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, however, calls for just chicken, flour, salt, pepper, baking powder, and oil for frying, ingredients you probably have in your pantry.
Boneless or bone-in chicken breasts can be used for this basic but great-tasting fried chicken breast recipe, just 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. No matter which type of chicken you use, take note that a 2- to 4-hour refrigerating time is necessary.
You can also make a quick cream gravy using a little of the pan drippings along with some flour, milk, and cream. Serve the chicken with mashed potatoes or smashed garlic potatoes, buttermilk biscuits, 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 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
- Vegetable oil (for frying)
Gather the ingredients.
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).
Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
In a food storage bag or wide, shallow bowl, combine the flour, 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper, and the baking powder and shake or stir to blend. Put the chicken pieces in the flour mixture and shake or mix gently until well coated.
Place the chicken on a rimmed baking dish or large platter. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.
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.
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.)
If cooking in batches, remove the chicken pieces to the rack on the prepared pan and tent loosely with foil; fry the remaining chicken.
Pair 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 pan and place it over medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons of flour and stir, scraping the dregs from the bottom of the pan, 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.
- For KFC's original fried chicken, try this recipe.