How to Make the Coating Stay on Breaded Chicken

by Deborah Lundin

Whether you're baking or deep-frying breaded chicken, there is nothing more frustrating than a coating that won’t stay on. To keep the coating on your chicken, it is essential to start with the driest chicken pieces possible and follow a specific order for your coating layers. Setting up coating stations makes this task easier and helps to ensure a coating that stays on your chicken and locks in the juices.

Pat your chicken pieces dry with a piece of paper towel. Coatings adhere better to dry pieces of chicken. Set the dry pieces of chicken on a plate covered with additional paper towel until you are ready to apply the coating.

Set up your coating stations. Cover the first shallow plate with enough flour to coat each piece of chicken you plan to make. In a bowl, whisk one or more eggs with a teaspoon of water or oil, depending on the amount of chicken. The addition of water or oil helps the egg adhere to the chicken evenly. On a second plate, pour your breadcrumbs, panko or other coating. Add desired seasoning to your breadcrumbs and stir to combine.

Coat your chicken pieces. Using one hand, take the first piece of chicken and lightly dip it onto the flour, covering each side. Shake to remove any excess flour. With your other hand, dip the chicken piece into the egg mixture. Hang the piece of chicken over the bowl to allow any excess egg to drip off. Gently lay the chicken piece onto the plate with the breadcrumbs and push the chicken into the crumbs. With your first hand, lift up the chicken and repeat with the other side, ensuring the coating covers the entire piece of chicken evenly. Set the completed chicken on a plate or in a baking dish. Repeat with the remaining chicken pieces. Cook your chicken as directed.

Items you will need

  • Paper towel
  • Large plate
  • Shallow plates
  • Flour
  • Small bowl
  • Eggs
  • Oil or water
  • Whisk or fork
  • Breadcrumbs, panko or crushed cereal, nuts or potato chips
  • Seasoning


  • Using one hand for the dry stations and the other for the egg station keeps the stations from mixing and causing a collection of flour, egg and crumbs to cover your fingers. When your fingers are covered, it makes it difficult to ensure each piece of chicken is coated completely.
  • For an eggless alternative, use milk or melted butter.


  • Do not leave out or alternate the order of the dipping steps, as these are essential to ensuring an even coating that will stay on your chicken. While your recipe may not list the flour step, this helps to dry the chicken and ensure that the egg mixture adheres to the chicken evenly. This is essential if you want your breadcrumbs to stick.

About the Author

Deborah Lundin is a professional writer with more than 20 years of experience in the medical field and as a small business owner. She studied medical science and sociology at Northern Illinois University. Her passions and interests include fitness, health, healthy eating, children and pets.

Photo Credits

  • George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images