Go Back
+ servings
Chicken being breaded in a silver skillet.

How to Bread Chicken

Learn How to Bread Chicken with this simple technique that wows everyone in the house and keeps the mess to a minimum. Then pan-fry, air-fry, or bake your cutlets to golden, juicy perfection.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 428kcal


  • 16 ounces boneless skinless chicken breasts (2 large, see note 1)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (see note 2)
  • 2 large eggs (see note 3)
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs (see note 4)
  • 1 cup olive oil


To make and pound chicken cutlets:

  • Cover a cutting board completely with a piece of plastic wrap. Add chicken breasts. Working with one breast at a time, place your palm on top of the breast and slice in half horizontally so you have two cutlets. Repeat with the second breast.
  • Arrange all four cutlets in a single layer on the plastic wrap-covered cutting board. Cover with a second piece of plastic wrap. Pound chicken cutlets to an even thickness, about 1/4-inch. Remove top layer of plastic wrap and season cutlets with salt and pepper.

To bread the chicken:

  • In a shallow dish, add flour. In a second shallow dish, add eggs and beat lightly. In a third shallow dish, combine panko, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and stir to combine.
  • Working with one cutlet at a time, dredge in flour and shake off excess. Dip in eggs and tap gently on side of dish to remove excess. Add to panko mixture and press gently until crumbs adhere. Transfer to a large plate and repeat with remaining cutlets (cutlets can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 hours).

To fry the chicken:

  • Line rimmed baking sheet or large plate with 3 layers of paper towels. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat remaining 1 cup oil until shimmering. Add 2 cutlets and fry until deep golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.
  • Drain cutlets well on paper towel-lined plate and and repeat with remaining 2 cutlets.



  1. Chicken breast: If you substitute chicken cutlets, skip the steps for butterflying the chicken. But, for even cooking, you should still pound them out.
  2. Flour: The flour acts as a barrier between the fat in the pan and the moisture in the chicken breast. 
  3. Eggs: Or brush on mayonnaise or olive oil to help the breading stick.
  4. Bread crumbs: Panko bread crumbs, also known as Japanese bread crumbs, keep breaded and fried foods extra crispy. You can also substitute fresh bread crumbs you grind yourself.
  5. Make ahead: The cutlets can be pounded out, breaded, and stored covered in the refrigerator one day in advance. Unfortunately, they cannot easily be frozen and then reheated in a pan or oven.
  6. Chicken thighs: You can substitute boneless, skinless chicken thighs for the chicken breast. Just pound them out in a similar fashion.
  7. Seasoning: Spice up your breading with Italian seasoning, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, Parmesan cheese, or anything else that sounds tasty.
  8. Other crumbs: Substitute finely-crushed corn flakes or walnuts instead of bread crumbs.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 428kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 171mg | Sodium: 374mg | Potassium: 511mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 392IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 119mg | Iron: 3mg