad, or steamed green beans for a classic and filling fried chicken dinner.


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"When you’re in the mood for a good fried chicken dinner, this is an excellent recipe. The prep is quick and produces fewer dishes than multi-dipped breaded fried chicken recipes. The meat is moist and the outside is nice and crispy with great flavor." —Colleen Graham

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A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 6 boneless or bone-in chicken breasts

  • 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

  • 3 to 4 cups vegetable oil, for frying

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. If you will be frying in batches, line a large baking sheet with foil and top with a cooling rack.

    Ingredients for simple fried chicken breasts recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

    Raw chicken with salt and pepper on a baking sheet

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

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

    Chicken with flour in a bag

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Place the chicken on a rimmed baking dish or large platter, cover, and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.

    Chicken on a baking sheet covered with plastic wrap

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Bring the chicken to room temperature. Pour about 1 1/2 inches of vegetable oil in a deep skillet or Dutch oven and place it over medium heat until the oil reaches 350 F.

    Pot with oil tested with an instant-read thermometer

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Add the chicken pieces to the hot oil. If using bone-in chicken breasts (which are heavier than boneless) ease them into the oil to prevent spills and splashes. When the chicken is hot and browning well, reduce the heat to medium-low. Continue cooking for 4 to 6 minutes on each side, or until well browned and the inner juices run clear when pierced with a fork. Bone-in chicken breasts will take twice as long, between 8 and 12 minutes per side.

    Chicken cooking in a pot of oil

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  7. If cooking in batches, remove the fried chicken pieces, place them on the cooling rack on the prepared pan, and tent loosely with foil. Fry the remaining chicken.

    Chicken on a baking sheet, covered with aluminum foil

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  8. Serve with your favorite sides and enjoy.

    Simple fried chicken breasts on a cooling rack

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

For the Best Fried Chicken

  • The real secret to making great fried chicken is the oil temperature: if the oil is too hot, the outside of the chicken will get too brown, or even burn, while the inside is undercooked, and if it's too cool, the chicken will soak up a lot of oil resulting in soggy chicken breasts. Using an inexpensive deep-fry thermometer can eliminate the guesswork. It lets you know when the oil reaches the recommended temperature and aids in maintaining the temperature as the chicken cooks.
  • If you don't have a deep-fry thermometer, there are a couple of methods to check the temperature of the oil. 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. Or 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.
  • The most accurate way to ensure the chicken is cooked properly is to check the temperature of the chicken with an instant-read food thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the center of the thickest part of the chicken breasts, making sure not to touch bone. The minimum safe temperature for chicken and other poultry is 165 F (74 C).
  • Do not refrigerate the chicken for longer than 4 hours or else the chicken will begin to absorb the flour and create a paste-like coating.
  • Don't place the fried chicken on paper towels to soak up excess oil. Paper towels make your chicken steam, and you'll end up with a soggy piece of chicken. Use a wire rack instead.

Seasoned Fried Chicken

For a flavorful and herbed fried chicken, add more seasonings to the flour. Use dry basil, oregano, smoked paprika, savory, marjoram, or an Italian seasoning blend. For a spicy kick, try adding Cajun seasoning, or for a different flavor profile, use adobo seasoning.