Crispy Southern Fried Chicken With a Spicy Twist

The aroma of southern-style fried chicken is enough to bring people together. It’s a dish that is both comforting and exciting, providing a great experience for any occasion. As a chef who specializes in southern-style cuisine, I have perfected the art of making this iconic chicken dish.

My recipe for Southern Fried Chicken with Peppered Pan Gravy is one that you don’t want to miss. This dish embodies everything that is great about southern cooking: crispy and juicy chicken, peppery and savory gravy, and an overall sense of country comfort.

I’ve put a lot of effort into creating this recipe, sourcing only the finest ingredients and perfecting the cooking process. If you’re looking for a classic meal that everyone will love, then look no further than my recipe for Southern Fried Chicken with Peppered Pan Gravy.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Southern Fried Chicken With Peppered Pan Gravy
Southern Fried Chicken With Peppered Pan Gravy

Folks, I’m here to tell you that this recipe for Southern Fried Chicken with Peppered Pan Gravy is one for the books. If you’re a fan of country comfort food at its finest, you won’t want to miss out on this dish.

First off, let’s talk about the fried chicken. You’ll be using boneless skinless chicken breasts that are coated in a seasoned flour mixture and then pan-fried until golden brown. The result is juicy, flavorful chicken that’s crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. It’s Southern-style cooking at its best.

But what sets this recipe apart is the peppered milk pan gravy. It’s the kind of gravy that will have you licking your plate clean. Made with a combination of flour, black pepper, salt, and whole milk, this gravy is thick and hearty with just the right amount of spice. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even add some cayenne pepper to give it an extra kick.

This dish is versatile enough to be served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Want to make it a brunch dish? Serve it alongside some fluffy biscuits and eggs for a Southern-style breakfast feast. Or pair it with some mashed potatoes or cornbread for a cozy dinner at home.

And don’t worry if you’re not a fan of boneless chicken breasts – this recipe can easily be adapted to use chicken thighs or even cutlets if you prefer. You can also substitute Crisco shortening with vegetable oil if that’s what you have on hand.

Overall, this recipe is sure to become a staple in your household. It’s quick and easy to make, satisfyingly delicious, and perfect for any occasion. So go ahead and give it a try – your taste buds will thank you!

Ingredient List

 Golden crispy fried chicken with a spicy twist.
Golden crispy fried chicken with a spicy twist.

List of Ingredients for Southern Fried Chicken with Peppered Pan Gravy Recipe

Here is the list of all the ingredients needed for making the perfect Southern Fried Chicken with Peppered Pan Gravy recipe. Make sure to have all of them at hand before starting cooking:

For the fried chicken:

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (or chicken pieces of your choice)
  • 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 2 tsp of black pepper

For the gravy:

  • 4 tablespoons of Crisco shortening
  • 4 tablespoons of reserved drippings from fried chicken
  • 4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups of whole milk or skim milk
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Note: If you want to skip making the gravy from scratch then you can always use store-bought chicken cream gravy or any other type of gravy.

The Recipe How-To

 Juicy chicken drumsticks with a crispy coating.
Juicy chicken drumsticks with a crispy coating.

Now that we have the ingredients sorted, it’s time for the main event – the recipe How-To!

Step 1: Preparing the seasoned flour

First things first, we need to create the magic seasoning for our chicken. In a medium-sized bowl, combine 2 cups of all-purpose flour with 2 teaspoons of salt, 1 teaspoon of black pepper and 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Mix all the ingredients well with a fork or a whisk.

Step 2: Preparing the Peppered Milk

In a separate shallow dish, mix together 1 cup of skim milk and 1 large egg until they are well blended. In another bowl or measuring cup, mix together 1 cup of whole milk and 1 tablespoon of black pepper. This is what we call peppered milk, and it will give our chicken just the right amount of kick.

Step 3: Coating the Chicken

Now it’s time to coat our chicken in the seasoned flour mixture. First, we need to prep boneless skinless chicken breasts by starting off by cutting them into cutlets. Then lightly season both sides of each piece with salt and pepper.

Dredge each piece one at a time the seasoned flour mixture making sure each piece is fully coated with flour then into the peppered milk mixture until covered in milk then back into the seasoned flour mix again making sure it is completely coated.

Step 4: Frying The Chicken

In a deep cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven heat Crisco shortening that is roughly two inches deep in medium heat. Once melted use hot oil use tongs to add chicken cutlets turning occasionally until golden brown on both sides about five minutes in total depending on how thick-cut your pieces are.

Once cooked use tongs remove chicken from skillet to a paper towel-lined plate let rest for about five minutes in order for chicken to release any excess oil.

Step 5: Making the Peppered Pan Gravy

Finally, let’s make the gravy. Leave 1/4 cup of the drippings in your skillet. Add 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour and cook it for about a minute. Gradually whisk in 2 cups of whole milk, making sure the mixture is smooth and has no lumps. Add some salt and pepper about over medium heat, whisking continuously for five minutes until thickened.

Step 6: It’s Time to Plate

Our southern fried chicken with peppered pan gravy is ready to devour! Serve it hot and crispy, drizzled with homemade peppered gravy. Enjoy this classic southern comfort food at its finest.

Substitutions and Variations

 Perfectly seasoned chicken pieces are the key to deliciousness.
Perfectly seasoned chicken pieces are the key to deliciousness.

Whenever I whip up my Southern Fried Chicken with Peppered Pan Gravy, I’m always looking for ways to experiment and switch up the recipe. Here are some substitutions and variations that you can try out for yourself!

1. Chicken Cutlets: If you’re looking to cut down on cooking time, swap out boneless, skinless chicken breasts with chicken cutlets. The thinner cut of meat will cook faster and absorbs the flavors more readily.

2. Buttermilk Fried Steak: For a variation of the famous Southern staple, try coating a tender steak in my seasoned flour mix and buttermilk, then pan-frying until crisp and golden brown. And, of course, drizzled with homemade peppered milk gravy – it’ll be like chicken fried steak, but better.

3. Baked Chicken: If you’re trying to avoid all that frying, you can stick to the country comfort food, but make it a bit healthier by baking the chicken instead! Just coat it in a mixture of seasoned flour and bake at 375°F for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.

4. Milk Gravy: Instead of making a pepper gravy for your fried chicken or steak, try a classic milk gravy instead! Whisk together flour and whole milk over low heat until it thickens to your desired consistency, then season with plenty of salt and black pepper.

5. Trisha Yearwood’s Seasoned Flour: If you’re looking for an alternative seasoned flour mix to coat your chicken or steak in, give Trisha Yearwood’s recipe a try! It has an extra kick of onion powder and garlic powder alongside the classic cayenne and black pepper.

No matter which substitution or variation you opt for, you can rest assured that your Southern Fried Chicken with Peppered Pan Gravy will still turn out as delicious as ever – just with your own unique touch!

Serving and Pairing

 The aroma of fried chicken and gravy will make your mouth water.
The aroma of fried chicken and gravy will make your mouth water.

Once you’ve finished cooking up some of the finest Southern Fried Chicken with Peppered Pan Gravy, it’s time to think about serving it up and pairing it with some complementary sides. This comforting and hearty country dish is perfect for any occasion, whether a casual family dinner, potluck or gathering with friends.

When it comes to serving suggestions, classic Southern-style dishes like collard greens, cornbread, black-eyed peas or mashed potatoes go well along with the chicken and pan gravy. You can also enjoy Southern-style green beans or roasted sweet potatoes with the dish. The possibilities are endless!

As for beverages, consider pairing this delicious comfort food with an iced tea or a refreshing lemonade to balance out the richness of the fried chicken and gravy. However, if you prefer something stronger, you can pair it with a beer or a glass of chilled white wine.

Keep in mind that this is not only a chicken recipe but an experience that brings soulful comfort food to life. Its rich aroma and irresistible taste make everyone keen to grab a plate at any time of the day.

With its versatile nature, Southern Fried Chicken with Peppered Pan Gravy Recipe can be enjoyed anytime, anywhere. So whenever you desire a country comfort food at its finest, indulge in this delectable recipe drizzled with homemade peppered milk pan gravy to exceed even your wildest cravings!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Southern cuisine at its finest.
Southern cuisine at its finest.

When it comes to southern fried chicken with peppered pan gravy, there’s nothing quite like having leftovers. The good news is, this recipe stores well and can be reheated with ease.

To make the most of your leftover chicken, store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. To reheat, simply place the chicken on a baking sheet and warm it in the oven at 350°F for about 12-15 minutes or until heated through. For best results, avoid microwaving your chicken as this can dry out the crunchy coating.

If you really want to plan ahead, you can even make the chicken and gravy in advance. Once cooked and cooled, transfer the chicken and gravy to separate containers and store them in the fridge for up to 24 hours before reheating thoroughly.

When reheating gravy, you may find it has thickened slightly due to chilling. Simply add a little milk or cream to thin it out before heating gently on the stovetop.

So go ahead and indulge in all the country comfort food finest this recipe has to offer. With some clever planning and reheating tips up your sleeve, you’ll be able to savor this dish long after its first debut at your table.

Tips for Perfect Results

Ensuring that your southern fried chicken with peppered pan gravy comes out perfectly time and time again requires a few key tips and tricks. Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind as you prepare this delicious comfort food.

First, I recommend using Crisco shortening for frying your chicken. This type of shortening is ideal for high-heat cooking applications like frying, as it doesn’t burn as easily as other types of oil. Additionally, it gives the chicken a perfectly crispy exterior that pairs well with the indulgently creamy pan gravy.

When making your seasoned flour mixture, be sure to stir it thoroughly before using it to coat your chicken pieces. This ensures an even distribution of salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper and other spices for maximum flavor with every bite.

As you’re frying up the chicken, remember not to crowd the pan. This can cause the temperature of the oil to drop too low, which can lead to greasy or undercooked chicken. Instead, work in batches and use a thermometer to monitor and maintain the temperature of the oil at around 350°F.

Once your chicken pieces are golden brown and cooked through, set them aside on a rack or paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain off any excess grease. This helps ensure that the crust stays crisp and flavorful instead of getting soggy from excess oil.

Finally, when preparing your pan gravy recipe, be sure to scrape up all those delicious browned bits from the bottom of the pan before whisking in the flour mixture and milk. Doing so adds extra richness and depth of flavor to your gravy. And don’t be afraid to adjust the seasoning to taste – more black pepper or cayenne can give your gravy a nice kick!

With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to enjoy perfectly crispy and flavorful southern fried chicken with mouthwatering peppered pan gravy every time!


Now that you have learned about the ingredients, step-by-step instructions, serving suggestions, and storage tips for this Southern Fried Chicken With Peppered Pan Gravy recipe, it’s time to address some common questions and concerns that may come up during the cooking process. As such, in this section, I will provide you with answers to some of the frequently asked questions about this delicious dish. Let’s dive in!

What’s the difference between Southern fried chicken and fried chicken?

Southern-style fried chicken is a beloved dish made by coating chicken pieces in a seasoned flour or batter and cooking them to crispy perfection. The breading provides a deliciously crispy layer on the outside of the chicken, while keeping the meat inside succulent and juicy. There are various ways to fry the chicken, including pan-fried, deep-fried, pressure-fried or air-fried methods.

What is the difference in fried chicken and chicken-fried chicken?

When it comes to Southern-style cuisine, there’s a subtle difference between fried chicken and chicken-fried chicken. Fried chicken usually refers to bone-in pieces that are coated in flour and then fried, while chicken-fried chicken is a flattened breast that’s coated in flour, then dipped in an egg and buttermilk mixture, and then coated in flour again before frying.

How to make fried chicken Martha Stewart?

For this recipe, you’ll need 2 whole chickens (about 2-3 pounds each), cut into 10 pieces each, for frying. The chicken will need to be soaked in a mixture of 6 cups nonfat buttermilk, 1/4 cup plus 5 teaspoons of coarse salt, and about 1/3 cup of hot sauce (if you choose to use it). After that, you’ll dry the chicken and coat it in a mixture of 3 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon of freshly ground black pepper, 1 1/2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper, and 2 tablespoons of baking powder.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Southern Fried Chicken with Peppered Pan Gravy recipe is a must-try for any lover of Southern-style cuisine. With the perfect combination of crispy and juicy chicken with a rich and flavorful gravy, it’s sure to become your go-to comfort food recipe.

While some of the steps might seem daunting at first, don’t let it intimidate you. By following the detailed instructions and tips provided in this recipe article, you’ll achieve perfectly golden brown chicken and creamy gravy every time.

Additionally, you can experiment with variations and substitutions to make it your own. Whether you try using different cuts of chicken, adding in some cayenne pepper for extra heat or even subbing in buttermilk for the milk, there are endless possibilities with this recipe.

In the end, nothing beats the satisfaction of enjoying a plate of well-made Southern Fried Chicken with Peppered Pan Gravy. So grab your apron and get ready to indulge in some delicious comfort food. I promise you won’t regret it!

Southern Fried Chicken With Peppered Pan Gravy

Southern Fried Chicken With Peppered Pan Gravy Recipe

Fried chicken with pan gravy--nothing could be finer. Serve with Southern green beans, corn on the cob and sweat tea and you are in comfort heaven!
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Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Calories 1916.1 kcal


  • 4 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into large chunks or at least fileted one time)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 4 cups flour
  • 5 tablespoons black pepper
  • 4 cups Crisco shortening, melted
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 2 teaspoons accent flavor enhancer


  • Remove chicken from fridge 1/2 hour to coax to room temperature.
  • Beat eggs with milk in large shallow dish.
  • Mix flour, pepper, salt and accent in another shallow dish.
  • Meanwhile melt shortening in a large skillet (deep sided). Pan should be at least 1 inch deep with shortening. If necessary add more as cooking goes to ensure this depth is maintained.
  • Dip each chicken piece in the egg mixture covering both sides. Then coat in flour mixture.
  • Repeat process one time.
  • Turn up heat and heat the shortening until hot (a piece of bread dropped in the pan will sizzle).
  • Place chicken in hot fat, do not overcrowd.
  • Fry chicken over medium-high until browned and juices run clear. Time will depend on how large the pieces.
  • Drain chicken on a stack of paper towels.
  • Chicken may be kept warm in a 250 degree oven on a baking pan.
  • For the Peppered Gravy:
  • Empty fat from pan, but leave the browned flour in the pan.
  • Heat the pan over low heat until the browned flour begins to simmer.
  • Stir in 4 Tablespoons flour.
  • Whisk constantly over low heat for 5 minutes or so. Or until the flour browns more and combines with the drippings to form a thick paste.
  • Pour in 3 cups hot milk (heat in microwave 5 minutes).
  • Add salt and pepper to taste (you can't add too much pepper to this!).
  • Simmer gravy for 7-8 minutes adding more milk if necessary. To achieve a heavy-creamish consistency.
  • Season to taste, making sure there really is enough pepper.
  • Place warmed chicken in a a nice dish, pour gravy over chicken and serve immediately.
  • Serve with green beans, corn on the cob and sweet tea.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 479gCalories: 1916.1kcalCarbohydrates: 71.7gProtein: 84.4gFat: 143.3gSaturated Fat: 36gCholesterol: 247.7mgSodium: 4988mgFiber: 3.7gSugar: 0.4g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Chicken, Chicken Breast, Easy, Meat, Poultry
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