This is an excellent choice if you're searching for a basic and great tasting fried chicken recipe for boneless or bone-in chicken breasts. Boneless chicken breasts cook faster than bone in chicken. Or use thinly sliced chicken cutlets, which take a fraction of the time when compared to classic Southern fried chicken on the bone.
Be sure to reduce the cooking time if you use boneless chicken breasts.
- 6 split chicken breasts or boneless chicken breasts
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- vegetable oil
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Line a large baking sheet with foil and place a wire rack on it.
- Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- In food storage bag or wide, shallow bowl combine the flour, salt, pepper, and baking powder and shake or stir to blend. Put the chicken pieces in the flour mixture and shake 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. See the tips below if you don't have a deep-fry thermometer.
- Place chicken in hot oil. When chicken pieces are hot and browning well, lower 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.
- Remove the chicken pieces to the prepared pan with the rack and tent loosely with foil if you have more batches to fry.
*Check the temperature with an instant-read food thermometer to be sure. The minimum safe temperature for chicken and other poultry is 165° (73.9 °C). Insert the thermometer into the center of the thickest part of the chicken breasts, not touching bone.
Tips and Variations
- If you don't have a deep-fry thermometer, there are a couple of methods to check the oil. One is the bread cube. Drop a 1-inch cube of bread in the oil. It will brown in about 1 minute when the oil is at temperature. Or dip the handle end of a wooden spoon in 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.
- For much faster cooking, use boneless chicken cutlets.
- 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.