This dish is easily a favorite for all in our family, a comfort food that triggers nostalgia, and a delicious and easy recipe to include in every kitchen! The chicken is juicy and tender, with a crunchy and flavorful outer crust.
Chicken pane is classic Egyptian recipe of breaded, fried chicken. The flavors are somehow juicier and zestier than what I have tried in the classic American fried chicken counterparts, although both are equally delicious in their own regard. This chicken is softer crunch, with a more flavorful bite. I also use this recipe on smaller strips of chicken tenderloins to make chicken strips or chicken nuggets for the kids, and this is a favorite for all! The name chicken pane, comes from the French word meaning bread crumbs. It turns out when Napolean came to Egypt, the French occupation left some flavorful influences. It is not uncommon to find French influence on Egyptian cuisine, language, and music. Because I love all things Parisian, I don’t mind throwing in this tidbit about my parents’ beautiful home country.
To make this dish, you need boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into two pieces, and filleted in half (sometimes into thirds, if it is especially thick). It is essential to marinate the chicken in onions, garlic, salt, and pepper overnight or for a couple of hours at the very least! This is what makes the chicken extra juicy and flavorful.
Once you have your marinated chicken breasts prepared, it is most efficient to set up of an assembly line of 3 bowls: one bowl of flour, one bowl of egg wash, and one bowl of bread crumbs. It is helpful to use a large, deep bowl for the breadcrumb mixture, so that you can easily toss and shake the chicken breast to coat it well. The final destination is a large pan with oil. I like to use a mediterranean oil blend I get at Costco that includes sunflower oil, grape seed oil, and olive oil. This oil combination definitely tastes better than vegetable oil and it won’t burn as easily, but any will work. If I am making smaller chicken strips or simply want a healthier dish, I lay these on a pan lined with foil and bake it. Check out this great demo for coating the chicken pane.
The breads crumbs mixture is combined with some panko crumbs and a delicious combo of seasoning: salt, pepper, paprika, oregano, onion salt, and garlic powder. Sometimes I add minced parsley.
The final step seems obvious: fry the chicken. However, I consider it mandatory to lay it on a plate lined with some paper towel as soon as you remove it from the pan. Maybe it’s the blot-the-oil-off-your-pizza high-schooler in me, but I find that this makes it lighter and tastier without the greasiness. But again, you could certainly bake this in the oven if you choose! Baking steers away from the traditional recipe and flavor, but it still works. I promise. Just brush the baking pan with some oil and turn the chicken over mid-way. This ensures a crispy golden crust.
- 3 lbs of chicken breast, filleted and cut in half
- 1.5 cups of bread crumbs
- 1.5 cups panko crumbs
- 4 eggs
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 large onion, sliced or blended
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tbsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp onion salt
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 cup sunflower or grape seed oil (or any oil for frying)
- 1/2 cup flour
- Cover the chicken breasts with the onion and minced garlic, 1 tbsp of salt, and 1 tsp of pepper and marinate over night.
- Crack the eggs in a bowl and whip with the water.
- In a separate bowl combine the breadcrumbs, panko crumbs, and remaining salt, pepper, and spices.
- Pour the flour in a third bowl.
- Add the oil to a pan and turn to medium-high heat. The oil does not need to fully cover the chicken, as you will be pan frying it on each side.
- Remove the pieces of chicken breast from the marination mixture one at a time and dip it into each bowl you have prepared. So first dust with the flour (shake off any excess flour), then dip into the egg wash so that it is coated on both sides, then dip into the bowl of breadcrumbs to coat completely. Shake off the excess and place it in the pan.
- Cook the chicken on one side in the pan until golden, and then flip it. This takes about 2-3 minutes per side. Repeat for each piece of chicken, and add more oil if necessary.
- Remove the chicken after it is golden and place onto a plate lined with paper towel.
- Serve garnished with red onions, parsley, or other vegetables you prefer.
- You may bake the chicken in the oven at 375 degree F. Simply place the chicken on a pan brushed with oil and flip half way through the cook time. Cook 15-20 minutes, depending on the thickness and size of the chicken.