– Crispy Southern Fried Chicken: A Classic Recipe

Hey y’all, are you ready for some finger-licking, lip-smacking, delicious southern fried chicken? Look no further, because I have the perfect recipe for you! This outstanding recipe is one that I found and decided I need to share with y’all. If you want to make perfect southern fried chicken that’s crispy and crunchy on the outside, juicy and tender on the inside, this is the recipe for you.

Southern fried chicken is a staple in the soul food cuisine and has been a favorite dish for many generations. It’s a dish that brings family and friends together, a dish that’s perfect for celebrating occasions or just enjoying a meal with loved ones. The traditional southern fried chicken is made from basic ingredients like flour, black pepper, garlic powder, and salt. However, what secret makes this recipe perfect? Keep reading to find out.

With this recipe, you’ll be able to cook perfect crispy fried chicken every time. Whether you want to cook it in an air fryer or deep fryer, use boneless thighs or chicken wings, you’ll be able to create your own variations using this recipe as your base. So get ready to learn how to cook the best Southern Fried Chicken that’ll leave your mouth watering for hours!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

The “perfect” Southern Fried Chicken

Are you in the mood for something crispy, juicy and comforting? Look no further than my “perfect” Southern Fried Chicken recipe! Trust me, once you take a bite of this outstanding recipe, you’ll never settle for anything less.

What’s so special about this recipe? Well, let me tell you. First off, the chicken is seasoned to perfection with a blend of black pepper, garlic powder and salt. This secret seasoning blend takes the chicken from ordinary to extraordinary.

Then, the chicken is coated in a mixture of flour and buttermilk, which ensures that each piece of chicken is evenly coated for ultimate crispiness. And if that wasn’t enough flavor already, I also use bacon grease to fry the chicken. All of these ingredients work seamlessly together to make a dish that will leave your taste buds singing with joy.

But perhaps the best part of this recipe is how versatile it is. You can easily substitute boneless chicken thighs or breasts for an extra crispy option, add some rising flour for an even crunchier texture or switch things up by trying air frying instead of deep frying. With so many variations and options available, there really is no limit to what you can do with this amazing recipe.

Trust me when I say that once you try my perfect Southern Fried Chicken recipe, it will become a family favorite and a go-to for any occasion. So why wait? Head into the kitchen and start cooking up some “finger-lickin’ good” southern cuisine today!

Ingredient List

“Get ready to salivate over our crispy, golden Southern Fried Chicken!”

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make the perfect southern fried chicken:


  • 2 pounds of bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or breasts


  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder


  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups of buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup of water

Bacon grease or oil for frying

These basic ingredients make up the foundation of the recipe, however we will also dive into different variations and substitutions that can be made to suit your needs.

The Recipe How-To

“The secret to perfection? Juicy chicken marinated in buttermilk and spices.”

Now it’s time for the exciting part – cooking the “perfect” Southern Fried Chicken! Here’s how to cook crispy and juicy chicken that will satisfy every craving.


  • 2 lbs of bone-in chicken pieces, preferably thighs and drumsticks
  • Salt and pepper to season the chicken
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp of paprika
  • 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup of buttermilk
  • 1 egg, beaten


  1. Start with preparing the chicken. Remove any excess fat or skin and pat it dry. Season generously with salt and black pepper.

  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, garlic powder, baking powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, and more salt and black pepper.

  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk and beaten egg.

  4. Now it’s time to coat the chicken in flour mixture first then dip into buttermilk mixture then coat them with the flour mixture once again.

  5. Fry the chicken pieces in melted bacon grease (or oil) over medium heat until they are golden brown on both sides (~5 minutes per side).

  6. Drain each piece on paper towels for about one minute to remove any excess grease.

  7. Sprinkle some extra salt over the hot Southern Fried Chicken before serving.

Cooking Methods:

If you don’t have access to a deep fryer or don’t want to deep fry your chicken, here are a few alternatives:

  • Air Fryer: Preheat air fryer to 370°F (188°C), place breaded chicken in the basket for about 20 minutes until internal meat temperature reaches 165°F (75°C).

  • Oven Fried: Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C), place breaded chicken on a baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes until internal meat temperature reaches 165°F (75°C).

Note: Make sure to not overcrowd the skillet, as too many pieces will cause the oil temperature to drop drastically, ruining the perfect crispiness.

Now that we’ve gone over the step-by-step guide to cooking Southern Fried Chicken, you’re ready to impress your friends and family with this delicious meal!

Substitutions and Variations

“Watch as the Southern Fried Chicken sizzles in a hot cast iron skillet.”

Nothing beats a traditional Southern fried chicken recipe, but there are many ways to add your own twist to this classic dish. Here are some substitutions and variations that you can try:

– Buttermilk Substitute: If you don’t have buttermilk, you can use regular milk and add a splash of vinegar or lemon juice. Let it sit for 10 minutes before using it in the recipe.

– Air Fryer Chicken: For a healthier version of this recipe, try using an air fryer instead of deep-frying the chicken. Coat the chicken in seasoned flour or breadcrumbs, spray with cooking spray and air fry at 400°F for about 15-20 minutes or until crispy and golden brown.

– Baking Soda: A small amount of baking soda in the marinade will help to tenderize the chicken, making it extra juicy and delicious.

– Different Cuts of Chicken: This recipe works well with bone-in chicken thighs or drumsticks, but you can also use boneless chicken breasts or tenders. Adjust the cooking time accordingly.

– Extra Crispy: To make your fried chicken extra crispy, try using a combination of flour and cornstarch in the breading mixture. You can also double coat the chicken by dipping it back into the egg mixture and breading it again.

– Seasoning Variations: Experiment with different herbs and spices to season your chicken. Paprika, cayenne pepper, thyme, and celery salt are all great additions to your seasoning mix.

– Buttermilk Fried Chicken Tenders Recipe Waffles: Instead of serving your fried chicken with biscuits or mashed potatoes, try pairing it with waffles for a sweet and salty combination that is sure to impress.

With these substitutions and variations, you can customize this classic Southern fried chicken recipe to suit your taste preferences or dietary needs while maintaining its signature flavor and crunch.

Serving and Pairing

“Take a bite into our extra crispy, delightfully crunchy chicken skin.”

Now that you have made the perfect Southern fried chicken, it’s time to serve and pair it with your favorite sides. For a classic Southern meal, serve the fried chicken with creamy mashed potatoes, buttered corn, and collard greens. The combination of crispy fried chicken and comforting sides is sure to satisfy any craving for comfort food.

If you’re looking to add a little spice to your meal, try pairing the fried chicken with hot sauce or Cajun seasoning. And don’t forget about dipping sauces! Ranch dressing or honey mustard are popular choices, but you can get creative and try something new like spicy mayo or BBQ sauce.

For a lighter option, consider serving the fried chicken on top of a fresh salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and a tangy vinaigrette dressing. This is a great option for those looking to balance out the indulgent flavors of the fried chicken with some fresh vegetables.

Another way to enjoy Southern fried chicken is by pairing it with waffles. Chicken and waffles are a classic Southern combination that has become popular all over the country. The sweetness of the waffles pairs perfectly with the salty and savory flavors of the fried chicken.

When it comes to drinks, sweet tea or lemonade are classic Southern choices that pair well with fried chicken. But if you’re in for something stronger, a cold beer can be a refreshing complement to the hot and crispy fried chicken.

No matter how you decide to serve and pair your perfect Southern fried chicken, make sure to enjoy it while it’s still hot and crispy!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

“Pair this dish with a side of fluffy biscuits and savory gravy, and you’ve got yourself a classic Southern meal.”

Now, let’s talk about how to make the most out of this perfect Southern fried chicken recipe. One of the best things about this recipe is that you can make it ahead of time and reheat it later. It’s also great for leftovers or meal prep for the week.

To make-ahead, fry your chicken as usual and let it cool down to room temperature. Transfer the chicken to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to three days. You can also freeze the chicken for up to a month, but keep in mind that the crispiness will not be as good when reheated.

When you’re ready to reheat, there are a couple of methods you can use. If you have an air fryer, that’s the best method to get the crispy results back. Preheat your air fryer to 375°F and cook your chicken for 5-8 minutes until heated through and crispy again.

If you don’t have an air fryer, oven baking works just as well. Preheat your oven to 350°F and lay your chicken pieces on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until heated through and crispy.

One tip I have is to re-season your chicken with a sprinkle of salt or freshly cracked black pepper right after reheating, as the seasoning tends to dull when stored in the fridge. Another is to warm up any sauces or sides ahead of time so they are piping hot and ready to serve alongside your crispy fried chicken.

In summary, this Southern fried chicken recipe is perfect for making ahead of time, storing for later or reheating leftovers. With a few simple tips and tricks, you can keep that deliciously crispy texture intact and enjoy outstanding flavor anytime!

Tips for Perfect Results

“Don’t forget to drizzle some honey over your chicken for an extra sweet and tangy kick!”

Making perfectly crispy and juicy Southern fried chicken is an art that could take years to master. Don’t worry though, as a southern-style cuisine chef, I have some tips that’ll have your chicken rivaling the best of soul food joints.

1. Season the Chicken: To make perfect southern fried chicken, always season with salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and any other seasoning of your choice. Tossing the chicken in seasoning salt mixed with flour helps to flavor it from the inside out.

2. Flour Well: To ensure the right texture on your chicken, you must coat it properly in flour or breading. Move chicken pieces around in the flour mixture to ensure even coverage.

3. Let Your Chicken Rest: After coating your chicken pieces in flour mixture, allow them to rest for at least 15-20 minutes to let the coating set up before frying.

4. Use Bacon Grease: Using bacon grease can add extra flavor to your Southern fried chicken recipe.

5. Get the Temperature Right: For perfect results, it’s essential to cook your chicken in a deep-fryer or on stovetop in hot oil at around 350°F. For boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, they should fry for about 12 minutes until golden brown.

6. Avoid Overcrowding: Frying too much chicken at once lowers oil temperature and results in greasy chicken instead of crispy crunchy deliciousness.

7. Drain Your Chicken: Once you’re done frying, use a slotted spoon or tongs to remove your chicken from the pot and place onto a wire rack set over a baking sheet or paper towels.

8. Build Up the Flavor: After you’ve taken out your first batch of Southern fried goodness from the frying pan, sprinkle some extra seasoning over it while still hot so all that tasty spice sticks to the outside.

By following these tips and using high-quality ingredients like buttermilk or extra crispy breading, you’ll surely cook up the ultimate Southern fried chicken.


Now that you have all the information you need to dive headfirst into making the perfect Southern Fried Chicken Recipe, it’s time to answer some of the most common questions that come along the way. Here are some frequently asked questions to help guide you through any last-minute doubts or uncertainties before cooking up a storm in your kitchen.

What is the secret to making great fried chicken?

To get started, it’s important to prepare the chicken correctly. Take a whole chicken and cut it into pieces, accommodating those who prefer both dark and white meat. Next, whip up a flavorful marinade to let the chicken soak in before cooking. However, don’t rush the process, as the longer the marinade sits, the more delicious the chicken will be.

When it comes to seasoning the chicken, don’t be shy. Generously coat it with a mix of herbs and spices to bring out the delicious southern flavors. When it’s time to cook, be sure to use the proper cooking oil and ensure it’s at the correct temperature for optimal results. Lastly, ditch the paper towels and instead use a wire rack to let the chicken rest – this will help it maintain its crispy texture.

What is the secret to keeping fried chicken crispy?

When it comes to maintaining the crunchiness of fried foods, there’s a simple trick that never fails. All you need to do is to set up a cooling rack over a baking sheet and place your freshly fried goodies on it. This way, air can circulate freely around the food, preventing sogginess. And if you’re frying multiple batches, don’t worry about them getting cold or losing their crispness. Just pop the rack and baking sheet into a low-temperature oven, and you’ll be able to keep everything warm and crispy until you’re finished cooking.

What should I soak my chicken in before frying?

To achieve juicy and flavorful fried chicken, it’s crucial to marinate the chicken in a well-seasoned mixture. In Southern-style cuisine, it’s common to soak the chicken in a marinade consisting of buttermilk, milk and eggs, or even pickle juice. By incorporating a generous amount of salt into this mixture, the chicken is able to retain moisture and flavor throughout the frying process.

Should I season the chicken or the flour?

Adding a touch of seasoning to your flour is essential when it comes to preparing a delectable fried chicken. While you have the option to experiment with different spices, it’s best to stick to the timeless combination of salt and pepper. Failing to season your flour could result in a lackluster crust that fails to impress your taste buds.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, I promise you that this recipe for perfect southern fried chicken will not disappoint. From the seasoning to the cooking method to the serving suggestions, every aspect of this dish has been carefully crafted for maximum taste and satisfaction. You don’t need to look any further for an outstanding recipe that will make your taste buds sing and your soul satisfied.

So don’t hesitate to try out this recipe and take your love for traditional southern cuisine to new heights. With a combination of crispy, crunchy exterior and juicy, tender meat on the inside, this perfect fried chicken is sure to become a staple in your household. Whether you’re hosting a family gathering, throwing a backyard barbecue or just want to treat yourself to a soulful meal, this recipe will definitely hit the spot.

Thank you for taking the time to read about my recipe and I hope it inspires you to get cooking! Remember, when it comes to fried chicken, there’s no such thing as too much flavor or too much satisfaction. So grab some chicken, some buttermilk and some flour and get started on making the best southern fried chicken you’ve ever had. You won’t regret it!

The "perfect" Southern Fried Chicken

The “perfect” Southern Fried Chicken Recipe

Posted in the June 28th Chicago Tribune Food section - great tasting chicken! This recipe combines the best advice of the experts: brining for moist, juicy chicken; marinating in buttermilk for tenderness; seasoned flour for a crisp crust; and a little bacon grease mixed into the frying fat to add savory flavor. The brining and marinating mean you'll have to think ahead--start this recipe at lunchtime the day you'll set it on the table. Remember that the side you start frying a piece on will always look better than the other side.
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Prep Time 5 hrs
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine Southern American
Calories 1764 kcal


  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 whole chicken, cut up into 8 pieces
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons bacon grease or 2 tablespoons lard


  • Dissolve salt and water in a large bowl; add the chicken. Cover; refrigerate 3-4 hours. Pour off the brine; rinse the chicken well under running water in the bowl. Drain. Add buttermilk and hot sauce to chicken. Cover bowl; refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 8.
  • Combine the flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder in another large bowl or food storage bag; drain the chicken pieces. Add 2 or 3 pieces of chicken to the bag; seal. Shake to coat chicken. Remove chicken to a rack; refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  • Heat the oven to 300°. Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to a depth of 1/2 to 3/4-inch; stir in the bacon drippings. Heat oil to 350°, or until a drop of water spatters when it hits the hot oil. Add the drumsticks, wings and thighs, skin side down (the oil should come about halfway up the sides of the pieces of chicken). Cover; cook until tiny bubbles begin to appear in the crust on the side facing up, about 10 minutes. Turn; cook 10 minutes. Uncover the skillet; reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until chicken is golden brown, 5-10 minutes. Remove drumsticks and thighs from skillet to a rack placed over a cookie sheet; place in oven.
  • Raise heat under skillet to medium-high. Heat oil to 350°; add the breasts, skin side down. Cook until tiny bubbles begin to appear in the crust on the side facing up, about 10 minutes. Turn; cover. Cook 10 minutes; uncover the skillet. Lower the heat to medium-low; cook until golden brown, about 5-10 minutes.
  • Preparation time includes brining.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 614gCalories: 1764kcalCarbohydrates: 20.4gProtein: 33.5gFat: 173.6gSaturated Fat: 27.6gCholesterol: 122.3mgSodium: 19473.9mgFiber: 0.7gSugar: 4.1g
Keyword Chicken, Meat, Poultry
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