Amy E. * Pretzel Fried Chicken

Amy: “This is a fun twist on a summertime and picnic favorite!”

The key to shaking up something as classic as fried chicken is making small, subtle changes while maintaining certain essential qualities. Let’s be honest, here — fried chicken has to be crispy on the outside. There’s no changing that! And it has to be tender on the inside. It’s got to be bathed in tangy buttermilk, and it needs to be well-seasoned. Amy’s pretzel fried chicken retains all these key elements but adds one healthy, delicious twist: pretzels (rather than deep-fried skin!) lend the chicken that spicy golden crunch. Serve it at your next backyard party, bring it along to a picnic, or cook it up for a quick and easy weeknight meal that’s just a little bit different.

Three Quick Questions…and Amy’s Answers

It’s your last meal. What do you have?

A homemade brick-oven pizza with pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, garlic, feta and thinly sliced onions. I hope that’s not too weird!

Your kitchen is burning down. What’s the one thing you grab?

My grandmother’s cookbook, called America’s Cookbook, published in 1947 and filled with old-time recipes and black and white pictures. It’s so much fun to see which recipes have endured throughout the years, and which ones have been forgotten.

Do you have a favorite cookbook?

My grandmother’s cookbook.

*For more on Amy, check out her food blog: http://www.ohbiteit.com/

Pretzel Fried Chicken
Recipe type: Mains
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
Crispy, crunchy, spiced fried chicken that's perfect for summer days.
  • 2 cups unsalted pretzels (I used pretzel sticks because I had them on hand, but
  • regular will grind up better)
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 eggs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ⅛ cup buttermilk
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, at room temperature
  • 2-3 cups oil (grapeseed, peanut, and canola oil all work well), for frying
  1. Place pretzels in a food processor with the caraway seeds, cumin, and chile powder; pulse mixture until pretzels resemble course crumbs. Alternatively, you can place pretzels in a heavy-duty plastic bag and crush by hand, then mix in spices. Transfer pretzel mixture to a large plate. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and a few dashes salt and pepper.
  2. Rinse chicken breasts in cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Slice chicken into 1-2" wide strips. Gently press each strip into the pretzel crumbs to coat, shaking off the excess. Dip into the egg and buttermilk mixture and return to plate of pretzel crumbs. Repeat process for each chicken strip, lining them up in a single layer as you go; do not stack. Cover a clean plate with paper towels to set the chicken on after frying.
  3. In a cast-iron skillet or other heavy skillet, add just enough oil so that when you add the chicken, the oil comes half way up your thickest piece; oil will be about ¾" deep. Bring oil to 350°F over medium heat. Using tongs, place chicken into oil one piece at a time, leaving at least an inch between each piece so you have enough space to flip them. Fry for 5-7 minutes per side, adjusting heat as necessary to maintain a steady temperature of about 300°–325,° until coating is a crisp golden brown. Season with salt and pepper while chicken is hot. Remove from pan and place on paper towels. Allow to cool.
  4. If desired, serve chicken with honey, BBQ sauce, jalapeño cheese dip, or another favorite condiment. Enjoy!


  • I love this idea, and the chicken looks so tasty!

    • Kathryn

      So clever, isn’t it? And really good!

  • belmontmedina

    made this last night after seeing it on The Kitchn’s round up. So. Good.

    • Kathryn

      So happy you enjoyed it!! And thanks for the feedback! 🙂

  • oh my word – i definitely want this in my life.

  • […]  Pretzel Fried Chicken ~ This delicious Pretzel Fried Chicken maintains the key elements of fried chicken, but has a […]

  • bev orlovick

    I don’t see any nutrition info in these recipes. i.e. calories per serving, sodium, fat etc. Is it there?

    • Kathryn

      Hi Bev, I’m sorry but I don’t post nutritional values for recipes.

  • Rachelle Dumas

    I too want to make these but really would like the nutritional breakdown if possible

  • Anna

    These look ridiculously delicious. Have you ever tried making them in one of those Actifry or air fryer contraptions that “fry without oil”? This recipe makes me want to buy one of those to see if it works, or just suck it up and eat fried food 🙂

    • Kathryn

      Wow! I have not tried one of those air fryers — sign me up! But hey, even if you don’t end up getting one, I am a firm believe that there is always room in one’s diet for a little fried chicken 😉

    • Ian Glen

      I tried an Air Fryer – it’s really just a small, highly-focused convection oven. The results were quite disappointing, to me.

      • Kathryn

        Hi Ian, sorry to hear the Air Fryer didn’t work out! I think these might need a traditional fry to hold the pretzels together properly.

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  • Mindy (Lucy's M-I-L)

    I made this last night using dark meat cutlets and soy milk instead of buttermilk and it was delicious! The only tweak I would make is to increase the amount of pretzels and corresponding spices a bit to make sure you have enough to completely coat the chicken. Love the website!

  • YUM!!

  • Shafieka Jardine

    Hey Kathryn
    Many thanks for the recipe – looks absolutely, absolutely YUM. Do you think I could use a flavored pretzel and get a similar result (eg. Honey & Mustard / Tomatoe flavor)?
    Love the website too.

    • Kathryn

      Sounds delicious. I’d say go for it!