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Fried Chicken

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overhead shot of a bunch of Fried Chickens on a plate
Crispy fried chicken is comfort food at its finest, with tender meat coated in a delicious breaded coating and fried to perfection.
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Table of Contents
  1. Fried Chicken Ingredients
  2. How to Make This Fried Chicken Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

There’s something about fried chicken that just makes it so darn irresistible. Maybe it’s the crispy, crunchy coating or the savory, juicy meat inside, but whatever it is, one thing is for sure: fried chicken is downright delicious!

close up shot of a bunch of Fried Chicken pieces on a plate

Fried Chicken Ingredients

Fried Chicken raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

  • 12 pieces of chicken thighs and drumsticks
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt 
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups buttermilk
  • Vegetable oil for frying

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

CHICKEN: We love drumsticks and thighs because they are inexpensive and are extra juicy and delicious while requiring about the same amount of cooking time. You can also cut apart a whole chicken and batter/fry the various pieces. Note that larger pieces will require a longer cook time, and small pieces (i.e., chicken wings) may cook more quickly.

OIL: You can use any type of frying oil. Vegetable oil, shortening, and peanut oil are all good frying oil options.

SEASONING: You do not have to add seasonings to the flour; just salt and pepper are a nice classic, too, for this Southern fried chicken recipe.

SPICY: You can add a little extra kick to your crispy chicken by adding a dash of hot sauce to the buttermilk mixture and a bit of cayenne pepper to the flour mixture.

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How to Make This Fried Chicken Recipe

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

It is not a must, but it is very helpful to use a thermometer for the oil temperature. This will help keep your oil at the correct and safe temperature. 

STEP ONE: Heat at least 3 inches of oil in a Dutch oven until it reaches 350°F. You want the oil deep enough to cover as much of the chicken as possible. Submerging the chicken all the way in the hot oil will produce the most even cooking.

PRO TIP:

Keep the temperature of the oil as even as possible. Frying large pieces of chicken will give you the best results between 325 to 350°F. A Dutch oven will help maintain a steady temperature and hold the heat.  

STEP TWO: Prepare a dredging station to batter the chicken while the oil is heating. In one bowl, pour the buttermilk. In a second bowl, mix the smoked paprika, black pepper, sea salt, onion powder, and flour. Whisk until combined evenly.

smoked paprika, black pepper, sea salt, onion powder, and flour whisked together in a bowl

STEP THREE: Batter each piece of chicken by dipping them first into the flour mixture, then into the buttermilk mixture, and one more time into the flour mixture. Set the battered chicken on a separate plate.

chicken dipped on the flour and buttermilk mixture in a bowl

STEP FOUR: When the oil temperature has reached 350°F, place several battered chicken pieces into the oil. Let the chicken cook for approximately 12 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking if the chicken is not fully submerged in the oil. Cook until the chicken is deep golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Lift the first batch of chicken from the oil with a slotted spoon and place it on a paper bag or paper towels to soak up the excess oil. Continue cooking the chicken in batches.

PRO TIP:

We cooked the chicken at 350°F, and it was a deep golden brown and it registered a safe internal temperature (165°F). If your chicken is becoming too dark brown, you may need to adjust the temperature down a little bit so that the inside can cook through. You could also finish the chicken off in the oven after browning the outside. This might work well with especially large/thick pieces such as a chicken breast.

chicken placed in the oil in frying pan

STEP FIVE: Serve hot.

How To Serve

Enjoy your classic fried chicken with a green salad, our copycat KFC coleslaw, and potato salad for a traditional meal. If you have a homemade gravy recipe or preferred dipping sauce, those will taste perfect with your chicken as well.

For two more delicious fried chicken recipes, our fried chicken sandwich and chicken tenders are excellent choices for that irresistible flavor.

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.

IN THE FREEZER: You can freeze the homemade chicken for up to 1 month. Allow it to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

close up shot of a piece of Fried Chicken with a bite taken out of it

Southern fried chicken is a classic dish that everyone should try at least once in their life. The crispy, juicy chicken is coated in a delicious breading and cooked to perfection. Whether you enjoy it with coleslaw and gravy or just by itself, this dish is sure to leave you satisfied.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What kind of hot oil is best for deep frying? 

Fry only with oils that have a high smoke point. The smoking point is the temperature it takes for the oil to start to break down and smoke. Once it smokes, it’s not good for frying. Good oils to use are peanut oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, corn oil, or vegetable oil. Olive oil, on the other hand, is not a good oil to fry in.

Do I have to use dark meat, or can I also use white meat for this recipe?

This great recipe would be delicious with any size and type of chicken you have. Just remember that smaller pieces will take less time to cook than larger ones.

Can I freeze fried chicken?

You can freeze fried chicken for up to a month in an airtight container or Ziploc bag.

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overhead shot of a bunch of Fried Chickens on a plate

Fried Chicken

5 from 1 vote
Crispy fried chicken is comfort food at its finest, with tender meat coated in a delicious breaded coating and fried to perfection.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Servings 12

Ingredients
  

  • 12 pieces chicken thighs and drumsticks
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • cups buttermilk
  • vegetable oil, for frying

Instructions
 

  • Heat at least 3 inches of oil in a Dutch oven until it reaches 350°F. You want the oil deep enough to cover as much of the chicken as possible. Submerging the chicken all the way in the oil will produce the most even cooking.
  • Prepare a dredging station to batter the chicken while the oil is heating. In one bowl, pour the buttermilk. In a second bowl, mix smoked paprika, black pepper, sea salt, onion powder, and flour. Whisk until combined evenly.
  • Batter the chicken pieces by dipping them first into the flour mixture, then into the buttermilk mixture, and one more time into the flour mixture. Set the battered chicken on a separate plate.
  • When the oil has reached 350°F, place several battered chicken pieces into the oil. Cook for approximately 12 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking if the chicken is not fully submerged in the oil. Cook until the chicken is deep golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Lift the chicken from the oil with a slotted spoon and place it on a paper bag or paper towels to soak up the excess oil. Continue cooking the chicken in batches.
  • Serve hot.

Notes

  • It is not a must, but it is very helpful to use a thermometer for the oil temperature. This will help keep your oil at the correct and safe temperature.
  • Keep the temperature of the oil as even as possible. Frying large pieces of chicken will give you the best results between 325 to 350°F. A Dutch oven will help maintain a steady temperature and hold the heat. 
  • We cooked the chicken at 350°F, and it was a deep golden brown and it registered a safe internal temperature (165°F). If your chicken is becoming too dark brown, you may need to adjust the temperature down a little bit so that the inside can cook through. You could also finish the chicken off in the oven after browning the outside. This might work well with especially large/thick pieces such as a chicken breast.

Nutrition

Sodium: 420mg | Calcium: 39mg | Vitamin C: 1mg | Vitamin A: 133IU | Sugar: 2g | Fiber: 1g | Potassium: 72mg | Cholesterol: 4mg | Calories: 98kcal | Trans Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Fat: 1g | Protein: 3g | Carbohydrates: 18g | Iron: 1mg
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