You’ve Been Breading Chicken Wrong — Here’s a Better Way

published Dec 12, 2023
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Overhead view of 5 pieces of baked chicken parmesan on a baking sheet.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Stylist: Rachel Perlmutter

One of my favorite dishes is chicken Parm, but it always feels like a big cooking endeavor because of the three-part dredging setup. The breading process is a bit messy, you’re left with a bunch of dishes to wash, and you end up throwing out the extra flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs after. 

Luckily, I came across a new chicken dredging process that is much more streamlined and results in less waste afterward. It’s so amazing that I only use this process now when breading anything that calls for flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs in the coating.

The Better Way to Bread Chicken

This magical process is actually a two-part breading setup, and I picked up this trick a long time ago from a chicken Parmesan recipe from Cook’s Illustrated. While the breadcrumb amount remains the same, the egg and flour are combined in much smaller amounts to make what I would call “glue.”

To make this glue, whisk eggs and flour together in a ratio of 1 large egg to 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour. This creates the exact same coating you would get from dredging the chicken into flour first and then beaten eggs, but you throw out a lot less unused egg and flour afterward. Plus, you save a step and a dish (I like to use pie plates) to wash afterwards.

Other Ways to Use this Breading Technique

While I mainly use this technique when making chicken Parmesan, it would also work well as the coating in other recipes like the following:

Give this breading “glue” a try and see for yourself how much less wasteful it is. And if you have a little glue left over, you can season it with salt and fry it up into a little pancake in a nonstick skillet for a snack if you really want to use it all up!