Fried Chicken at its Best – Perfectly Seasoned and Crunchy

Welcome to my kitchen, y’all! Today we’re going to be making one of my all-time favorite comfort foods: Southern Fried Chicken. This classic dish is a staple in southern cuisine and one that reminds me of home every time I take a bite.

Growing up in the south, fried chicken was always present at family gatherings and Sunday dinners. It’s a dish that brings people together and creates memories that last a lifetime. Now, I want to share this recipe with you so you can experience the warmth and love that comes with every piece of delicious Southern Fried Chicken.

But let me tell you, not all fried chicken is created equal. There’s a certain art to getting that perfect crispy exterior with juicy meat on the inside. That’s why I’m going to guide you through every step of this recipe, and share my tips for achieving the best results possible.

So, whether you’re a southern native missing home or just someone who loves good old-fashioned comfort food, get ready to make some mouth-watering Southern Fried Chicken. It’s easy, it’s classic, and it’s sure to be a star at your next gathering or family meal. Let’s get started!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Southern Fried Chicken
Southern Fried Chicken

My dear friends, let me tell you about the dish that I hold closest to my heart – Southern Fried Chicken. The mere mention of it sends shivers down my spine and immediately conjures up memories of home-cooked meals and family gatherings.

This recipe is everything a fried chicken should be – crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and bursting with flavors. It’s a dish with soul, one that nourishes not just your body but your spirit as well.

There are countless reasons why you’ll love this recipe. Firstly, it’s incredibly simple to make. Anyone can whip up a batch of delicious Southern Fried Chicken – all you need are some basic ingredients and a few tried-and-tested techniques. This recipe doesn’t require any fancy equipment, so you can make it in the comfort of your own home.

Secondly, there’s an element of versatility to this dish that’s hard to come by in other recipes. You can adjust the level of spice or seasoning according to your preferences, and use bone-in chicken pieces or boneless breasts based on what you have on hand.

Thirdly, this recipe pairs well with almost anything! Whether it’s mashed potatoes, mac n’ cheese or a light salad, Southern Fried Chicken will elevate any meal to the next level.

Last but not least, this dish is an emblem of Southern culinary traditions, passed down through generations. It’s impossible not to appreciate the history and culture behind this beloved comfort food.

So if you’re looking for a simple yet star-worthy recipe that hits all the right notes – crispy, juicy, seasoned to perfection – then look no further than Southern Fried Chicken. Once you try it, there’s no going back!

Ingredient List

 Get your taste buds ready for some southern fried chicken!
Get your taste buds ready for some southern fried chicken!

Ready to gather all the ingredients we will need to make the best southern fried chicken?

  • 4-5 lbs chicken: Fryer chickens are the best choice, but you can also use a whole chicken cut into 8 pieces or boneless chicken pieces.
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour: being the base of our coating mixture
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons seasoning salt
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • Hot sauce (optional): to give it a little extra kick
  • 1 1/2 cups milk or buttermilk: Helps flavor and tenderize the chicken
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar: for acid and sweetness balance
  • Oil for frying. Traditionally, lard is used for frying as it has a high smoke point, which helps to achieve crispiness, but other oils such as vegetable oil or peanut oil can also do the job.

With these ingredients, we will create the iconic taste of southern fried chicken.

The Recipe How-To

 Trust me, this crispy and juicy chicken will have you coming back for seconds.
Trust me, this crispy and juicy chicken will have you coming back for seconds.

Now that we’ve covered why you’ll love this recipe, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of how to actually make this mouth-watering Southern fried chicken recipe!


  • 4-5 lbs. fryer chickens, whole or cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • Seasoning salt and black pepper to taste
  • Paprika and poultry seasoning to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. Firstly, season the chicken with ground black pepper, paprika, and poultry seasoning to your liking. Also, add a little bit of salt.
  2. Then, drench the chicken in a mixture of cider vinegar and enough water to cover it. Let it marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight in the fridge.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together 2 cups of all-purpose flour, kosher salt, and a bit more black pepper.
  4. Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry.
  5. Coat each piece of chicken in the seasoned flour mixture until well-covered.
  6. Place the chicken on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes so that it can slightly air-dry.
  7. While the chicken is resting, heat a few inches of oil (canola or peanut oil works well) in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until it reaches about 375°F.
  8. Carefully place each piece of chicken in your heated oil.
  9. Fry each piece until golden brown and crispy on both sides. This should take about 25-30 minutes depending on the size of your chicken pieces.
  10. Once cooked through, take out the chicken from the skillet and place them on a paper-towel-lined plate or rack to remove any excess oil.
  11. Let the chicken rest for at least 5 minutes before serving hot.


  • Don’t overcrowd the skillet with too many pieces of chicken at once. It will cause your oil temperature to drop and create uneven browning.
  • The key to making the best Southern fried chicken is letting it rest after coating. This step allows the flour to adhere better and leads to a crispier crust.
  • Storing leftovers: If you have leftover fried chicken, simply store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. To reheat, place it on a wire rack on top of a baking sheet in a preheated 375°F oven for about 15 minutes.

Now, enjoy your homemade crispy and juicy Fried Chicken!

Substitutions and Variations

 Don't be intimidated by frying chicken, let's get started!
Don’t be intimidated by frying chicken, let’s get started!

One of the beauties of Southern cuisine is its versatility. You can take a classic recipe and personalize it with your own twists and turns. With this Southern Fried Chicken Recipe, there are plenty of options to experiment with while still achieving mouth-watering results.

When it comes to ingredients, you can use boneless chicken instead of whole chicken cut into pieces. You can also try different types of chicken cuts like thighs, legs, or wings, depending on your preferences. If you don’t have access to traditional seasoning salt or poultry seasoning, mix up your own version using equal parts black pepper, paprika, and kosher salt.

For those looking for a healthier alternative to deep frying, you can use an air fryer or oven-bake the chicken for crispy, delicious goodness. You could even try a brine or marinade using buttermilk to tenderize the meat before cooking.

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to add some extra texture, try breading the chicken in crushed crackers or corn flakes instead of flour. And for those who love heat, add a dash of your favorite hot sauce to the batter or marinade.

For those who prefer an even simpler version of this classic recipe, skip the flour batter altogether and simply season the chicken with paprika and kosher salt before frying it up in some hot lard. This will give you an original, traditional Southern-style fried chicken flavor that’s sure to win over any crowd.

Regardless of which variation you choose to try, make sure to enjoy your Southern Fried Chicken with some classic soul food sides like collard greens and macaroni & cheese. Trust me when I say that this dish will become an instant star at your dinner table – no matter how you choose to make it!

Serving and Pairing

 The key to great fried chicken? A perfect blend of spices and a little bit of love.
The key to great fried chicken? A perfect blend of spices and a little bit of love.

Oh, darlin’, there’s nothin’ like a big ole platter of Southern Fried Chicken sittin’ on the table. I like to serve mine with some classic Southern sides like collard greens, macaroni and cheese, and mashed potatoes with gravy. Ain’t nothin’ like some soul food to warm your heart and fill your belly.

Now, if you want to get fancy with it, you could add a little sweetness to the plate with some cornbread or honey butter biscuits. And don’t forget that tangy kick from some pickled cucumbers or hot sauce on the side.

And listen here, sugah, when it comes to pairing drinks with your chicken, you can’t go wrong with an icy cold glass of sweet tea or some crisp, refreshing lemonade. If you’re feeling a little more adult-like, a nice cold beer or a glass of white wine can do the trick too.

Overall, this dish is versatile enough to pair well with just about anything. So go ahead and let your taste buds guide you – whether it’s traditional Southern style or your own unique twist. Just be sure to enjoy every last bite!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Get your skillet hot and ready because things are about to get delicious!
Get your skillet hot and ready because things are about to get delicious!

As a chef who specializes in southern-style cuisine, I know just how important it is to have leftovers for the perfect late-night snack or lunch the next day. That’s why I’m excited to share some tips for making ahead and storing your Southern Fried Chicken!

To make ahead, you can prepare your chicken up until the frying stage and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place it in the freezer for about an hour, or until the chicken is frozen solid. Once frozen, transfer the chicken to a ziplock bag and store in the freezer for up to three months.

In terms of storing freshly made chicken, be sure to allow any remaining chicken to cool completely before placing it in an airtight container or ziplock bag. Store in the fridge for up to four days.

When reheating your Southern Fried Chicken, it’s best to do so either in the oven or air fryer. Simply preheat your oven or air fryer to 375°F and place your leftover chicken inside. Allow to reheat for around 15-20 minutes or until crispy and heated through.

If you’re like me and love a good dipping sauce with your fried chicken, I recommend my personal favorite – gravy! To make gravy from leftover chicken drippings, simply pour the drippings into a small saucepan, add two tablespoons of flour and whisk constantly over medium heat until thickened.

The key to a perfect reheated Southern Fried Chicken is restoring that classic crispy exterior while maintaining tender meat on the inside. With these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy that delicious crispy texture even after storing and reheating!

Tips for Perfect Results

 You know it's going to be a good day when the smell of fried chicken fills the air.
You know it’s going to be a good day when the smell of fried chicken fills the air.

As a chef who has perfected the art of southern fried chicken, I understand that getting it right can be quite the task. However, with these tips, your chicken will come out perfectly crispy every time!

Firstly, seasoning is everything. As you gather your ingredients, remember to use a combination of black pepper, paprika, poultry seasoning, seasoning salt, and salt, to ensure that every piece of chicken is flavourful. A common mistake that people make when seasoning their chicken is putting too little salt. My tip is to generously season both the flour mixture and the chicken itself.

Secondly, ensuring that your oil is hot enough is crucial to achieving perfectly crispy fried chicken. Use a thermometer to check the temperature consistently and maintain it at 350-375°F throughout the frying process. If the oil is too cold or too hot, your chicken might not cook evenly.

Thirdly, use a cast iron skillet for the best results. Not only will it help maintain an even temperature throughout the frying process but it also imparts traditional “southern-style” flavour to the dish. Plus, cast iron skillets can withstand high temperatures without warping or deteriorating.

Another tip is to let your chicken rest before serving it. Doing so will allow any excess oil to drain off and keep your batter crispy for longer. I would highly recommend placing the finished chicken on a wire rack so that air circulates around each piece.

Lastly, if you’re feeling adventurous, try adding hot sauce or cider vinegar to your marinade for an extra tangy twist! Alternatively, you can replace buttermilk with lard in your recipe as it gives a slightly different flavour profile and aroma.

Follow these simple tips and impress everyone with perfectly crispy southern fried chicken every time!


As an expert in southern-style cuisine, I understand that many of you might have some questions about the Southern Fried Chicken Recipe. That is why in this section, I will address some frequently asked questions to help you achieve the perfect crispy and tender chicken every time!

What is the difference between fried chicken and Southern fried chicken?

If you’re looking for a delicious and savory Southern-style dish, then look no further than fried chicken. This classic meal involves coating chicken pieces in a flavorful mixture of flour and spices before pan-frying, deep frying, pressure frying, or air frying them to perfection. By doing so, you’ll get a crispy outer coating that perfectly complement the juicy and flavorful chicken meat.

What do you soak chicken in before frying?

Brining chicken involves soaking it in a saltwater solution, typically containing 6% salt by weight. The salt breaks down the proteins in the chicken meat, tenderizing it and enabling it to retain moisture during the cooking process.

What is the secret to making great fried chicken?

If you want to prepare a delicious southern-style chicken dish, you’ve got to start with the right ingredients and techniques. First things first, you should cut your chicken into pieces to cater to both dark and white meat preferences. It’s important to get this step right as it will affect the cooking time and texture of the meat. Once the chicken is cut, it’s time to prepare a flavorful marinade that will make your dish stand out.

When it comes to marinating chicken, patience is key. Don’t skimp on the time needed for the chicken to soak up all the flavorful goodness. Now is also an opportune time to season the chicken generously with herbs and spices to enhance the taste.

When it’s time to cook, make sure you choose the right cooking oil and temperature. For fried chicken, using peanut or vegetable oil is recommended as both have a high smoking point. This ensures that the chicken crisps up while not burning the oil. Be cautious with the temperature, as it can affect the texture of the chicken.

Lastly, it’s important to ditch the paper towels when draining the oil from the chicken. Instead, use a wire rack to ensure proper airflow and prevent the crispy coating from getting soggy. These tips and techniques will guarantee you a mouth-watering southern-style chicken dish that will leave your guests asking for more.

Is it better to use egg or milk for fried chicken?

When it comes to breading chicken, there are two common options: egg or milk. Egg can result in a thicker and more sturdy coating due to its higher protein content. On the other hand, milk is thinner and contains more water, making it less likely to stick to the meat.

Bottom Line

in the style of Maya Angelou:

As I come to the conclusion of this recipe article, I want to leave you with a final thought: there is nothing quite like a piece of Southern fried chicken. It’s more than just a dish – it’s a symbol of warmth, hospitality, and good ol’ fashioned love. This recipe has been passed down through generations in my family, and it brings me joy to share it with you.

So whether you’re a seasoned cook or a novice in the kitchen, this recipe is for you. With just a few simple ingredients and some patience, you can make a delicious and soul-satisfying dish that will leave your taste buds singing. Your family will thank you, your friends will rave about your cooking skills, and your soul will be nourished.

Remember, the key to making perfect Southern fried chicken is all in the preparation. Take your time to season the flour just so, let the chicken marinate in brine or buttermilk, and choose quality ingredients that will give your dish that extra star power. Most importantly, have fun! Cooking is an art form that allows us to express ourselves and connect with others in a truly magical way.

So go ahead – dust off your cast iron skillet, roll up your sleeves, and make some memories in the kitchen. Whether you’re making this recipe for a special occasion or just because it’s Tuesday, I promise you won’t regret it. From my kitchen to yours, happy cooking!

Southern Fried Chicken

Southern Fried Chicken Recipe

An unusual way to prepare Southern Fried Chicken -very tasty! Recipe from Southern Living Magazine.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 55 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 532 kcal


  • 2 cut up fryer chickens (about 2 1/2 lbs ea.)
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 tablespoon seasoning salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • vegetable oil (for frying)


  • Place chicken in a large bowl and add water to cover.
  • Add vinegar and 1/4 c salt and let stand 30 minutes, then drain well.
  • Stir together flour and next 6 ingredients.
  • Dredge chicken in flour mixture, shaking off excess.
  • Pour oil to a depth of 2" into a Dutch oven and heat to 350 degrees.
  • Fry chicken in batches, 9 to 10 minutes on each side or until done.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 215gCalories: 532kcalCarbohydrates: 36.4gProtein: 45.8gFat: 20.9gSaturated Fat: 5.8gCholesterol: 131.6mgSodium: 4242.3mgFiber: 1.5gSugar: 0.2g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Chicken, Chicken Breast, Deep Fried, Meat, Poultry, Weeknight, Whole Chicken
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