Nothing says comfort food quite like pan-fried chicken. Breading it with flour and egg before frying gives chicken it the signature “crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside” quality you are looking for. Simple to make, fried chicken is a crowd pleaser.
Preparing the chicken
Rinse chicken pieces (e.g. legs, thighs, wings, breasts, cutlets) in water, blotting them with a paper towel to provide a better sticking surface for the flour and egg mixture.
Beat eggs together in a bowl with a wire whisk or fork until they are a uniform yellow, using the ratio of two eggs to 1 cup of milk.
Sprinkle a thick layer -- roughly 1/2-inch -- of flour onto a dinner plate or pie plate. To every cup of flour, add 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and any additional spices such as onion powder, lemon pepper, garlic powder or paprika.
Dip a chicken piece in the egg and milk mixture, turning it over so the egg coats both sides.
Dredge the chicken piece through the flour, turning it to get flour on both sides and shaking off any extra. Set it on a plate while you heat up the oil.
Frying the Chicken
Cover the bottom of a large frying pan with roughly ½ inch of oil. Set the heat to medium or medium-high, bringing the oil to roughly 350 degrees F. as registered on a candy thermometer. If you don’t have a thermometer, heat the oil so it is wavy but not smoking and so that a small drop of flour added to the pan sizzles but doesn’t immediately burn.
Place coated chicken pieces into the pan gently, using tongs, to avoid splashing oil. Allow space between the pieces so they don’t touch. Depending on how much chicken you have, you might need to fry it in batches.
Continue frying the chicken, flipping each piece every two minutes. Cook until the pieces turn golden brown. Wings take roughly 10 minutes, breasts, legs and thighs take about 12 minutes total cooking time, and a cutlet needs six to eight minutes of frying time. Chicken is done when the juices run clear from a cut made into the thickest part of a piece, or a thermometer registers 165 degrees F.
Items you will need
- Chicken pieces
- Paper towels
- Wire whisk or fork
- Flour (gluten-free or wheat)
- Pie pan or dinner plate
- Seasonings (e.g. salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder, lemon pepper)
- Frying pan
- Candy thermometer (optional)
- For a lower-fat meal, remove and discard chicken skins before dredging the pieces in flour and eggs.
- If cooking in batches, place the finished chicken on a paper towel-lined platter and keep them in a warm oven until ready to serve.
- For a crispier coating, dip the chicken in flour, egg and breadcrumbs.
- The oil will be hot. Take care not to splash oil while adding or removing chicken from the pan, and allow the oil to fully cool before moving the pan.
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