I was craving something crispy for dinner the other night – and didn’t want to have cereal again – so I grabbed some chicken I’d frozen a while back and stared at it for a while. Do you ever do that? Stare at ingredients, hoping they’ll inspire you?
Well, it worked! I decided to make pan-fried chicken. I had a recipe from The Pioneer Woman that’s always a hit, but this night called for something even crispier.
Perfect Pan-Fried Crispy Chicken was born!
The first thing to do is to pound out the chicken. I do this for a couple of reasons, but mostly it was because I was using chicken strips and since they’re an inconsistent thickness, they don’t cook evenly. Pounding them flat eliminates that problem, plus you can use less meat!
I used to pound them in a bag, but somebody told me to use 2 sheets of freezer paper instead. It keeps the mess contained and it’s sturdier than a plastic bag. It can be a bit slippery though, so make sure you’ve got a grip.
You’ll need 3 containers for the chicken prep – this is the perfect use for all those Chinese takeout containers! I like to set up a little assembly line of chicken, flour, eggs, bread crumbs, and fully prepped chicken.
Lightly coat the pounded chicken in flour. This will help thicken the eggs, which will help the bread crumbs stick, which gives the chicken the super crispy coating!
Ready to be cooked! Pour your oil of choice in a large skillet so it’s about 1/4″ deep and heat. You’ll know the oil is ready when a small amount of flour dropped in the pan bubbles.
Place a few pieces of chicken in the heated oil. Don’t overcrowd the pan. Remember that bigger pans may have hot spots, so some pieces may cook faster.
Turn after a few minutes when the underside is browned. Try to flip only once so the crispy side doesn’t get soggy with grease. Cook the other side for an additional few minutes (cooking times will vary), until golden brown.
Let the chicken rest on a paper towel covered plate for 3-5 minutes.
Serve hot with your favorite sides and gravy.
Homemade gravy is a pain in the patoot, and the stuff in jars just doesn’t taste right. This is the best non-homemade gravy anywhere. Mix a few teaspoons with a cup of boiling water, more to make it thicker, less to make it thinner, and you get perfectly tasty gravy every time. I get this in my local British import shop, but you can also get it online.