This crispy chicken burger is the king of all chicken burgers! The fried cornflake coating makes it incredibly crispy on the outside, while the buttermilk marinade keeps it moist and juicy inside.
Top the crispy chicken burger with your favorite toppings like coleslaw, lettuce, pickles, mayonnaise, and sweet chili sauce for the most delicious and crunchiest burger experience ever!
And check out our Chicken Fillet Burger as well; you will love it!
- Why is this fried chicken burger so great?
- Simple ingredients
- How to make crispy chicken burgers?
- Expert Tips
- Recipe FAQ
- How to store and reheat?
- Sides and accompaniments
- More sandwich and burger recipes
Why is this fried chicken burger so good?
- It’s the crunchiest, crispiest chicken burger you could possibly make at home. It’s actually better than any commercial burger I have ever had.
- Juicy meat: While the outside of the chicken is super crispy, the meat remains moist and juicy due to the buttermilk marinade.
- Versatile: You can fill the buns with your favorite toppings.
Ingredients for the crispy chicken
- Chicken breast: To make four fried chicken burgers, you will need two large boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 8 oz/ 250 g each) or four already sliced chicken fillets or cutlets (about 4 oz/ 125 g each).
- The whole breasts need to be cut horizontally before coating.
- Buttermilk helps keep the meat moist and juicy, enhancing the flavor.
- Cornflake cereal without any added flavors or sweeteners. They make the chicken ultra crispy.
- All-purpose flour is the binding agent that helps the coating adhere to the meat.
- Baking powder makes the coating more airy and crunchier.
- Spices: Garlic powder, paprika, fine sea or kosher salt, and ground black pepper. You can also add other spices like onion powder, cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, dried herbs, etc.
- Or use your favorite seasoning mixture.
- Add cayenne pepper, chili powder, or red chili flakes to taste for a spicy fillet.
- Cooking oil: Use a neutral-flavored oil with a high smoke point, such as vegetable oil, canola, peanut, or sunflower oil. You will need enough oil to submerge the pieces partially during frying.
- Don't use olive oil.
Ingredients for the crunchy burgers
- Burger buns: Choose your favorite soft hamburger buns, such as brioche burger buns, buns with sesame seeds, whole wheat, gluten-free buns, etc.
- Lettuce leaves for added freshness and texture. Alternatively, use iceberg, arugula, or green leaf lettuce.
- Sliced red, yellow, or white onions for a bit of sharpness.
- Pickles: Their tanginess offers a pleasant contrast to the other flavors.
- Coleslaw adds a satisfying crunch and texture, while the tangy marinate adds a refreshing element to the crispy chicken burgers. Check out our Coleslaw for Burgers recipe, or use your favorite coleslaw recipe.
- Condiments: Creamy mayonnaise for moisture and flavor and sweet chili sauce for a bit of sweetness and tanginess.
Optional toppings or substitutions
- Cheese: You can choose from various types, such as cheddar cheese, Swiss, American, pepper jack, or blue cheese.
- Sliced tomatoes, avocado slices, fried eggs, crisp bacon slices, or other sauces you like.
- Substitute sweet chili sauce with ketchup or barbecue sauce, honey mustard, ranch dressing, or spicy aioli. Add some hot sauce, sriracha, chili, red pepper, chili powder, or cayenne pepper for a spicier version.
How to make crispy chicken burgers?
Fry the chicken
- Cut the breasts into two pieces horizontally. Then, starting from the thicker end, slice horizontally through the middle, creating two thin fillets. Use a gentle sawing motion to maintain an even thickness throughout.
- Marinate the pieces into a mixture of buttermilk and spices for at least 30 minutes or overnight (1).
- Double-coat the breast pieces into the lightly crushed cornflakes mixed with flour and baking powder.
- Lift them from the marinade, and let the excess buttermilk drip back into the large bowl. Press them in the cornflake and flour coating, dip them again into the buttermilk mixture, and press them again into the coating (2).
- Heat the oil while you coat the chicken (350°F/ 180°C - oil thermometer) (Amazon affiliate link opens in another tab).
- Fry in batches in the hot oil without overcrowding the pan and flipping halfway through. They should be golden brown and cooked through (internal temperature 165°F/ 74°C- meat thermometer) (Amazon affiliate link opens in another tab).
- Remove them with tongs or a slotted spoon and place them on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
- Repeat with the remaining chicken.
Assemble the burger
- Lightly toast the soft burger buns.
- Mix mayonnaise and sweet chili sauce in a small bowl. Spread the spicy mayo on both halves of the toasted brioche bun.
- Layer lettuce, crispy chicken, a few onion slices, sliced pickles, and coleslaw on the bottom buns. Place the lid buns on top.
- Serve immediately while the crispy chicken burgers are still hot and crunchy.
- Alternative cooking methods: You can also bake or cook the crispy chicken in the air fryer. Check out cornflake chicken for more details. Or you can cook the crispy fillets in the deep fryer.
- Toasting the buns might seem like a tedious extra step, but it’s a step worth taking (and it only takes about 30-60 seconds).
- Toasting prevents them from becoming soggy from the condiments and juices.
- You can lightly butter the buns and toast them on a grill or in a skillet until they turn golden brown.
- Assemble the crispy chicken burgers carefully: Layer the toppings evenly to ensure each bite has a balanced combination of flavors.
- Serve while hot to ensure the chicken remains crispy and the toppings stay fresh.
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts or chicken thigh fillets are both excellent. These cuts are versatile, easy to work with, and provide a juicy and tender texture when cooked properly.
Preheat your oven to around 400°F/200°C, place the breaded chicken pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the coating is crispy and golden brown.
The internal temperature of the chicken measured with a meat thermometer should reach 165°F/74°C. If you don’t have a thermometer, cut into the thickest piece to ensure there is no pinkness and the juices run clear.
To help keep the chicken crispy, it's best to serve it immediately. However, if you need to wait shortly, place it on a wire rack set over a baking tray to allow air circulation; this helps prevent moisture from making the coating soggy. Avoid covering the chicken, the trapped steam will diminish the crispiness.
How to store and reheat?
- Crispy chicken burgers (or any other burgers) are best served immediately; refrigeration will diminish the crispiness and the freshness of the other ingredients while also making the buns a bit soggy.
- However, you can still refrigerate leftovers for about 2 days.
- For a better experience, it’s preferable to store the ingredients separately and reheat the fried chicken in the oven before assembling a burger again.
Sides and accompaniments
Consider serving various side dishes to accompany the burgers, such as French fries, sweet potato fries, onion rings, coleslaw, or a fresh salad. These sides provide a balanced meal and complement the flavors of the burgers.
More sandwich and burger recipes
Crispy Chicken Burger
- High-sided pan about 10 inches/ 25 cm in diameter, Note 1
- 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
- 4 burger buns
- 5 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
- lettuce leaves
- red onion sliced
- coleslaw Coleslaw recipe
- other toppings to taste
- Cut the breasts into two pieces horizontally. Starting from the thicker end, slice horizontally through the middle, creating two thin fillets. Use a gentle sawing motion to maintain an even thickness throughout. 2 large chicken breasts
- Marinade: Mix the buttermilk and spices in a shallow dish. Turn the chicken into the mixture, nestle it snuggly inside, and marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight. 1 cup/ 250 ml buttermilk + ½ tablespoon paprika + ½ Tbps garlic powder + ½ teaspoon sea salt + ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Cornflake coating: Place the cornflakes into a large shallow bowl and crush them lightly with your hand (don’t overdo it, they should be only lightly crushed). Add flour and baking powder and mix well. 3 cups/ 2.5 oz/ 75 g cornflakes + 1 cup/ 4.5 oz/ 125 g all-purpose flour + 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Double-coat chicken: Lift the chicken from the marinade, and let the excess drip back into the bowl. Press the pieces into the cornflake mixture, dip them again into the buttermilk mixture, and press them again into the coating.
- Heat the oil while you coat the chicken; the temperature 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. 1 cup/ 250 ml oil
- Fry in batches without overcrowding the pan and flipping halfway through; it takes about 8-10 minutes, but check. The pieces should be golden brown and cooked through (internal temperature 165°F/ 74°C). Place the pieces of chicken on paper towels to absorb the excess fat.
- Repeat with the remaining chicken.
Assemble the burgers:
- Lightly toast the burger buns in a skillet or grill pan. 4 burger buns
- Mix mayonnaise and sweet chili sauce in a small bowl. Spread the spicy mayo on both halves of the toasted brioche buns. 5 tablespoon mayonnaise + 3 tablespoon sweet chili sauce
- Assemble: Layer lettuce, crispy chicken, a few onion slices, sliced pickles, and coleslaw on the bottom buns. Place the lid buns on top.
- Serve immediately while the burgers are still hot and crunchy.
- 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.
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