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Crispy Panko Breaded Chicken

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Crispy baked panko-breaded chicken: that’s all you need to make a happy dinner tonight. Tender chicken breast crusted with a seasoned panko and Parmesan mixture, then baked in the oven.

many golden panko chicken pieces on a wire rack.

No frying, no mess, just crunchy and tender panko breaded chicken breast that will put a smile on everyone’s face.

Did you ever use panko to give the chicken a crunchy crust? If not, you should. Breaded chicken breast is always delicious but make some panko crusted chicken, and you will know what I mean. It would be great if you also tried this deliciously tender Panko-Breaded Chicken without Eggs.

Why should you use panko to bread chicken?

  • First, panko are Japanese-style breadcrumbs made from white bread after removing the crust. They are processed into flakes and baked using an electric current. They are used for frying food like katsu, tonkatsu, or shrimps.
  • Panko breadcrumbs are much larger than regular breadcrumbs, making the food much crispier, crunchier, and cracklier than it would be when using finer breadcrumbs.
  • They absorb less oil during frying/cooking, and that’s always a good thing.

Recipe ingredients

listed ingredients for baking chicken breast crusted with panko breadcrumbs.

Chicken breast:

  • I used four regular-sized pieces of breast, which I butterflied to get eight thinner slices.
  • You don’t necessarily have to butterfly them, but if you cook them whole, they will need a longer time in the oven, so you will have to adjust that and check that the meat is cooked through before serving.

Breading:

  • Panko breadcrumbs
  • Parmesan: It’s preferable to use freshly grated Parmesan cheese. If using pre-grated and measuring that in cups, you might need less than ¼ cup as it has less volume than freshly grated cheese.
  • Spices (oregano, thyme, sweet paprika, salt, and black pepper). You can use other spices (like red pepper flakes or cayenne for heat) or replace them all with your favorite brand of chicken seasoning, Cajun, taco, or Italian seasoning.
    • You will also need onion powder and garlic powder for the flour mixture. However, although they add flavor, leave them out if you don’t have them out.
  • Buttermilk: You can make buttermilk by mixing 75 ml (1/3) milk with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar. Let stand for 5-10 minutes and use as required.

Other ingredients: all-purpose flour, more spices, one egg, vegetable oil, olive oil spray, or another cooking spray.

Step-by-step directions

  • Fry panko in a large frying pan on medium heat stirring continuously until it is evenly golden (1). Immediately transfer it to a large baking dish or another large container. Once cool, add the remaining ingredients and mix (2).
collage of two pictures of frying panko in a pan and then mixing it with parmesan and spices.
  • Butterfly the chicken to have two thinner slices out of each piece. Set them aside (3).
  • Breading stations: Place the crispy panko mixture, flour mix, and buttermilk-egg mixture in separate containers (4).
collage of two pictures of butterflied chicken breast and breading station.
  • Bread the chicken: Turn the pieces in the flour until coated all over (use tongs to turn them around) (5).
  • Place them in the buttermilk-egg bowl and turn them around to coat all over (6).
collage of two pictures of flouring and then coating chicken breast with buttermilk and egg.
  • Pick up each piece with tongs and place it into the breadcrumb container (7).
  • Turn in on both sides to coat it, and press down with your palms to adhere (8).
collage of two pictures of breading chicken in a dish and then on a plate.
  • Bake: Place breasts on a sheet pan and spray the pieces with cooking oil (9).
  • Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Flip, spray with cooking oil again, and bake for another 8-10 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 71°C/ 165°F (10).
collage of two pictures of breaded chicken on a rack before and after baking.

Expert tips

  • Toasting the breadcrumbs in the pan before crumbing the chicken is not exactly mandatory but very recommendable. The slices are thin and they will not need a long time in the oven, so the breadcrumbs will not have enough time to get truly golden.
  • Pan-frying them gently before coating the cutlets ensures a crispy and perfectly golden exterior.
  • Press the coating with your palm to make sure that the crumbs adhere properly to the meat.
  • Wire rack: It’s preferable to use it on top of a baking sheet, using it ensures that the panko breaded chicken is really crispy on both sides. However, the recipe will still work without it.
  • Don’t overbake the crusted chicken or it will become dry and chewy.

How to check if the chicken is cooked through?

The best way is to use a meat thermometer, the internal temperature should be 165°F/ 72°C (Amazon affiliate link). Otherwise cut a piece in the middle, the meat should be white, and there is no pink allowed.

slices breaded chicken breast on a rack.

Recipe FAQ

Where can I find panko?

Nowadays, most grocery stores stock panko as well, you will find them with the other breadcrumbs or where the Asian food is. Otherwise, you can always find them online.

Can I use other chicken cuts?

Boneless, skinless thighs: Cut them into 2-3 pieces (depending on their size), bread them and bake them as instructed. However, they will need a few more minutes of cooking time, make sure to check that they are cooked through before serving.
Chicken tenderloin (tenders) or similar smaller chicken cutlets: They will be ready even faster than the breast pieces.

How to store and reheat?

Refrigerate leftovers for 3-4 days in an airtight container.
Reheat them in a skillet or in the oven.
You can also serve the leftovers cold, they are the perfect cut for a delicious sandwich.

How to serve oven-fried chicken panko?

Serve the panko breaded chicken immediately with oven-baked potatoes, fries, sweet potatoes, smashed potatoes, and so on. You can also serve it with any simple rice dish, for instance, Simple Buttered Rice with Garlic, Carrot Rice, Spicy Nigerian Jollof Rice, Cheesy Corn Rice, and so on.

You can also serve the tender juicy chicken with marinara sauce, honey mustard sauce, sweet chili sauce, BBQ sauce, or any other favorite dipping sauce.

Slice the pieces and serve them on top of a crunchy salad with balsamic vinaigrette or a creamy dressing, make sandwiches or burgers.

panko breaded chicken piece close up.

More breaded chicken recipes

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many golden panko chicken pieces on a wire rack.

Crispy Panko Breaded Chicken

Crispy baked panko-breaded chicken: that’s all you need to make a happy dinner tonight.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 467kcal
Author: Adina

Equipment

  • 1 Baking sheet
  • 1 Tongs

Ingredients 

  • 4 chicken breasts about 130-150 g each/ 4.5-5.5 oz
  • cooking spray

Panko mix:

  • 100 g panko about 1 ¾ cup/ 3.5 oz
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 25 g Parmesan freshly grated, ¼ cup, very packed, Note 1
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Flour mix:

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Dipping mix:

  • 75 ml buttermilk 1/3 cup, Note 2
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/ 400°F. Place a wire rack on a baking sheet.
  • Panko: Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frying panko. Fry the panko for 2 minutes, stirring almost constantly, until golden. Immediately transfer it to a large baking dish or another large container. Let it cool while you prepare the rest.
  • Chicken: Butterfly the chicken to have two thinner slices from each breast. Set them aside.
  • Flour mix: Mix flour, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Set aside.
  • Dipping mix: Lightly whisk buttermilk and egg with a fork in another large bowl. Set aside.
  • Panko mix: Add grated Parmesan, oregano, thyme, paprika, salt, and pepper to the panko. Mix well to combine. Set aside.

Bread the chicken:

  • Flour: Place the chicken breasts into the flour bowl. Turn the pieces around using tongs until they are nicely floured.
  • Dip: Lift the pieces with tongs, shake them gently over the flour bowl to remove the excess, and place them into the buttermilk-egg bowl. Turn them around to coat all over.
  • Breadcrumbs: Pick up each piece with tongs, shake it gently over the buttermilk bowl to remove the excess, and place it in the panko-mix bowl. Turn it around to coat it with the breadcrumbs and press down with your palms to adhere. Place the pieces on the prepared baking tray.
  • Bake: Spray the pieces with cooking oil. Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Flip, spray with cooking oil again, and bake for another 8 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 71°C/ 165°F (Note 3).

Notes

  1. It’s preferable to use freshly grated Parmesan. If using pre-grated and measuring that in cups, you might need less than ¼ cup as it has less volume than freshly grated cheese.
  2. You can make buttermilk by mixing 75 ml (1/3) milk with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar. Let stand for 5-10 minutes and use as required.
  3. Adjust the cooking time if the pieces are thicker or thinner or if using other chicken cuts. Chicken tenders will cook even faster, while chicken thigh pieces will need a bit longer.

Nutrition

Serving: 2pieces | Calories: 467kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 56g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 192mg | Sodium: 1172mg | Potassium: 974mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 488IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 181mg | Iron: 3mg
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