Healthy Fried Chicken Recipe

This healthy fried chicken will give you all the flavor of regular fried chicken, without all the added fat!

So I have to say… it’s really hard to make chicken look attractive. Don’t you think? I mean, I see all those magazines around Thanksgiving that show those amazing looking turkeys on the cover and I think to myself… that HAS to be fake. It just has to be!

A white plate holding some Healthy Fried Chicken

I tried so many different ways to photograph this chicken, and this was the best I could come up with. So you’ll just have to take my word for it when I say that this is some darned good and tender chicken!

I will also say, that this recipe is a fantastic way to burn a frying pan like never before! But don’t panic…

…because there is no oil or fat used in this recipe, the clean up is actually pretty quick and easy! Promise! Would I lie to you??

Note: Due to the fact that all cookware can vary, I cannot guarantee that your pan will clean up as well as mine did. Please use an old pan you don’t care about the first time you try this recipe. You MUST use a stainless steel pan and a copper or metal scrubber. The clean up would be awful with anything else.

Also, if you do not mind having a softer “crust” on the chicken, you do not have to burn the pan this way. Just add a bit more chicken broth before it gets to this point.


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A plate of this Healthy Fried Chicken sits on a table, waiting to be served. The chicken breasts are sitting in a bed of greens.

Healthy Fried Chicken

If you love fried chicken but not all the fat that goes with it, here's a much healthier version that still tastes great!
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 261kcal


  • Stainless Steel Skillet


  • 2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (4 breasts)
  • 1 cup chicken broth (approximate. You may need more)


  • Place 1/2 the both and all the chicken into a stainless steel frying pan. (Sorry, non stick won't get the browning effect). Turn heat on high to bring the liquid to a boil. Cook the chicken as if you were frying it in oil, turning often. You want to start the browning process on the outside.
    Add chicken and broth to pan.
  • When the liquid has cooked out and you have a little brown on your chicken, add the other 1/2 of the broth.
    The browning of the chicken begins.
  • Put the lid on. Cook for approximately 15-20 minutes to cook the inside of the chicken. Remove the lid. Your chicken should read about 155 degrees F. with a thermometer when the time is up.
    Cover with lid to cook chicken.
  • You should have some liquid in the bottom of the pan.
  • Let the liquid cook down. Turn your chicken every so often. You'll find that the liquid gives the chicken a brownish color. But the real browning takes place when the liquid had cooked down. (This is also where your pan will start to burn. Again… don't panic. As long as you used a stainless steel pan, I'll get you through the clean up quickly and easily.)
    Once the liquid has cooked out, the frying begins.
  • When the chicken is browned enough for your liking, remove it from the pan and allow to cool.
    What the pan looks like after frying your chicken.


  • So now that your pan looks like it will never recover, all you have to do is put it in the sink and soak it for 10-15 minutes. In fact, if you let it soak while you eat dinner, you'll be amazed at how easily it comes off with a copper or steel scrubber. It'll be a breeze. Just wait and see. See?! This is my pan AFTER I made the chicken. Good as it ever was, and it took me less than 3 minutes to get it back to normal!
    What the pan looks like after an easy soak and cleaning. Good as new!


Please note that the nutrition data given here is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.


Serving: 1breast | Calories: 261kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 48g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 145mg | Sodium: 478mg | Potassium: 886mg | Vitamin A: 68IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg

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  1. Cindy Puzio says:

    I wonder how this would cook up in a cast iron frying pan? Probably pretty good!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Cindy – It could work in cast iron, though I can’t make any guarantees. I haven’t tried it.

      1. Another quick clean up tip. Take a used dryer sheet, fill the pan up with water, put in the used dryer sheet and let sit overnight. It rinses out clean!

        1. graciouspantry says:


  2. luv it<3, you are too cute Tiffany. We have'nt had fried chicken in sooo long. looking foward to adding this to my list of great recipes and inspirations i've gotten from you..lolz

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Desiree – I know you’ll love it!

  3. janetha @ meals and moves says:

    mmmmm. i have cooked chicken this way many times, it is so good!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Janetha – Oh good! I’m not the only one. So good! It’s really the only way I want to cook chicken anymore!

  4. So what’s wrong with a little Olive Oil for that chicken?? I understand that if the pan is heated and then a small amount of oil is added then you add your chicken when the oil just starts to smoke you get a really good crust on the chicken as well as those delicious pieces in the pan that make gravy, if you are so inclined. Also if the pan and the oil are heated properly then the chicken does not stick. Oh and make sure the chicken is patted dry before adding to the oil and do not crowd the pan. I just learned this myself and thought of your scrubbing that pan! Love your recipes!!! Thanks for the great ideas!!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Ali – Thanks for thinking of me! I don’t use any oil because, 1) I find the clean up is easier for me and 2) I find that meat is high enough in fat without adding more.

      That said, your idea would work well, and I’m sure it would be very tasty!

  5. Actually – for a quick clean-up – pour water into the HOT pan (after removing the chicken of course!) and clean the pan that way – or if it is not “burnt” add a small amount of chicken stock to get that “gravy” and small bits that Ali was referring to. (Also known as “de-glazing”).

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Lorri – I tried the hot water, and it didn’t work for me. But I like the chicken stock idea. I’ll give that a try. Thanks!

  6. We all enjoyed the chicken! My son said it was, “Awesome!”

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Lynn – Yay! That’s wonderful! Thanks for trying my recipes! (You’re a brave woman! lol)

  7. Lucinda M. says:

    I’ve made this recipe twice now and it is absolutely fantastic!! Both my husband and 2 picky eater sons sing its praises, which says a lot.

    Oh and I made it in a cast-iron skillet too. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks so much!

    1. Anonymous says:

      Lucinda – Fantastic!! I’m glad everyone enjoyed it!

  8. Anonymous says:

    JoAnna – Fantastic! Thanks for sharing that!

  9. graciouspantry says:

    Awesome! I’m so happy you enjoyed it!

  10. Nadia kent says:

    I laughed so hard now! I get teased a lot…I love cooking but kind of still suck at it and I am an absolute champion in burning pans beyond recognition! Now I can tell my friends and fiance there are indeed cases where the pam has to resemble a kitchen nightmares episode ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks, love your blog

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Nadia – Haha!! Happy I could help!!! ๐Ÿ˜€