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Pan fried breaded chicken breast?

I want to make some fried chicken breast for sandwiches, but don't have a deep fryer. What's the best way to do this in a pan? I have eggs, milk, flour, Italian bread crumbs, various seasonings and the chicken breast pieces on hand at the moment.

Southern fried would be great, but any variations you have would be excellent too.

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  1. I make pan fried breast or tenders all the time. Usually, I soak in buttermilk and hot sauce overnight but if I haven't the time, then I pat them dry, season with salt and pepper and a little cajun spice OR a dry packet of buttermilk ranch dressing mix and let them stand for a little while. I make a wash of egg and milk, dip and bread them in crumb mixed with cayenne, parmesan or romano and a little seasoned salt. I let them stand on a rack to dry about 20 minutes and then shallow fry in my dutch oven in about an inch or 2 of hot oil. Drain and enjoy with a nice garlic/lemon aioli!

    6 Replies
    1. re: chelleyd01

      jfood sees the buttermilk soak constantly and would love to understand why and what it does. Any help appreciated.

      1. re: jfood

        It adds a bit of tang to the chicken as well as makes it moister than normal. A standard in Southern cooking. It DOES make a difference, if you have the time.

        1. re: danhole

          It also helps to tenderize the chicken a bit with the acids in the buttermilk.

          1. re: Candy

            Some of the best fried calamari I've had here in FL was soaked in buttermilk overnight before batter.... or so I was told. Tender, tender and mag-knee-feek!

      2. re: chelleyd01

        I often do a buttermilk soak (but usually not overnight as I rarely have the foresight) when I have left over buttermilk from baking. My rendition uses crushed ritz crackers as the breading and I bake instead of pan frying. The richness of the crackers more than makes up for the lack of "fry." And, I've even tried the whole wheat crackers for a bit of a healthier spin. The buttermilk makes the chicken very moist and tangy as reported by others.

        1. re: ashes

          That reminds me of a coating I make which I normally use on fish, but it would work on chicken cutlets too. My dad uses crushed cheez-it crackers, but I do it a bit different, take bread crumbs, and put in a food processor along with some shredded cheddar cheese, paprika, and a pinch of cayenne. Coat fish/chicken with egg then dip into the crumb mix, fry or bake accordingly.

      3. Chelly's recipe sounds awesome! I usually just pat dry chicken breasts, then dredge them in flour, then beaten egg, then flour again. (Season the flour with salt, pepper, garlic powder). Then I pan fry them in a cast-iron skillet in about 1/2 inch of oil, about 6-8 minutes on each side, turning once. They are awesome on sandwiches or just by themselves.

        1. Thanks both of you guys. I don't have a cast iron skillet, just regular nonstick pans. Should come out right though, right? *adding cast iron skillet to shopping list* :)

          @Raidercake: How hot do you make the oil? I'm probably gonna use regular vegetable oil. Preheat it on medium to high on the burner I'm guessing - before dropping the chicken? I don't want to burn down the house but I want to make sure the chicken cooks through. I have a meat thermometer but not an oil thermometer.

          @Chelly: Sounds spicy and awesome....

          1 Reply
          1. re: food_eater79

            I dont own cast iron anything (blasphemy, I know!) I use my T-Fal nonstick pot that you would cook pasta in....keeps the grease from spattering my stove. The spice can be regulated by the amt of cayenne you use...we like it nice and tangy. The only time I pound them out is if the breast is super thick...if they are all pretty even, I just let them go as is.

          2. I sprinkle the chicken breast pieces with salt, pepper, garlic powder and chili powder then dip them into cornstarch. I use just enough oil to get the chicken cooking with out them burning on the pan. I prefer using chicken thighs though.

            1. Whichever recipe you go with, you may want to consider pounding the cutlets until they are thin before you coat. It's just my preference.