If you are someone who is not drawn to the look and aroma of freshly fried chicken — or deliciously fried anything, for that matter — you deserve a pat on the back. I am helpless when presented with it. And I am at the point where I limit my intake, so I have become somewhat picky about which opportunities get the green light.

This preparation makes the cut. It delivers crispy-crunchy, mildly hot, salty-sweet and pretty juicy boneless white meat — reminiscent of spicy hot fried chicken but much less work. It’s called “double,” because after a quick pan-fry the chicken is further crisped in the oven.

Here, we have simplified a recipe that has been crazy-popular online for years, by reducing the amount of sauce and the way it is cooked. Yes, you are frying, but that part of the process takes minutes and does not require a pot full of oil. We’re talking low-level bubbling, and no need for a splatter screen.

The oil can be strained and reused, depending on your subsequent application. It is helpful, but not necessary, to have an instant-read thermometer at hand for monitoring the oil temperature.

Serve with a fresh, crunchy slaw.



3 large boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (1 1/4 pounds total)

1 cup flour

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground thyme

1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

1 large egg

1/4 cup water

Canola or grapeseed oil, for frying


1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic

1/4 cup honey

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

Pinch ground cayenne pepper (optional)


Step 1

For the chicken: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Set an ovenproof wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet. Place the chicken breasts on a cutting board. Slice them in half horizontally, to create 6 cutlets of roughly equal thickness.

Step 2

Heat about 1/2 inch of the canola or grapeseed oil in a medium skillet or saute pan over medium heat (its temperature on an instant-read thermometer should register no more than 350 degrees, so adjust the heat, as needed).

Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, salt, black pepper, ground thyme, paprika and cayenne pepper in a wide, shallow bowl (like a pasta bowl). Whisk together the egg and water in a separate wide bowl.

Step 3

Dip each cutlet in the flour mixture to coat it evenly, then into the egg-water and back again into the flour. The chicken should be completely coated; shake off any excess flour and place on a plate.

Step 4

Once the oil shimmers, add half the coated chicken pieces or just enough to fit without crowding the pan. Cook for about 4 minutes on the first side, then turn them over with tongs and cook for about 2 minutes, until crisped and golden. Use tongs to transfer to the wire rack. Repeat to fry all the chicken. Discard any remaining egg mixture and seasoned flour.

Step 5

For the sauce: Heat the teaspoon of extra-virgin oil in a microwave-safe bowl for 15 seconds. Meanwhile, mince the garlic. Add to the heated oil; cover with a paper towel and microwave on HIGH in 15-second increments (about 1 minute ought to do it), until fragrant and softened. Stir in the honey, soy sauce and a pinch of cayenne, if using, until well incorporated.

Step 6

Drizzle over the chicken, turning to catch both sides. Immediately transfer (on the rack/pan) to the oven; roast for 5 to 7 minutes, until heated through.

Serve hot.

Adapted from a recipe at VanillaAndBean.com.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick; email questions to voraciously@washpost.com.

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