Can You Fry Chicken in Olive Oil


Can you fry chicken in olive oil? The short answer is yes, chicken can be fried in olive oil as well as deep fried in olive oil. We’ll explain the benefits as well as the necessary precautions.

Chicken Basket Fried Chicken Tenders. Photo by CookThink.

Can You Deep Fry with Olive Oil?

Yes, it is possible to deep fry items using olive oil. However, if choosing this as your frying medium, we’ll want to point out that it has more of a distinct olive flavor than that of other alternatives such as vegetable oil and canola oil that have somewhat of a bland flavor.

Is It Better to Fry Chicken in Olive Oil or Vegetable Oil?

Either type of oil can work fine for frying chicken. They can both create a nice crispy and browned exterior. The deciding factor for choosing which oil to use, if both are an option, is the flavor.

Vegetable oil has more of a bland flavor, while olive oil has more of an olive flavor. If you’re going for the oil that’s considered healthier and don’t mind the alteration of flavor, then olive oil is just fine.

Is Olive Oil Toxic When Heated?

There are conflicting arguments about whether olive oil is toxic when heated. However, we take the stance that olive oil can be a healthy choice for cooking and doesn’t become toxic until it’s heated to its smoke point or beyond.

In fact, all cooking oil can become toxic when heated to its smoke point. When cooking oil becomes heated to a high enough temperature, they break down into toxic byproducts that are harmful when inhaled. They potentially contain carcinogens.

How Much Olive Oil Do You Use to Fry Chicken?

The amount of olive oil used to fry chicken can vary depending on the amount of chicken being cooked and the method of frying used.

The key is that you’ll want to be able to submerse the chicken in the oil to allow it to fully cook. If you have enough oil to submerse your chicken, then you have enough oil. 

Can You Fry with Extra Virgin Olive Oil? 

Yes, extra virgin olive oil can be used to fry. It can also be used to deep fry foods but should be used at a lower temperature.

The smoke point of extra virgin olive oil is about 350F degrees. 

Chicken Basket Fried Chicken Tenders. Photo by CookThink.

Can You Fry Chicken Wings in Olive Oil?

Yes, chicken wings can be fried in olive oil. For some of the best tasting chicken wings, check out our recipe for Dallas BBQ Sticky Wings Sauce.

Why Fry Chicken in Olive Oil?

You might be wondering what the reasoning behind frying chicken in olive oil would be. And the answer to that is to pursue a healthier diet.

Compared to other cooking oil options, olive oil protects against heart disease and contains vitamins and minerals that might not otherwise be found.

Is Frying Chicken in Olive Oil Healthy?

Frying chicken in olive oil tends to be thought of as a healthier option for frying chicken. But the tradeoff is in the flavor which leaves a hint of olive flavor.

Olive Oil Nutrition Facts

If olive oil is used for frying and we make the assumption that 1 cup of olive oil is used to fry 10 servings of chicken, the nutrition facts for the olive oil alone are as follows:

Calories 173
Total Fat 20.2g
Saturated Fat 2.9g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 0mg
Total Carbohydrates 0g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 0g

Chicken Basket Fried Chicken Tenders. Photo by CookThink.

Can You Fry Chicken in Olive Oil Without Flour?

Yes, you can fry anything in olive oil without having to use flour. The use of flour is generally just used as a coating which becomes a crispy batter when deep fried.

There are other coatings that can be used instead of flour such as, cornstarch and seasonings, tapioca starch and seasonings, as well as store bought mixes if your goal is to have a crispy batter on your chicken, or you can even fry it without batter.

How Long Does it Take to Fry Chicken in Olive Oil?

The length of time it takes to fry chicken in olive oil varies depending on the temperature of the oil as well as the thickness of the chicken.

For food safety reasons, the internal temperature of the chicken needs to reach 165F degrees before it’s considered done.

How To Fry Chicken in Olive Oil

When deep frying chicken, there are two main things to keep in mind:

1. The smoke point of olive oil is 374F – 405F degrees, so you’ll want to keep the temperature of your olive oil below 374F degrees or you risk burning it, which has the potential of creating toxic fumes.

2. The other main thing to keep in mind is that the internal temperature of your chicken needs to reach 165F degrees for it to be considered done. Be sure to remove the chicken from the hot oil and use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature using a meat thermometer.

To fry chicken in olive oil, follow our step-by-step instructions below.


1 Egg, beaten
¼ cup Whole Milk
¾ cup Chicken Broth
1 ½ tsp Salt
½ tsp Black Pepper
1 cup All-purpose Flour
1 cup Self-rising Flour
1 ½ pounds Chicken Tenderloins
Olive Oil for frying


1. Heat oil in a heavy saucepan to 350 degrees.

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together liquid ingredients, egg, milk, chicken broth, salt and pepper until well combined.

3. Add self-rising flour and mix.

4. In a separate bowl, add 1 cup of flour.

5. Dip each piece of chicken into the batter, then into the flour.

6. Add the chicken to the oil in small enough batches so that there is space around each piece. Turn as it cooks. Fry until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees and the outside is golden brown. About 8-10 minutes if using chicken tenderloins.

Serve warm and enjoy!

Chicken Basket Fried Chicken Tenders. Photo by CookThink.

Frequently Asked Questions

Following are frequently asked questions that relate to can you fry chicken in olive oil. If you have a question that’s not answered here, please drop it to us in the comments box below and we’ll be happy to answer it.

How to fry in olive oil?

The smoke point of olive oil is 374F – 405F degrees. When frying with olive oil, you’ll want to be sure to maintain an oil temperature that is below this range.

Can you fry chicken in butter?

Yes, it is possible to fry chicken in butter. You’ll want to be careful not to burn your butter as this will also burn your chicken coating. When frying chicken in butter, you’ll likely want to bake it in the oven first.

What oil does KFC fry their chicken in?

Kentucky Fried Chicken uses canola oil or hydrogenated soybean oil to fry their chicken. They avoid using peanut oil to allow those who have peanut allergies to still consume their fried chicken products.

What oil does McDonald’s fry their chicken in?

McDonald’s uses a canola oil blend to fry their chicken and other foods. This allows them to achieve the hot and crispy outcomes desired.

What oil does Popeyes fry their chicken in?

Popeyes is said to use pure vegetable oil to cook their chicken and fried foods in.

What oil does Chick-fil-A fry their chicken in?

Chick-fil-A uses fully refined, heat-processed peanut oil to fry their hand-breaded chicken.

What oil does Wingstop fry their chicken in?

Wingstop uses soy oil for frying and indicates that all fried items are cooked in a shared fryer so cross contamination can be a concern.

Delicious Chicken Recipes:

Chicken Basked Fried Chicken Tenders
Best Grilled Chicken Thighs
Orange Phoenix Fried Chinese Chicken
Southern Classic Fried Chicken

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Sarah is known for her extra fancy yeast breads, melt in your mouth pies, and everything salads. She has won awards as a home cook, and is passionate about helping others feel smarter in the kitchen. Sarah is the cooking genius of the sister duo.

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