The bar has officially been raised when it comes to serving boneless, skinless chicken breast for dinner. With an irresistibly crunchy, golden batter on the outside, flavorful and juicy on the inside, these Fried Chicken Breasts are exceeding all dinnertime standards…and then some.
Thanks to this recipe, not only are your days of boring chicken breasts long-gone, so are the days of burnt batter, undercooked chicken, and giant messes. Fried Chicken Breasts have been perfected and it’s all thanks to four simple things — a buttermilk soak, a gallon-sized ziptop bag, a dip in hot oil, and a quick trip to the oven.
KITCHEN ESSENTIALS FOR FRIED CHICKEN
- Large Bowl – You will need a large bowl to house four chicken breasts in a buttermilk soak.
- Ziptop Bag – The chicken breasts will go straight from the buttermilk to a ziptop bag, helping to eliminate mess and making the dredging process a breeze. Make sure you buy the gallon-sized bags so you have room to shake things around.
- Large Skillet – Cast iron skillets are well-known for being even distributors of heat, and for this reason, are an excellent choice for making Fried Chicken Breasts. You could also use an enameled cast-iron Dutch oven or a large, sturdy fry pan.
- Baking Sheet – Have a ready a rimmed baking sheet (preferably lined with aluminum foil) to finish cooking the chicken in the oven.
- Thermometer – Thermometers are an essential tool for making Fried Chicken. They will help you to gauge both the temperature of your oil and the doneness of your meat.
You’ll be using boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this recipe. Keep in mind not all chicken breasts were created equal. Some are much bigger than others (e.g. organic ones are typically smaller than non-organic ones), and as you likely know, larger breasts will take longer to cook. This is why the thermometer is so very important!
If you have chicken tenders (a.k.a tenderloins) on hand, add Fried Chicken Strips to your recipe lineup! If you have a whole chicken or dark meat, bone-in pieces, you’ll love our recipe for classic Buttermilk Fried Chicken!
Soaking the chicken in buttermilk is an important step for the best results. Buttermilk is a miracle ingredient when it comes to making Fried Chicken Breast at home, and according to Yummy.Ph, it not only tenderizes the chicken, but its enzymes also break down the meat’s proteins, which in turn results in tender, flavorful fried chicken.
The hot sauce is for flavor, not for heat. However, if you’re still feeling wary about the heat factor or don’t have any on hand, you can omit it from the recipe entirely.
FRIED CHICKEN BATTER
The batter will consist of all-purpose flour and a simple mix of spices. You’ll need a combination of Kosher salt, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder.
This recipe calls for canola oil because of its high smoke point and truly flavorless profile, but you could also substitute vegetable oil or peanut oil in its place.
HOW TO FRY CHICKEN BREAST
- Soak In Buttermilk – In a large bowl, stir together the buttermilk and hot sauce. Add the breasts and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days. You don’t want to add chicken to the hot oil ice-cold, so be sure to set out the breasts (still in the buttermilk) at room temperature for 30-45 minutes prior to cooking.
- Bread the Chicken – To make the batter for your Fried Chicken Breasts, add the flour and spices to a large gallon-sized Ziptop bag and mix to combine. Transfer the chicken directly from the buttermilk to the Ziplock bag, seal, and shake until the breasts are evenly coated with the flour mixture.
- Fry the Chicken – Add the oil to a large skillet and allow it to come to temperature, between 350-375°. You can use an instant-read, infrared, or candy thermometer to gauge the temperature. Then, add the chicken to the pan, no more than two breasts at a time and fry on each side, just until golden brown.
- Finish In the Oven – Transfer the chicken to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15-17 minutes (or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°).
CAN I USE THIS RECIPE FOR BONE-IN CHICKEN BREASTS?
Yes! You can use this method for bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts. However, note bone-in chicken takes longer to cook than boneless breasts and you will need to add on some additional cook time in the oven. Remember, you are looking for an internal temperature of 165°.
5 ESSENTIAL CHICKEN RECIPES YOU NEED
- Pan-Seared Chicken
- Oven-Baked Chicken Breasts
- Chicken Nuggets
- Baked Chicken Leg Quarters
- Buffalo Wings
Southern Fried Chicken Breast are irresistibly crunchy and golden on the outside with flavorful, tender white meat on the inside!
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons hot sauce
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 cups canola oil
In a large bowl, stir together the buttermilk and hot sauce. Add the chicken breasts, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
Set out the chicken (still in the buttermilk) at room temperature for 30 minutes prior to cooking to remove the chill.
Preheat the oven to 350° and have ready a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
Add the flour and spices to a large gallon-sized Ziplock bag and mix to combine. Transfer the chicken directly from the buttermilk to the Ziplock bag, seal, and shake until the chicken is evenly coated with the flour mixture. Set aside.
Add the oil to a large frypan and allow it to come to temperature, between 350-375°. Add the chicken to the pan, two breasts at a time, and fry for 2 - 2 1/2 minutes on the first side, then turn and fry for 1 1/2 - 2 minutes on the second side.
Transfer the chicken to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15-17 minutes (until the chicken registers an internal temperature of 165°). Remove from the oven, serve and enjoy!