How To Keep Breading From Falling Off Chicken

A few tiny steps will make a huge difference and are the best way to bread chicken—pork, steak, or anything else.

We'll be the first to admit it—the breading is the best part of baked or fried chicken (pork, steak, fish, or anything). So when the breading separates from the cooked chicken and falls off, it's a major bummer.

If this happens to you, try our foolproof method for breading chicken. It may look like a traditional breading method, but minding a few small steps will create a crisp, crunchy coating that stays put.

Mama's Fried Chicken

Southern Living

Pat the Chicken Dry

Remove the chicken from its packaging and pat the surface dry on both sides with paper towels. You can also leave the chicken uncovered in the refrigerator to dry it out. It sounds counterintuitive, but a dry surface will help the flour adhere evenly to the chicken.

Just as important as the first patting down of the chicken's surface, the final pat down of your meat after covering it with breading helps every piece of crunchy coating adhere. After coating chicken in an egg and breading layer, gently pat all sides.

Dredge in Flour

Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then dredge in all-purpose flour. A thin flour coating should remain, but remember to remove excess flour before adding the egg wash. This step helps make the chicken crispy and tender.

Dip in Beaten Eggs

Dip the flour-coated chicken into a bowl of beaten eggs. (If you prefer, you can also use buttermilk or add a teaspoon of Dijon mustard or a few drops of hot sauce to the mixture for a little kick.) You want the eggs to coat the flour thoroughly.

Coat in Breadcrumbs

Dredge the chicken in breadcrumbs (crushed crackers and pretzels work, too) seasoned with salt and pepper (and other herbs and spices, if you prefer). Make sure the breadcrumbs completely cover the chicken, making a nice, thick coating. Don't forget to gently pat the coating on all sides of the chicken to help it adhere.

Chill and Be Patient

Place the breaded chicken on a cooling rack (or a platter) and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. This cooling time will help the layers of breading ingredients solidify and adhere better after the chicken cooks.

Once you start cooking the chicken, be patient and don't flip it over too early. Wait until a golden rim appears around your chicken to turn it to the other side—also, make sure there's enough room in your skillet for the pieces to cook without overcrowding. Fry smaller batches if necessary.

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