Southern Fried Chicken – classic Southern chicken recipe that is crunchy and crusty on the outside and juicy and flavorful on the inside; infused with spices and seasonings and soaked in buttermilk to amp up the flavor. A great addition to your chicken recipe collection!
When you think of Southern food, the recipes that always come to mind are cornbread, gumbo, grits and, of course, this king of all kings — fried chicken.
Well, as much as I push myself to consistently put greens on my table, I just can’t seem to easily get away with it, especially when we’re talking about chicken. It has been a part of the family’s diet ever since. And as I get older, I develop a fondness for collecting various fried or baked chicken recipes.
You don’t believe me? Check the rest of my site and you’ll see a parade of chicken recipes that are always at the top of my most searched recipes. 😉
Some folks like to soak their chicken in buttermilk hours ahead of time while others get right to coating. Soaking chicken in buttermilk leaves it tender and moist on the inside and helps the coating stick to the chicken easily. I soak mine right before frying, just my personal preference.
Double dip? Do the double dip y’all. Double dipping your chicken in buttermilk after dredging them with flour makes the chicken super crispy. You can thank me later.
And when it comes to the flour mixture, I don’t skimp on the seasonings. You can keep it simple with flour and salt and pepper or go the extra mile for that ultra flavorful crust during your first bite.
This Southern Fried Chicken will be your go-to chicken recipe as it is brimming with flavors, plus a lovely texture. Indeed, a total crowd-pleaser. So don’t doubt yourself when it comes to your cooking skills. You don’t need to be as good as Grandma to whip up a flavorful batch of fried chicken.
And oh, don’t forget to pair this with another Southern staple, Buttermilk Biscuits. Yes, they do make a perfect combo. Now get ready and brace your jeans….wait…what?? Never mind. Just dig in! 😀
And who cares about your jeans size when this is what you have on your table. Enjoy!
Tips and Notes:
- After you flour coat and dip your chicken in buttermilk, let it rest first before frying it. This will allow your chicken to form a crust and warm to room temperature which will help it cook through evenly.
- When frying, make sure that your oil is at the right preheated temperature. If it’s too hot, the outside of your chicken will get burned, if it’s cold, the chicken will get soggy and greasy.
- Do not ever use extra virgin olive oil on fried chicken as it’ll result to a bitter-tasting meat. Go for a neutral-tasting oil like canola, vegetable or, most preferably, peanut oil.
- Do not over crowd your pan with chicken as this will lower down the oil’s temperature and hasten up the cooking time. Do it in small batches instead.
- Cast iron pan is a must for a perfectly cooked fried chicken as it holds the temperature well and heat evenly which also results to a perfectly cooked chicken.
- Rather than deep frying or submerging your chicken entirely into the pan or deep fryer, only 3/4 of the chicken should be covered in hot oil. The weight of the chicken will cause it to sit just almost above the surface of the oil which will create a crispy crust without burning.
- Don’t let anything fried sit on a paper towel too long as it’ll start to steam and make it soggy. Instead, drain your chicken using a wire rack over a baking sheet. They’ll cool crisp and dry off all at once easily.
Watch How to Make It
Southern Fried Chicken
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
- 2 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- 1- 1 1/2 tablespoon dried herbs Thyme, Oregano, Parsley
- 4 cups buttermilk
- Place chicken in a large bowl or Large ziploc. Then seasoned with salt followed by all the crushed garlic, hot sauce and creole seasoning.
- Pour buttermilk in the marinated chicken, transfer the chicken to a gallon-sized zipper-lock freezer bag and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, herbs and white pepper.
- Remove all the marinated chicken from the buttermilk . Then dredge in flour mixture, shaking any excess flour. You may use a Ziploc bag for this process, too.
- Double dip the chicken in the remaining buttermilk( add fresh buttermilk as needed) followed by the flour mixture - shake off any excess flour. Let the chicken rest for about 10-15 minutes while preparing oil. This will help the coating to stay on better.
Frying the Chicken
- Heat oil in a deep fryer or cast iron skillet to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Temperature will drop once you add chicken.
- Using a tong and carefully and slowly place the chicken in the hot oil. Work in batches. Do not overcrowd the skillet.
- Fry the chicken until golden brown, turning once every 10 to 20 minutes - depending on the size of the pieces. Chicken is done when it is no longer pink inside and its juices run clear. You may do a test by piercing the chicken with a fork.
- Drain the chicken on paper towels and then transfer them on a wire rack. (see notes)
- Repeat with remaining chicken pieces; let it cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
How to Make Southern Fried Chicken