Fried Chicken Breasts

Fried Chicken Breasts

The Spruce

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 12 mins
Refrigerate: 2 hrs
Total: 2 hrs 27 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Yields: 6 breasts
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
1559 Calories
150g Fat
16g Carbs
39g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 1559
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 150g 192%
Saturated Fat 12g 60%
Cholesterol 102mg 34%
Sodium 347mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 39g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 67mg 5%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 332mg 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 a comforting favorite, but with so many recipes requiring lots of ingredients and steps, it could be intimidating to try to make your own fried chicken. Luckily, our recipe uses ingredients you probably have in your pantry and an easy cooking method. This no-egg and no-milk 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 it's frying in the oil.

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

Prepare an easy gravy and serve with buttermilk biscuits, mashed potatoes, corn salad, or steamed green beans for a classic and filling fried chicken dinner.

1:20

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

Ingredients

  • 6 boneless chicken breasts (or bone-in)

  • Salt to taste, plus 1/2 teaspoon

  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste, plus 1/2 teaspoon

  • 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.

    Fried chicken ingredients
    The Spruce 
  2. Line a large baking sheet with foil and top with a cooling rack. Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

  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.

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

  5. 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.

  6. Add the chicken pieces to the hot oil. If using bone-in chicken breasts (heavier than boneless) ease them into the hot 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.

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

  8. Serve with your favorite sides and enjoy.

What's the Secret to Fried Chicken?

Though it can be tricky to cook, the real secret to making great fried chicken is oil temperature; an inexpensive thermometer can eliminate the guesswork. Find a thermometer that clips onto the side of the pan, it might become your most valued kitchen tool. First, it lets you know without question when the oil reaches the recommended temperature. Secondly, it monitors and aids in maintaining the needed temperature as the chicken cooks. While the temperature does fluctuate, especially during the longer cook time that bone-in breasts require, you can adjust the burner heat so the oil stays around the ideal temperature—if too hot, the outside will get too brown, or even burn, while the inside is raw or bloody, and if it's too cool, the chicken will soak up a lot of oil resulting in soggy chicken breasts.

For the Best Fried Chicken

  • 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.
  • Browning and clear juices are good indicators of done chicken, especially if you can maintain oil temperature. A more accurate way to ensure the chicken is not overcooked or undercooked 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 use 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.

Tasty Herby Additions

For a flavorful and herby fried chicken, try adding 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.