Can you fry cooked chicken? (+5 mistakes)

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you fry cooked chicken?”, and how to make crispy fried chicken?

Can you fry cooked chicken?

Yes, you can fry cooked chicken. This is, in fact, a great way to lower the frying time without compromising on safety and quality especially when you have guests over. Frying cooked chicken assures that the outside of the chicken is crispy and golden while is inside is cooked and tender. Read on if you want to know how to fry pre-cooked chicken.

How to pre-cook chicken for frying later?

  • To pre-cook your chicken, first of all, rinse and wash the chicken pieces.
  • Rub your favorite seasoning all over the chicken or dip in a marinade.
  • Preheat the oven at 350°F for about 20 minutes.
  • Place the chicken pieces on a baking tray and pop them in the oven. Bake for about 30-40 minutes until the chicken reaches an internal safe temperature of 165°F and is completely tender.
  • Now you can either fry the chicken or store the chicken in the fridge or freezer for later frying. Do not forget to defrost the chicken in the refrigerator before frying.

How to fry pre-cooked chicken?

  1. Prepare the chicken by coating it in flour, seasonings, eggs, and crumbs, etc.
  2. Heat oil on a medium-high pan to about 375°F.
  3. Pour the chicken pieces in the hot oil carefully.
  4. Fry until the chicken looks crispy and develops a golden crust. Take out and serve warm.

Mistakes to avoid when cooking fried chicken

You do dip the chicken in the marinade

If you want your chicken to be moist and tender instead of dull and dry consider dipping the chicken in an acidic mixture like yogurt and buttermilk for at least an hour or overnight.

You avoid the breading

You cannot get a crispy crust if you skip the breading. Breading is what gives the chicken its flavor, makes it crispy, and locks the moisture inside the chicken.

You only deep fry your chicken

You don’t need fancy equipment to make the perfect f fried chicken, you can use a cast-iron skillet instead. The wider surface of the skillet helps you move around any chicken pieces if you need to.

You rely solely on visual cues for doneness

Visual doneness is not enough. Use thermometers to check the temperature of the oil and the chicken for safety.

You do not pay attention to the temperature of the oil

A too high temperature will result in an undercooked inside while a too low temperature will take a longer frying time while absorbing a lot of oil.

How to make crispy fried chicken?

Coating the chicken

Follow the instructions below to keep the coating of the chicken from pulling off.

  1. Put all the ingredients for the coating in large shallow bowls in the correct order so that you only move from one direction when coating the chicken pieces.
  2. Use one hand to coat the chicken with the dry ingredients and keep the other hand to put the chicken in the dry ingredients.
  3. Do not put the chicken in the hot oil right after coating. Let it rest for about 10 minutes so that the coating sticks to the chicken.
  4. If you will not be frying the chicken within the next 30 minutes of coating, it is best to refrigerate the chicken pieces. Let them come to room temperature before frying them. Putting cold chicken pieces will not make the crust crispy and it will not be cooked evenly.

Frying the chicken

  1. Use a cast-iron skillet or heavy-bottomed dutch oven for even frying.
  2. Choose the oil with a high smoke point like vegetable oil, lard, canola oil, peanut oil, or shortening, etc. Do not use olive oil for deep frying.
  3. The oil or fat should cover the chicken only halfway through. Do not put too much oil in the skillet.
  4. The oil or fat should reach a temperature of  350°F before frying. Do not put the chicken pieces in cold oil. They will end up absorbing too much oil this way.
  5. Never overcrowd the skillet. Frying in small batches is the key to getting crispy and brown chicken pieces.
  6. Remove the fried chicken pieces onto a cooling rack. Place a solid tray beneath the rack to catch any drippings. Do not put the hot chicken pieces onto a paper towel. The fibers will stick to the crust. Moreover, the surface of the chicken in contact with the paper towel will turn soggy due to steam.
  7. Do not forget to check the internal temperature of the chicken pieces which should be at least 165°F. Serve warm.

Other FAQs about Chicken which you may be interested in.

How long can raw chicken stay in the fridge?

How long does chicken last in the fridge?

How long does rotisserie chicken last in the fridge?


In this article, we answered the question “Can you fry cooked chicken?”, and how to make crispy fried chicken?