Lighter Pan-Fried Chicken with Green Beans and Tomatoes Recipe

Cast iron is excellent for frying, but you don't always have to deep-fry. Quickly pan-fry the chicken to get a crispy, golden exterior; then pop it in the oven until it's cooked through. Add some tangy green beans and tomatoes to make this a winning meal.

Active Time:
25 mins
Chill Time:
8 hrs
Total Time:
8 hrs 45 mins
8 serves


  • 2 cups whole buttermilk

  • 2 large eggs, beaten

  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed

  • 4 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons black pepper, divided

  • 2 pounds bone-in, skinless chicken thighs (about 8)

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4), cut in half

  • 2 cups canola oil

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 1 pound trimmed fresh green beans

  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes

  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)


  1. Whisk together buttermilk, eggs, garlic cloves, 2 teaspoons of the salt, and 1 teaspoon of the pepper in a large bowl. Place chicken in a large ziplock plastic freezer bag; pour buttermilk mixture over chicken. Seal bag, removing as much air as possible. (Or combine in a large bowl, and cover with a tight-fitting lid.) Chill 8 to 24 hours.

  2. Preheat oven to 425°F. Pour oil into a large cast-iron skillet, and heat over medium-high.

  3. Drain chicken well; discard buttermilk mixture. Whisk together flour, cornstarch, 2 teaspoons of the salt, and 1 teaspoon of the pepper in a large bowl. Working with 1 piece at a time, dredge chicken in flour mixture until well coated. Place coated chicken pieces on a large piece of aluminum foil, and let stand to allow coating to dry out, about 15 minutes.

  4. Fry chicken, in batches, 4 pieces at a time, in hot oil until golden, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer browned chicken to a wire rack in a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven until chicken is deep golden brown and cooked through, about 10 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile, let skillet rest off heat about 5 minutes while chicken bakes. Carefully pour all of the frying oil into a metal bowl; allow flour to settle to bottom of bowl. Wipe skillet clean.

  6. Add 2 tablespoons of the frying oil to skillet, and place over medium-high. Add green beans and shallot, and cook, without stirring, until beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, and cook, without stirring, until beans and shallot are charred and tomatoes begin to burst, about 2 minutes. Stir in remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Transfer vegetables to a serving platter, and toss with lemon juice. Serve the vegetables immediately with the fried chicken.

  7. Air Fryer Method: Proceed with step 1 of recipe. For step 2, preheat air fryer to 375°F (or 380°F if your air fryer only does 10° increments). Proceed with step 3 of recipe, then spray 4 pieces of chicken generously on both sides with cooking spray and place in preheated air fryer. Cook until golden, crisp, and a thermometer inserted in the thickest portion of chicken registers 165°F, about 19-21 minutes, flipping chicken once halfway through. Proceed with step 6 of the recipe.

    Lighter Pan-Fried Chicken with Green Beans and Tomatoes
    Stephen DeVries, Prop Styling: Missie Neville Crawford; Food Styling: Torie Cox
Related Articles