6 tips for the ultimate fried chicken at home

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The absolute best fried chicken recipe with buttermilk! This classic Southern fried chicken is tender and juicy on the inside, và perfectly crisp & golden brown on the outside. Whip up a batch in a skillet at home whenever the craving strikes. Served with cornbread, biscuits, coleslaw, pickles, và collard greens, this is one easy meal that everyone can agree on!


How to Make Fried Chicken | 1-Minute Video

Southern Fried Chicken Recipe

It seriously doesn’t get any better than a crispy fried chicken recipe that you can turn to again & again. File this one away, because the simple ingredients & easy technique will make this dish a staple in your home, too. It’s juicy, flavorful và finger-lickin’ good!


This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for the best buttermilk fried chicken recipe. As always, specific measurements & complete step-by-step cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

Bone-in skin-on chicken pieces: you can use whole fryer chickens that you cut into pieces, or about 4 lbs. Of bone-in skin-on chicken pieces of your choice. For instance, if you prefer just the chicken thigh, just the chicken breast, or only the drumsticks or wings, go with that!Buttermilk: an important ingredient in Southern fried chicken, since it adds flavor, helps to tenderize the meat, and keeps the chicken nice và moist. Look for thick, rich, full-fat buttermilk.Flour: to coat the chicken và give it that crispy exterior.Salt: to season the meat. You’ll showroom some salt to the flour mixture, & then also season the chicken as soon as it comes out of the fryer.Cayenne pepper (optional): add a dash if you like your fried chicken with a spicy kick!Oil for frying: peanut oil is my preference, but you can use another neutral-flavored oil with a high smoke point, such as canola oil or vegetable oil, or even shortening.Butter: adding a stick of butter to the frying oil adds so much great flavor lớn the chicken. I use salted butter, but unsalted butter will work, too.

Why Soak Chicken in Buttermilk?

The buttermilk keeps the chicken tender và juicy, & also adds flavor to lớn the meat. Because buttermilk is only slightly acidic, it tenderizes the chicken without toughening up the meat (like a stronger acid such as lemon juice or vinegar might). The enzymes in buttermilk also help lớn break down the protein in the chicken, resulting in tender, flavorful fried chicken.


The Best Oil for a Crispy Fried Chicken Recipe

Use either peanut oil, vegetable oil, or vegetable shortening lớn fry the chicken. I typically use peanut oil because it’s affordable, it has a high smoke point, & it will not flavor your meat.

So long as you don’t smoke the oil or use it to fry fish, it’s fine to strain the oil and reuse it. Just refrigeratethe strained oil and reuse it up to 3 times.


How lớn Fry Chicken

There’s something so satisfying about frying up your own batch of chicken at home. No need khổng lồ swing through a drive-thru at Popeye’s or KFC, or pay $20 for a chicken breast at a local trendy spot. Instead, this down-home skillet fried chicken is an easy and delicious way khổng lồ satisfy that craving. Don’t be intimidated — this is really just a few simple steps:

Soak Chicken in Buttermilk. Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl with the buttermilk. Place the bowl in the refrigerator và let it sit for at least 8 hours (or overnight).Combine Flour và Seasoning. Place the flour, salt, và cayenne in a large brown paper bag and gently shake it around lớn make sure that everything is combined.Coat Chicken in Flour Mixture. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk, and then place one damp piece of chicken at a time into the bag with the flour. Gently shake the bag until the chicken is completely coated. Shake off any excess flour, transfer the chicken to lớn a wire rack, and allow all of the pieces to lớn dry for at least 30 minutes (or up lớn 1 hour).Fry Chicken in a Skillet or Dutch Oven. Fry the chicken in oil or shortening with butter in a large cast iron skillet or Dutch oven, being careful not khổng lồ overcrowd the pan. Cover and cook for about 8-10 minutes, then turn the pieces over, cover again, and cook for about 10 more minutes. Drain the chicken on a wire rack or paper towels và season with salt và pepper, to taste.

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When lớn Season Fried Chicken

I prefer to add the seasoning (in this case, salt & cayenne) to the flour in order to lớn season the chicken. Then, once the chicken is fried và still warm, you can season it with a little bit more kosher salt và black pepper, if you like. The salt will adhere best to lớn the warm chicken.

What lớn Serve with this Buttermilk Fried Chicken Recipe

While fried chicken is a great dinner option, we normally serve it for lunch — especially picnics! Here are a few delicious side dishes that go well with the crispy buttermilk fried chicken to lớn complete your meal:


What to vày with Leftover Buttermilk

We always keep a bottle of buttermilk in the fridge because it’s a handy ingredient that you can use for so many different recipes. If you find that you have some extra buttermilk in your kitchen, try one of these great ways to finish off the bottle:


Preparation và Storage Tips

Make sure that you allow plenty of time to soak the chicken in buttermilk. At least 8 hours (or overnight) is ideal; however, in a pinch you can shorten this time khổng lồ a few hours.Fried chicken is best when it is fresh and the skin is still crispy. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for 2 khổng lồ 3 days; however, the skin will not be as crispy when reheated.How khổng lồ reheat fried chicken: Preheat your oven to lớn 400°F. Meanwhile, place the chicken on a wire rack over a baking sheet & allow the chicken to come to lớn room temperature for about 30 minutes (this ensures that it reheats evenly). Next, reheat the chicken until the skin feels hot & very crispy, about 15 minutes.

Recipe Variations

For even more flavor, địa chỉ garlic, herbs, shallots, or onion to your buttermilk. The flavors will infuse the meat and địa chỉ unique taste to your crispy fried chicken.Season the flour mixture with other herbs và spices for more layers of flavor, too. For instance, try a teaspoon paprika, onion powder, 1-2 teaspoons garlic powder, 1-2 teaspoons pepper, oregano, thyme, or just about any other flavors that you lượt thích with your chicken.Make it spicy by adding hot sauce to lớn the buttermilk, or by including extra cayenne pepper in the flour dredge.Use any chicken pieces that you prefer. For instance, instead of cooking the parts from a whole chicken, you can just fry chicken breasts or just fry the drumsticks. You’ll want about 4 lbs. Of chicken pieces in total.

Tips for the Best Fried Chicken Recipe

A brown paper bag is the classic way to lớn shake & coat fried chicken. If you don’t have a paper bag, you can use a sturdy plastic bag instead.You don’t need a thermometer khổng lồ fry the chicken. Instead, when the oil is hot (but not smoking), địa chỉ cửa hàng a drop of water to lớn the pan — if it sizzles, the oil is hot enough for the chicken. You want to lớn maintain a fairly steady temperature as the chicken cooks, so don’t overcrowd the pan with too many pieces at once (which will bring down the temperature). If the oil is really flying and it seems khổng lồ be too hot, you can turn down the temperature slightly.When using a thermometer khổng lồ monitor the temperature of the oil, you want the oil to stay at about 350°F.If you’re using a meat thermometer to know when the chicken is done, white meat will be best at 165°F, while dark meat can be cooked to 170-175°F for the best texture.Never cover your warm fried chicken with foil. This traps steam and moisture, which will make your chicken soggy.How to make sure that the breading doesn’t fall off of the fried chicken: Allowing the chicken time khổng lồ dry on the wire rack after dredging ensures that the flour adheres lớn the meat. Don’t skip that step! Also, flip your chicken only once when frying — the more that you mess around with it, the more likely the breading will fall off.