Kitchen Resources

How to Make the Perfect Pan Fried Chicken Thighs, Drumsticks or Breasts

how to pan fry chicken

Follow these steps to make the ultimate crispy, juicy and flavorful pan fried chicken. You can use this method to pan fry chicken breasts, thighs or drumsticks.



  • Fresh, high-quality chicken pieces (breasts, thighs, or drumsticks) with skin left on
  • Vegetable oil
  • Quality sea salt (Maldon is a good option)
  • Freshly cracked black pepper (this Tellicherry peppercorn is a good option)
  • Sugar

As you can see from the ingredient list, there is nothing fancy or complicated about this pan fried chicken. This recipe is all about executing a simple task but execute it expertly and perfectly. Instead of masking the chicken in herbs, spices or sauces, chicken is the star of the plate; hence, it is recommended that you use the best quality chicken you can find.



  1. Remove chicken pieces from fridge at least one hour before cooking. When you’re ready to cook, the protein should be at room temperature.
  2. Preheat fry pan over high heat. Use stainless steel, cast iron or carbon steel for this task. The use of non-stick cookware is not recommended.
  3. Drizzle just enough oil to cover the base of the fry pan. Oil should begin to smoke immediately.
  4. Do NOT season chicken yet. Simply place the non-seasoned chicken pieces skin sides down. It is important to ensure you don’t overcrowd the pan.
  5. Turn heat to medium low and allow the chicken to brown uncovered and undistributed (7-12 minutes). Do not flip or move the chicken prematurely at any point.
  6. Flip the chicken to brown the other side uncovered and undistributed (7-15 minutes). Do not flip or move the chicken prematurely at any point.
  7. Both sides of chicken should be browned and crispy by now.
  8. Check for doneness. If chicken is not done, simply leave it in pan to continue cooking over medium-low heat. Once the chicken is cooked through, turn off heat.
  9. Sprinkle black pepper, salt and a pinch of sugar on all sides while chicken is still hot in the pan.
  10. Let chicken pieces rest on a plate for at least 5 minutes.
  11. Serve with your favorite hot sauce or condiments and enjoy.

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About the author

Jennifer Baron

My name is Jennifer Baron and I have a love and passion for cooking fresh, home-style, clean, healthy and nutritious recipes for 30 years. I’ve worked in the food industry since I was 16 years old

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