Fried Chicken Breasts

Mmm. Fried Chicken. One of those classic, delicious, decadent treats. I can’t say we’ll be eating this every night, because who needs fried chicken every night? But I found myself facing some pretty bare cabinets last week, with boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the freezer, and needing to make something. So I decided to adapt Alton Brown’s Fried Chicken recipe to work with boneless skinless chicken breasts. And really, once you remove the skin from the chicken, is it really *so* bad?


Alton Brown’s Fried Chicken

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cups low fat buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon Hungarian (smoked) paprika
  • 1 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Flour, for dredging
  • Vegetable shortening, for frying


Place chicken pieces into a plastic container and cover with buttermilk. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Melt enough shortening (over low heat) to come just 1/8-inch up the side of a 12-inch cast iron skillet or heavy fry pan. Once shortening liquefies raise heat to 325 degrees F. Do not allow oil to go over 325 degrees F.

Drain chicken in a colander. Combine salt, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Liberally season chicken with this mixture. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.

Place chicken in a single layer in the pan. The oil should come half way up the pan. Cook chicken until golden brown on each side, approximately 6 to 8 minutes per side. More importantly, the internal temperature should be right around 180 degrees. (Be careful to monitor shortening temperature every few minutes.)

Drain chicken on a rack over a sheet pan. Don’t drain by setting chicken directly on paper towels or brown paper bags. If you need to hold the chicken before serving, cover loosely with foil but avoid holding in a warm oven, especially if it’s a gas oven.

Note: The chicken was tasty, but even though I halved all of the spices from Alton’s original recipe, meant for a full chicken, it was a little too salty. I would lower the salt by another half, if not more, next time. That said, the breading was crunchy and flavorful. I’m certain that it would be amazing using a full chicken. I served this with a variation on that parmesan pepperoni pasta salad, with a side of corn.


2 Responses to “Fried Chicken Breasts”

  1. Test Subject #2

    While tasty the first time around, this chicken was delicious on my salad the next day for lunch. The extra salt was toned down by everything else around it.

  2. Teri

    @Test Subject #2
    I actually had the same experience adding it to leftover pasta salad!

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