How to Pan-Fry Chicken Breasts

I might be teaching soap to foam but I’ve just discovered how to pan-fry the moistest, most tender skinless chicken breast to ever touch your fork.

The method is at The Kitchn. The only requirement is a kitchen timer and a tight-fitting lid for your frying pan because this method works by retaining all the heat in your closed pan. The trick is to not remove the lid until it’s completely finished cooking. Here’s the method, plus a few adjustments that I made.

Amazingly Moist Fried Chicken Breasts


2 (or more) boneless skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon flour (or more; original recipe= ¼ cup)
Olive oil and a small knob of butter to create a shimmer across the pan
A frying pan with a tight fitting lid
Kitchen timer


Place the chicken breasts between two sheets of cling film, and lightly thump with the flat side of a chef’s knife so that the flesh is more even in thickness. You don’t want it flattened, so go easy with the thumping. Lightly salt and pepper each breast. Spoon the flour into a small sieve, and then dust the chicken with flour on both sides. Shake off the excess flour.Preheat the frying pan over medium to medium-high until hot, and then add the oil and butter. Tip and rotate the pan so that the surface is covered with a fine film of oil. Add more oil (or butter) if required.
Reduce the heat to medium, and then add the chicken breasts smooth side down. Set your kitchen timer for 1 minute. When the time is up, turn the breasts over, and reset the timer for 1 minute. The colour should be a light, delicate golden colour. When the minute is up, turn the breasts over so it’s smooth side down again.

Reduce the heat to low, clap the lid on the pan, set the kitchen timer for 10-minutes, and then repeat after me: “I will not lift the lid to check on the chicken. I will not lift the lid to check on the chicken.”
In order words, don’t lift the lid to check on the chicken. Just leave it alone.

When the kitchen timer goes off, turn off the heat. Yes, you heard me right. Turn off the heat. DON’T TOUCH THE LID! Set the timer for 10-minutes, and allow the breasts to finish cooking in the pan undisturbed. When the timer goes off, your chicken is ready to eat.

Bon appétit!

Danish Translation:
Utroligt Fugtige Fried Chicken Bryster

2 (eller flere) udbenet kylling uden skind bryster
Salt og peber
1 spsk mel (eller mere; oprindelige opskrift = ¼ kop)
Olivenolie og en lille klat smør til at skabe en glitre på tværs af panden
Stegepande med et tætsluttende låg
Køkken timer

Læg kyllingebrysterne mellem to plader af plastfolie, og let dunk med den flade side af en kokkens kniv, så kødet er mere jævn i tykkelsen. Du ønsker ikke den fladtrykt, så nemt med pumpende. Let salt og peber hvert bryst. Hæld mel i en lille sigte, og derefter støve kylling med mel på begge sider. Ryst det overskydende mel.

Forvarm en stegepande over medium-høj varme, indtil varm, og derefter tilføje olie og smør. Spids og rotere panden, således at overfladen er dækket med en fin film af olie. Tilsæt mere olie (eller smør), hvis det kræves.

Reducer varmen til medium, og derefter tilføje kyllingebryster glatte side nedad. Indstil dit køkken timeren i 1 minut. Når tiden er færdig, vender brysterne over, og nulstille timeren i 1 minut. Farven skal være en lys, sart gylden farve. Når minutter i fuldstændig, vend brysterne over, så det er glatte side nedad igen.

Reducer varmen til lav, klappe låget på gryden, indstille vækkeuret i 10-minutter. Du må IKKE fjerne gryden låget! Løft ikke låget for at kontrollere, om kyllingen. Bare lad det.

Når køkkenet timeren slukkes, slukke for varmen. FJERN IKKE ELLER Løft låget! Indstil timeren til 10-minutter, og lad brysterne at afslutte madlavning i panden uforstyrret. Når timeren slukker, din kylling er klar til at spise.

79 Comments Add yours

  1. bizzylizzycooks says:


    1. Misky says:

      I think you’ll be astounded if you try this method. 🙂

    2. Teresa says:

      just loved chicken cooked with that method.My son usually refuses to eat chicken because it is too dry,but i read your comments to him and he said he would try it.Well he gave 10 out of 10.I am a person that does keep checking,lifting lids and turning so I found it hard to follow your inst.”do not lift the lid” but it worked beautifully.Thank you so much,simple but great.

      1. Misky says:

        I am so delighted that your son liked it, and that you found it easy to make. The same procedure also works well for pork chops, if you’re interested. Thanks so much for sharing your comment!

  2. Right, will definitely be giving this a go – I usually just fry my chicken breasts that I have sprinkled with some veggie spice or the like and fry in a little olive oil and butter but not for very long.
    🙂 Mandy

    1. Misky says:

      It’s the method that I found so unusual … and so effective!

  3. Tandy says:

    Sounds perfectly easy!

    1. Misky says:

      All you need is a timer and lid for your pan. And chicken, of course. 😀

  4. heidiannie says:

    I’ve been grilling chicken that I had marinated lately. This sounds like a nice alternative- thanks for the method, Misk. Actually I think this is how I used to fry chicken back when I had an electric skillet.

    1. Misky says:

      I remember those electric skillets! I had one once upon a time, too!

  5. Joanna says:

    nifty! residual heat is a wonderful thing, I will give this a go. it strikes me that the methid would suit Brian because he is a great believer in timers, he hates judging doneness by eye or touch, so I will get him on to this. 🙂

    1. Misky says:

      I also depend largely on kitchen timers. I have two of them, and often both are in use simultaneously. Besides the timer and the lid, giving the most bulbous bit of the breast a light pounding to flatten it slightly is important so that most of the chicken is roughly the same thickness. I just gave each breast one wack with my handy mallet, just on the thickest part to break the muscle in there.

  6. ceciliag says:

    Ms Misk you are a star!! You have no idea how well that is going to go down around here, my chicken is horrible and now i know why – I TOUCHED THE LID!! I can do this, i promise to follow the rules.. thank you.. c

    1. Misky says:

      If snatching a look is a problem, have you considered using a glass lid? The lid and a timer are essential for this one to work. 🙂

  7. I’m going to have to try this one.. but not touching the lid.. aargh!! That’s going to be tough!!

    1. Misky says:

      I have a spare glass lid, which makes things much easier ‘on the eye’. 😀

      1. Aha! Now we know how you did it 😉

  8. Rock Salt says:

    Hey, great tips!

  9. This sounds like a good trick as I don’t like dry chicken breast either. Clever to leave them off the heat to rest too

    1. Misky says:

      If I could take an advertisement out in the Argus to say how fab this technique is I would! 😀

  10. will be trying this by week’s end and will report back on the results! I’ve been wanting a better outcome for frying chicken and hopefully I’ve found it!

    1. Misky says:

      Hi, and welcome! Just remember, no lifting the lid or the moisture and heat will escape, and use a kitchen timer. Don’t guess at the timing. Let me know how you get on!

  11. underthebluegumtree says:

    Misky, I am trying this tonight. I hope it turns out as good as yours did. Will report back.

    1. Misky says:

      Remember, set your kitchen timer and no lifting the lid! 😀

      1. underthebluegumtree says:

        I did try this and was very good and didn’t lift the lid. Perfectly cooked, moist chicken breasts as promised. Thanks Misky.

        1. Misky says:

          I am so pleased! It’s amazing, isn’t it?

  12. adinparadise says:

    This sounds so simple, Misky. I’ll definitely try it. Thanks. 😉

    1. Misky says:

      My pleasure. Enjoy! 🙂

  13. A.B. says:

    This is absolutely delicious. The chicken is so tender and moist. Thank you!

    1. Misky says:

      I am delighted! And you’re very welcome. 🙂

  14. Anthony Jessop says:

    Use you smartphone (or stupid phone) as a timer. You can set multiple timers and even name them!

    1. Misky says:

      Excellent idea! Thanks for posting it. 🙂

  15. Brody says:

    I gave it a try, it worked out really well. Thanks

    1. Misky says:

      You are very, very welcome, Brody. 😀

  16. Paul says:

    Thanks for the recipe. I was a bit dubious this would work, 10 mins even over a low heat I thought would start burning a little.
    But Im amazed how well it turned out. A delicious golden crust and the meat was so tender and succulent.

    I’ll be using this method every time now, thanks!

    1. Misky says:

      Nifty little trick,eh? Glad it worked for you, and bon appetit.

  17. Jody says:

    I just made this in Vancouver and I’m no cook. It was amaaaazing. I only cooked it 12 minutes though. I was too hungry to read through your recipe. Is that ok? (In other words, it didn’t sit for 10. oops). Also, I used 2 tsps of oil/butter total and used a bag to shake. Do you think I could use less? Thx. so much. You’re awesome. I’m so proud of myself. I also put a lot of spice in the flour and my mouth is on fire.

    1. Misky says:

      Very pleased that it worked well for you! 🙂

  18. Dan says:

    Should there be a time adjustment for cooking 5 breasts at once?

    1. Misky says:

      Hi Dan, and welcome. I’ve never cooked 5 at a time in the same pan so I’m guessing that your logic is sound. I’d leave them to sit (lid on!) during that final 10mins for a few minutes longer. Maybe 15 rather than 10. So the timing is 1 minute plus 1 minute plus 10 minutes plus 15 minutes. Good luck, and I hope that you’re happy with the result.

      1. Dan says:

        Thank you so much for the quick response. I will be cooking this tonight. I’ll certainly let you know how it comes out. I’m very excited.

        1. Misky says:

          Remember don’t lift the lid on the pan or all the residual heat will escape!

          1. Dan says:

            Wow. Just incredible. Thank you a million times over. The chicken is simply perfect.

            1. Misky says:

              My pleasure, Dan, and happy cooking!

  19. Peter says:

    I was sceptical (how are these going to cook with only ten minutes of heat?), but no longer. My grilfiend was highly impressed.

    It’s worth stting your alarms up a priori, I became so obsessed with downloading a stopwatch app I forgot to dust the breasts. They were delicious in any event. I also forgot to warn my beloved not to interfere, luckily she didn’t.

    We had three with skin, total weight 523 grams One of them was quite plump, almost ovoid. !! minutes on and 11 off, cooked through.

    Thank you, Misky!

    1. Misky says:

      Glad to hear that it worked well for you, Peter, and thanks for leaving a comment!

      ~ Misky

  20. ginger says:

    I’m not a big fan of chicken breast, but because of your recipe I’ve been enjoying chicken breast using this method, and I’m so glad you share it with us. Thanks! will share this to my friend who loves chicken breast, too!

    1. Misky says:

      Hi Ginger, I’m so glad that it worked well for you, and thanks for returning here to post your comment. 🙂

  21. Mary says:

    Just cooked this a little while ago with a few of my own twists involving jarred pesto and parmesan – absolutely incredible, thank you so much for this recipe. It shall be a permanent fixture in whatever kitchen I’m in.

    1. Misky says:

      Your additions sound simply delicious, and I’m glad that this technique worked well for you. 🙂

  22. Sam - South Yorks says:

    This is spot on. Cooking chicken is a chore for me but so much easier like this! Thanks mate! What about larger portions? Same times just bigger pan?

    1. Misky says:

      Hi Sam! Bigger pan; bigger lid. Don’t forget the lid! 🙂 Thanks for leaving a comment, and letting me know that it worked well for you!

  23. DaniFab says:

    i’m a brand new cook who loves chicken & has been struggling with cooking chicken properly, without burning it… i tried this tonight & it was SO. GOOD! my boyfriend who’s been choking down the burnt chickens of the past was especially thrilled with this. surprisingly easy & i’ll definitely do this again & again… THANK YOU!! 🙂

    1. Misky says:

      You are very welcome, and happy cooking!

  24. Andrew says:

    I just tried this and it tasted amazing! Thank you for these great instructions, I can never go back to my usual chicken recipes after experiencing this!

    1. Misky says:

      Excellent, Andrew! I’m glad to hear that it worked well for you. 😀

  25. Adam says:

    This is absolutely perfect, thanks!

    1. Misky says:

      You are entirely welcome, Adam! Bon appetit!

  26. sorrygnat says:

    may I use coconut oil instead, and something else in place of flour? i’ll keep the chicken, rather bold of me to ask these questions; great piece!

    1. Misky says:

      Drop the flour; I’d not try substituting something else. Not sure about the coconut oil as I think it has a low smoking temperature, which means that it might burn and impart a scorched flavour. Try but keep your eye on it, meaning use a glass lid so you can see what’s going on. Don’t lift the lid – very important so you don’t let heat escape. If it starts burning, give it a good shake to the chicken doesn’t catch to the pan.

      May I ask why you’re using coconut oil?

      1. sorrygnat says:

        tablespoon a day causes your choresterol to drop; never spell that darn word right;

  27. $ Bill says:

    I tried the method last night, was difficult at first to not touch the lid, but am glad that I did not as the result was perfect succulent chicken breast. Great method ***** 5star rating

    1. Misky says:

      Brilliant! I’m glad to worked well for you.

  28. Vevay says:

    holy moley! just found your recipe and made this for dinner…first of all…when my hubby waltzed in the house, he said whatever I was cooking smelled amazing (and it did!)…and then when i served it up with a nice browned crust (from not poking and turning it….so hard to do, but worth it) with my carrots in a brown sugar glaze…he said it was probably the best meal he had eaten in ages…the only addition to your great recipe was adding a little garlic powder to the salt and pepper…so thank you for this great recipe…this will be my new ‘go-to’ chicken recipe from now on!!

    1. Misky says:

      Glad it worked out well for you! It’s foolproof, which I’ve often proved all by myself!

  29. Tiffany Dudek says:

    Wow was this ever so moist!! I’m not big on chicken breast but I picked at the leftover chicken all evening! Thanks for sharing! Would this work with bone in pork chops? Keep same timing?

    1. Misky says:

      With the bone-in, I’d leave it in the pan longer — maybe 5 minutes more for the final stage, and yes, it also works for pork chops. Thanks for stopping by for a read!

  30. Karly says:

    I am getting ready to start uni so never really cooked much, but going to try this, do i leave a little gap for the air to escape or not?

    1. Misky says:

      No, Carly, no gap whatsoever. Clap on the lid and don’t open it until you’re supposed to. The trick is to retain the heat, which will continue cooking the chicken. And good luck with uni. You’ll love it.

  31. skip says:

    Amazing! I was skeptical at first but this is the only way I’ll cook chicken breast from now on so easy and they turn out so juicy! Thank you, thank you, thank you

    1. Misky says:

      Glad it worked out for you, Skip.

  32. Yuri says:

    Finally I cooked eatable chicken breast,thanks Misky

  33. Rachel says:

    I’m not going to lie to you, I went in as a sceptic but if I only recorded the ooooooo’s & ahhhhhhhhh’s from the dinner table from my most discerning clientele… my kids! Fantastic! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. Misky says:

      Glad it worked for you.

  34. Mark says:

    I just gave this a go tonight for my visiting Chinese in-laws and Oohh my god, absolutely mouth watering. Served with mash potato, steamed carrot and snow peas and topped with a mushroom and white wine creamy sauce. Can’t thank you enough as this si now a new family favorite. So simple and so damn tasty.

  35. Linda Burdett says:

    Found this last night and gave it a go, beautifly moist chicken I covered mine in lemon n pepper my husband loved it and from someone who always moans ‘ not chicken’ no going back from this!

    1. Misky says:

      Glad it worked so well for you!

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