Chicken Fried Chicken

Quicker than your average fried chicken recipe, but just as crispy.

Chicken Fried Chicken
Photo: Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs
Yield:
8 to 10 servings

Our Country Fried Steak is an all-time reader favorite, so why not take that chicken fried technique back to its namesake? In this Chicken Fried Chicken recipe, we do just that.

Chicken fried chicken is a particular favorite among kids and grown-ups, who especially love it for the ease with which it all comes together. This classic Southern dish is made by lightly breading boneless pieces of chicken. Like chicken fried steak, the effect is a crispy meat that is sure to be enjoyed by the whole family.

Make this as a weeknight dinner, since it cooks up faster than a classic fried chicken. Save leftovers to serve as chicken strips over a salad with creamy blue cheese or ranch dressing.

What's the Difference Between Chicken Fried Chicken and Fried Chicken?

Classic fried chicken is typically bone-in pieces of meat that are brined, then battered, and deep fried.

Chicken fried as a cooking technique refers to breading a thin piece of boneless meat—whether it's chicken or steak—and then shallow-frying that meat until just cooked.

Typically, chicken frying is considered to be more of a casual cooking technique, great for weeknight, cooking since the thin slices of chicken cook faster. Classic fried chicken, which is more complicated and takes a little longer, is usually more of a special occasion meal for weekend suppers.

How To Make Chicken Fried Chicken

Making chicken fried chicken is very simple. In our version, we use flattened chicken breasts, dipped in a mixture of milk and eggs and then dredged in a simple mixture of seasoned saltine cracker crumbs.

Then, the meat quickly fries in just a half-inch of oil before it's ready to be served.

Chicken Fried Chicken
Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

How to Serve Chicken Fried Chicken

Chicken Fried Chicken is a great weeknight meal to serve with any sides. Try buttermilk biscuits, mashed potatoes, or green beans for a hearty dinner, but don't be afraid to experiment, since chicken fried chicken goes with almost anything.

Ingredients

  • 8 (6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  • 4 ½ teaspoons salt, divided

  • 2 ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided

  • 2 sleeves saltine crackers (76 crackers), crushed

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, divided

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground red pepper

  • 8 cups milk, divided

  • 4 large eggs

  • Peanut oil

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 225°F.

  2. Place chicken breasts between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap, and flatten to 1/4-inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper evenly over chicken. Set aside.

  3. Combine cracker crumbs, 2 cups flour, baking powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, and ground red pepper.

  4. In another bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups milk and eggs. Dredge chicken in cracker crumb mixture; dip in milk mixture, and dredge in cracker mixture again.

  5. Pour oil to a depth of 1/2 inch in a 12-inch skillet (do not use a nonstick skillet). Heat to 360°F. Fry chicken, in batches, 10 minutes, adding oil as needed. Turn and fry 4 to 5 more minutes or until golden brown. Remove to a wire rack in a jellyroll pan. Keep chicken warm in a 225°F oven. Carefully drain hot oil, reserving cooked bits and 2 tablespoons drippings in skillet.

  6. Whisk together remaining 1/2 cup flour, remaining 2 1/2 teaspoons salt, remaining 1 teaspoon black pepper, and remaining 6 1/2 cups milk. Pour mixture into reserved drippings in skillet; cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, 10 to 12 minutes or until thickened. Serve gravy with chicken.

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