Recipe By Chef John
Published Apr 17th
Honey-Brined Fried Chicken Breasts
Prep 10m Cook 15m Additional 1h 20m Ready In 1h 45m
Servings 4 servings Calories 481.3

Is there anything less inspiring than a boneless-skinless chicken breast? How do we turn this culinary snoozer into something worthwhile? Fry it.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 3 cups cold water
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ½ teaspoon onion salt
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • vegetable oil for frying

Cooking Directions

  1. 1 Mix cold water, kosher salt, and honey in a large bowl; stir until salt dissolves. Add chicken breasts, and weigh them down with a plate to keep them completely submerged. Cover entire bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. 2 Remove bowl from refrigerator; drain and dry chicken. Pour buttermilk over chicken in a large bowl. Set aside at room temperature for 15 minutes.
  3. 3 Combine flour, black pepper, garlic salt, onion salt, and cayenne pepper in a large bowl.
  4. 4 Coat each chicken breast in flour mixture until well covered on all sides; place flour-coated chicken breasts on a cooling rack to dry for 15 minutes.
  5. 5 Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Cook chicken breasts until browned and no longer pink in the center, about 10 to 15 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).
  6. 6 Transfer chicken to a cooling rack; allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories 481.3
  • Carbohydrate 49.4 g
  • Cholesterol 65.2 mg
  • Fat 21.5 g
  • Fiber 1.3 g
  • Protein 22.8 g
  • Saturated Fat 4.2 g
  • Sodium 6378.4 mg
  • Sugar 18.2 g

Chef's Notes

The nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of the brine ingredients. The actual amount of the brine consumed will vary. We have determined the nutritional value of oil for frying based on a retention value of 10% after cooking. Amount will vary depending on cooking time and temperature, ingredient density, and specific type of oil used.


  1. The whole purpose of brining is to help the white meat be more tender and flavorful. Keep in mind that you discard the brine after the meat has marinated in it for an hour. Only a tiny bit is absorbed into the meat. The salt is what helps the meat hold it's moisture. If you - Read more ...
  2. Delicious! 5 stars! I made minor adjustments based on reading all the reviews. Because there was a consistent theme of "too salty", I reduced the kosher salt to somewhere between 1/4 c and 1/8 c. and used garlic and onion powders instead of salts. This worked perfectly. **Keep in mind the recipe calls for kosher - Read more ...
  3. For all of the prep time and messing with frying the result was moist chicken with a bland coating. Not worth repeating.
  4. DEFINATELY 5/5. This was my very first attempt at fried chicken and it was phenomenal! Everyone (boyfriend/fiance parents and little sister) polished it off before anyone had time to get seconds. The only thing I will criticize is that it was indeed a little salty but I used onion powder instead of onion salt. Regardless - Read more ...
  5. Great recipe. Moist and flavorful. Was a bit skidish about the salt so cut the brine soak time to 45 mins and sub'd garlic & onion powder for garlic & onion salt. Only other comment is recipe says "Ready In: 25 Min" Well... an hour to soak in the brine, 15 mins to soak in - Read more ...
  6. This chicken was awesome. I followed the recipes with one minor change, I only used 1/8 c kosher salt. Turned out perfect, moist and juicy.
  7. It's sometimes risky trusting internet recipes, but this is a definite winner. I subbed breast tenders for breasts, 2% for buttermilk, and garlic and onion powders for garlic and onion salts. Because I used tenders, I cut the brine ingredients in half and soaked the chicken for 30 min instead of 1 hr. I would - Read more ...
  8. Amazing recipe! Followed it exactly.. Except added extra seasoning to the flour mixture. Highly recommended
  9. Wow! This was wonderful. I followed exactly with the exception of substituting half-and-half for the buttermilk (I had some I wanted to use up). I was a little afraid I would burn them to a crisp as my chicken breasts were pretty big but I just turned them a couple of times and they turned - Read more ...
  10. Chef John (note the chef title) is able to fry a large chicken breast without it turning black. I, however, know my limitations. I decided to cut the breast into medallions to enhance my chances of having a dish that was edible. Other than that slight change, I made the recipe exactly as instructed. This - Read more ...