Skip to Content

Can You Bread Already Cooked Chicken? Let’s Find Out!

Breaded, baked, or fried chicken is a juicy and crispy dessert that everyone enjoys. It’s also easy to prepare when you’ve learned the fundamental steps.

Unfortunately, it’s also easy to get it wrong, and the breading sometimes gets ruined while you cook it.

This article will describe how you can ensure you get the perfect breaded chicken every time.

Can you bread already cooked chicken?

You can bread chicken that has already been cooked. This is done by drenching the chicken in buttermilk, rolling it into well-seasoned flour, then flour and breadcrumbs (ideally Panko breadcrumbs). The secret is to use buttermilk because it creates a surface to which the breadcrumbs and flour can stick.

What’s the problem with breading already cooked chicken?

If you attempt to bake or fry chicken you’ve already cooked, you’ll need to cook it once more to get the breading to stick to the chicken, resulting in a massively cooked chicken that isn’t any good.

It doesn’t mean it can’t be done. It just means you have to be acutely aware of this difficulty and manage it properly.

The correct way to bread chicken

Having an advanced understanding of how to bread chicken correctly will help you in no small measure when you are breading cooked chicken. The most basic method for breading is a 3-step procedure.

Technically, one of the initial steps (and most important) is to rub your chicken as completely as you can with paper towels. Then the actual breading process is as follows:

  • Plunge the chicken into the flour that has been seasoned, and shake off surplus flour.
  • Dip the flour-coated chicken in an egg wash (a small amount of milk or water into which you have beaten some eggs).
  • Dust the egg-coated chicken with your seasoned breadcrumbs, completely coating the chicken.

When it comes to spicing, you might want to season the breadcrumbs, but not the egg wash, flour, or chicken. This is not a good idea.

The flavors (like spices or herbs) that you incorporate into the breading will be burned or smoked when you heat the oil. This is why it’s essential to spice the chicken and the flour and egg wash.

The breading process

The breading process can be a bit of an assembly line, and it’s recommended you utilize one hand for drenching and the other to wash the eggs and toss the breadcrumbs.

If you don’t, your fingers can become eggy, and the whole process can get very messy.

Based upon whether you’re left- or right-handed, it will make the difference in how you prepare the dishes with the different ingredients.

Once the chicken is well-coated with the breading, leave it in your fridge and allow it to chill for about 30 minutes. This gives the breading a chance to dry.

After that, take it out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for another 15 minutes or so. Finally, fry your chicken in hot oil till golden brown, then drain onto paper towels, and serve.

Why Breading doesn’t ‘stick’ and how to fix it

One of the biggest issues home cooks face when cooking breaded chicken is that they lose the breading while the chicken is cooking. There are many possible causes:

  • The chicken isn’t sufficiently dry. If your poultry is wet, it won’t be able to adhere correctly.
    Make sure to dry the chicken completely before coating it with the breading. Use several paper towels if you must.
  • The chicken was not drenched in flour before pouring the egg wash on the chicken. The reason why flour is vital to breaded chickens is that the starch within the flour absorbs the moisture from the chicken and the egg, creating an adhesive between them.
    Egg wash without flour is likely to slip off the chicken and carry the breading along with it.
  • The chicken wasn’t chilled before frying. Chilling is a vital step that gets the flour to absorb moisture from the chicken and egg wash.
    The time spent in the fridge is what sets the glue and enables the breading to stick to the chicken.

Various options when breading chicken

If you want crispy chicken, there is a reason that you should begin with a breading which is already crisp.

The best ingredient for your breading is Japanese breadcrumbs, also known as panko. Panko is something more of a flake rather than an actual crumb.

It’s been dried or lightly toasty to add extra crunch. Even toasty ones will not have that same crunch if you use regular breadcrumbs.

Panko (or panko-style breadcrumbs) are available in most supermarkets.

However, if you can’t find these, you could try crushed breakfast cereals like Wheaties and Corn Flakes, cracked pretzels, crackers, etc. Give them a spin through a processor to make them fine, but not the fine powder.

Using substitutes instead of eggs to bread chicken

Many people purchase egg whites in cartons, and if you own this product, it can perform just as well as whole eggs. In a way, the egg wash is just glue, which means it is possible to use sticky or thick items to substitute for breading chicken, such as mayonnaise or thick cream.

It is also possible to use mustard as it provides a further flavor. However, none of these alternatives are as effective as eggs, since unlike other ingredients, when eggs cook, the proteins in the egg coagulate and harden and form a glue.

Keeping the breading on chicken crispy

After you’ve breaded your chicken and started to fry it, make sure to keep it warm and crisp until the chicken is cooked and you’re ready to serve the dish.

Set the cooling rack over a baking sheet and put the breaded chicken you’ve prepared on the top.

Leave the breaded chicken in your oven that’s been heated to a modest 200°F or so, until you are ready to serve it.

That said, to get the best results, serve your breaded chicken as soon as you can after you’ve cooked it.

Frequently Asked Questions About Can You Bread Already Cooked Chicken

How best to get breading to stick to chicken?

Ensure the surface of the chicken is as dry as possible. Next, coat the chicken with panko breadcrumbs in an egg and flour mixture, and fry the bird to form a crisp, crunchy coating.

What is panko-coated chicken?

Panko is a Japanese breadcrumbs mix that has been dried, then coated with a thin coat of cornstarch. It covers food items in fried form, such as panko-breaded or tempura chicken. The starch assists in helping the coating stick to the food and prevents it from becoming wet.


Afterword: Can you bread already cooked chicken?

As demonstrated in this article, it is possible to bread already cooked chicken.

However, if you attempt to bread chicken you’ve already cooked the normal way and cook it over again, the breading will not stick to it, which will result in overcooked chicken that isn’t tasty at all.

To deal with this problem, (and the problem of the bread not sticking to the chicken) first coat the chicken in buttermilk. You will find that this works a treat.

Author Bio

Daniel Iseli (Head Chef)

Hi, my name is Daniel and I am passionate about cooking. I have been cooking for the past 20 years and am happy to share my best recipes and cooking-related knowledge with you.