Of all the dishes nearly every home cook makes, chicken’s supposed to be one of the easiest— isn’t it? After all, even if you’re intimidated by the idea of cooking an entire bone-in bird, most cookbooks seem to assume we can all throw some chicken breasts in a pan and call it a satisfying night.

But if that’s true, why can it be so tricky to actually make that chicken taste juicy and, well, good? We’ve all eaten dry, boring chicken breast more often than we want to admit, and for those of us starting out, it can be pretty demoralizing to “mess up” a food that’s supposed to be so simple.

Sometimes, then, we can all use a refresher in the basics, and some tips for making sure we really know how to do things the tasty and right way. Thankfully, for the case of basic Pan-Fried Chicken, we’ve found a great one! Wild Dish’s Laoise Casey’s Kitchen Essentials is here to show us the best way to pan-fry chicken breasts for a dish you’ll love, not just tolerate. Here are her tips and tricks for the juiciest chicken yet.

Fry for 3 minutes, then flipWild Dish
  1. One of the keys of perfectly-cooked chicken is getting the thickness of it exactly right. You’re probably used to pounding out and/or flattening your chicken when making something like stuffed chicken rolls or chicken Parm, but it helps you get great pan-fried chicken, too!
  2. Bonus tip for that even thickness? Laoise makes flattening and evening out the breasts even easier by using a rolling pin instead of a mallet, with the chicken safely sitting in between pieces of parchment or other grease-proof paper.
  3. Make sure your pan is really hot when you begin cooking. Laoise calls this step “essential”! Your pieces of chicken should start to sizzle as soon as they hit the pan, just like they do in the video below.
  4. Once the chicken’s in the pan, don’t move it around. We know, it’s tempting to poke and prod at the chicken breasts as they cook, but Laoise says that if we move them, the chicken will steam itself. If we leave it alone and let it sit still, it’ll “fry nicely and start to caramelize.” Just what we want!
  5. When can you move the chicken around? After 3 minutes! At that point, flip the chicken over to fry the other side.
  6. Now, like in all frying, the chicken is cooking in oil, specifically about 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. However, Laoise has a trick up her sleeve: when she flips the chicken after 3 minutes, she adds a small bit of butter! It adds flavor and makes sure those chicken breasts turn out nice and juicy.
  7. The final step? Adding some steam into the mix! Just turn the heat down low, add a lid, and try to wait patiently for the last five minutes of cooking.

The result? Perfectly delectable pan-fried chicken! We just love how simple this dish really is, and how just some smart, easy tricks make it feel special without things getting overwhelming.

Not feeling entirely convinced by Laoise’s tips? Want a more full explanation of the step-by-step instructions? Just want to see how this chicken recipe turns out? Then you’ve got to watch Wild Dish’s video below.

Well, I’m feeling hungry, are you? What do you think of Laoise’s pan-frying technique? Is this method similar to the one you’ve used in the past? Is there anything you would change? What spices would you add to your chicken? Tell us what you think, and be sure to let us know if you give this technique a try!