Southern Fried Chicken


Southern Fried Chicken is a beloved dish that embodies the rich culinary heritage of the American South. With its crispy, golden-brown exterior and juicy, tender interior, this iconic dish has earned a special place on dinner tables and in restaurants across the country. In this guide, we’ll explore the essence of Southern Fried Chicken, from its traditional ingredients and preparation methods to tips for achieving perfection in every bite.

Video instructions available below 👇


For the Chicken:

  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (such as breasts, thighs, or drumsticks)
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

For the Coating:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder


  • Marinate the Chicken:
    • In a large bowl, combine the buttermilk, salt, black pepper, paprika, and cayenne pepper (if using). Add the chicken pieces to the bowl, making sure they are fully submerged in the buttermilk mixture. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight, to allow the chicken to soak up the flavors.
  • Prepare the Coating:
    • In a shallow dish or pie plate, whisk together the flour, salt, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder until well combined. This will be the coating for the chicken.
  • Coat the Chicken:
    • Remove the marinated chicken from the buttermilk mixture and allow any excess liquid to drip off. Dredge each piece of chicken in the seasoned flour mixture, pressing gently to adhere the coating evenly to all sides. Shake off any excess flour.
  • Heat the Oil:
    • In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat about 1 inch of vegetable oil over medium-high heat until it reaches a temperature of 350°F (175°C). Use a deep-fry thermometer to monitor the temperature for best results.
  • Fry the Chicken:
    • Carefully place the coated chicken pieces into the hot oil, making sure not to overcrowd the skillet. Fry the chicken in batches if necessary, to maintain an even temperature and ensure crispy results.
    • Fry the chicken for 12 to 15 minutes, turning occasionally, until it is golden brown and cooked through. The internal temperature of the chicken should reach 165°F (75°C) when tested with a meat thermometer.
    • Once cooked, transfer the fried chicken to a wire rack set over a baking sheet to drain any excess oil. Allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes before serving.

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