Cornflake fried chicken is a delicious dish of crispy fried chicken breast pieces coated with a mixture of cornflakes and seasoning.
The coating gives the cornflake fried chicken a crispy and crunchy exterior while the meat remains tender and juicy on the inside. It's an easy dinner idea and a versatile dish that can be enjoyed as a family dinner, a party appetizer, in burgers, or sandwiches.
Use the juicy chicken breasts to make this amazing Crispy Chicken Burger; it's a family favorite.
This cornflake chicken recipe is a delightful variation of the traditional fried chicken recipe. Double-coating the breast pieces with cornflakes instead of breadcrumbs adds a unique texture and flavor.
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- Boneless skinless chicken breasts. They need to be cut horizontally into two pieces. Or you can buy already cut fillets to speed up the cooking process.
- This recipe will also work with chicken tenders, strips, or boneless skinless thighs, but you must adjust the cooking time accordingly.
- Buttermilk helps tenderize the meat during a short marinating time and enhances its flavor.
- All-purpose flour is used as a binding agent to help the cornflake coating adhere to the meat.
- Baking powder makes the coating more airy and crunchier (See Expert Tips).
- Cornflakes: Use plain cornflake cereal without any added flavors or sweeteners. They provide a thick and crispy coating.
- Spices: Garlic powder, paprika, fine sea or kosher salt, and ground black pepper.
- You can add a bit of cayenne pepper, chili powder, or red chili flakes for heat.
- You can also add other spices like onion powder, cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, dried herbs, etc.
- Cooking oil: Use a neutral-flavored oil with a high smoke point, such as vegetable oil, canola oil, or peanut oil, for frying the cornflakes chicken.
- You will need enough oil to submerge the pieces partially during frying.
- Don't use olive oil.
How to make cornflake chicken?
Cut the breasts into smaller fillets:
Use caution while handling the sharp knife, and ensure your cutting surface is stable (place a folded kitchen towel underneath it). Additionally, clean the cutting board and knife after working with raw poultry to prevent cross-contamination.
- Place one breast on the cutting board.
- Hold it firmly with one hand, and position the knife parallel to the cutting board.
- Starting from the thicker end of the breast, carefully slice horizontally through the middle, creating two thin fillets. Use a gentle sawing motion to maintain an even thickness throughout.
Marinate the pieces:
- Mix: Pour the buttermilk into a baking dish or another shallow dish that will hold all the pieces in a tight single layer. Add paprika, garlic powder, salt, pepper (and any additional spices you like). Stir well to combine.
- Turn the meat pieces into the marinade, then nestle them snuggly inside the dish (1).
- Marinate them for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
- Crush: Place the cornflakes into a large bowl and crush them lightly with your hands. Please don’t overdo it; they should be only lightly crushed.
- Add flour, baking powder, a little salt, and pepper, and stir well to combine the three ingredients (2).
Heat the oil while you coat the chicken.
Coat the fillets:
- Lift the pieces from the marinade, let them drip gently, and place them all on a large plate. This step will allow you an easier second dipping of the fillets into the remaining marinade.
- Then, transfer the meat to the cornflake crumbs, pressing it down gently to help the coating adhere. Flip it and coat both sides evenly.
- Carefully dip the cornflake-coated chicken pieces into the buttermilk marinade again.
- Press them again into the cornflake mixture (3).
- Fry in batches; you should not overcrowd the pan.
- Carefully lower two or three pieces into the hot oil and fry the pieces, flipping them halfway until golden brown and cooked through (1,2).
- Place the cornflake fried chicken on paper towels to absorb the excess fat.
- Repeat with the remaining coated pieces.
- Baking powder or the secret ingredient: It serves as a leavening agent creating tiny air bubbles in the coating when heated, resulting in a more airy and crunchy crust on the cornflake fried chicken, thus making it similar to the crispy coatings found on commercially prepared chicken.
- However, its use is optional; the cornflake chicken breasts will still be excellent without it.
- Cornflakes: Don’t crush them too much; just roughly using your hands. Leaving the pieces larger ensures that the coating is super crunchy.
Double-coating is optional, but it makes the chicken extra crispy and crunchy, intensifying the flavor. The second layer of crushed cornflakes provides more surface area for browning and adds an extra layer of crispness.
The internal temperature should reach 165°F/74°C to ensure it is fully cooked and safe to eat.
You can use a meat thermometer to check the temperature, inserting it into the thickest part of the piece (the Amazon affiliate link opens in a new tab.
The fried poultry portions should have a golden brown color and crispy texture.
Cut into the thickest piece to ensure there is no pinkness and the juices run clear.
How to store and reheat?
- The cornflake fried chicken is best served immediately to be as crunchy as possible; the cornflake coating will soften in the fridge.
- However, you can refrigerate the leftovers in an airtight container for 3-4 days. They will still be delicious even if they are not that crispy anymore.
- Reheat them in the oven or toaster oven to make them crispier again.
- I don’t recommend reheating them in the microwave, as that will make the coating even softer.
- Freeze in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months and reheat in the oven as instructed above.
How to serve?
- Make a crispy chicken burger with your favorite toppings and some coleslaw for burgers.
- Serve it with a potato side dish, like French fries, sweet potato slices, garlic mashed potatoes, smashed potatoes, or air fryer baked potatoes.
- For instance, make a salad with yogurt dressing or vinaigrette, white cabbage salad, or beet and feta salad.
- Serve it with a dipping sauce like peri peri sauce, yogurt mint sauce, hot sauce, bbq sauce, or your favorite dipping sauce.
More crispy chicken recipes
Cornflake Fried Chicken
- 2 large chicken breast Note 2
- 1 cup buttermilk 250 ml
- ½ tablespoon sweet paprika powder
- ½ tablespoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt or kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 cups cornflakes 2.5 oz/ 75 g, Note 3
- 1 cup all-purpose flour 4.5 oz/ 125 g
- 1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup cooking oil Note 4
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- Cut chicken pieces: Place one chicken breast on the cutting board. Hold it firmly with one hand, and cut parallel to the cutting board starting from the thicker end of the breast, and carefully slicing horizontally through the middle, creating two thin fillets. Use a gentle sawing motion to maintain an even thickness throughout. 2 large chicken breasts
- Marinade: Pour the buttermilk into a baking dish or another container that will hold all the pieces in a tight single layer. Add the spices (and any additional spices you might like) and stir well to combine. 1 cup/ 250 ml buttermilk + ½ tablespoon paprika + ½ Tbps garlic powder + ½ teaspoon sea salt + ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Marinate: Turn the chicken pieces into the marinade, then nestle them snuggly inside the dish. Marinate them for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
- Combine: Place the cornflakes into a large bowl and crush them lightly with your hands (not too much). Add flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper, and stir well to combine. 3 cups/ 2.5 oz/ 75 g cornflakes + 1 cup/ 4.5 oz/ 125 g all-purpose flour + 1 teaspoon baking powder + ¼ teaspoon salt + ⅛ pepper
Heat the oil:
- Heat the oil while you coat the chicken; it should be around 350F/180C (oil thermometer). Alternatively, stick the tip of a toothpick into the hot oil; if small blisters are forming around it, the oil should be hot enough for frying.
Coat the chicken:
- Lift the chicken pieces from the marinade, let them drip gently, and place them all on a large plate. This step will allow you an easier second dipping of the chicken into the remaining marinade.
- Coat: Transfer the chicken to the cornflake mixture, pressing it down gently to help the coating adhere to the chicken. Flip it and coat both sides evenly.
- Double-coating: Carefully dip the cornflake-coated chicken pieces into the buttermilk marinade again. Then, press them again into the cornflake mixture.
- Fry the chicken pieces in batches; you should not overcrowd the pan.
- Cook: Carefully lower two or three pieces into the hot oil and fry the pieces, flipping them halfway until golden brown and cooked through; it took me about 8-9 minutes per batch. Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer; it should be 165°F/ 74°C.
- Repeat with the remaining coated chicken. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the excess fat. Serve immediately.
- The amount of oil you need depends on the size of the pan; its bottom should be covered with oil. For example, I needed about 1 cup/ 250 ml for a high-sided pan with a 10 inches/ 25 cm diameter.
- Chicken: Two large chicken breasts, which need to be sliced horizontally. Or you can buy already-sliced chicken fillets. The whole chicken breasts I used weighed about 8 oz/ 225 g each.
- Cornflakes: Plain cornflakes cereal without any added flavors or sweeteners.
- Use an oil with a high smoking point, like vegetable, canola, or peanut oil. Don’t use olive oil for frying.