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Overhead view of a plate with fried chicken on a serving board beside a linen napkin.
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Fried Chicken

Fried to golden perfection, this homemade Fried Chicken is so crispy, flavorful, and juicy! Made with pantry staples, you'll have this recipe ready in no time.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 685kcal

Equipment

  • Large Pot
  • Candy thermometer

Ingredients

For the Brine:

  • 1 whole chicken 4- to 5-pound, cut into pieces (or 8 of your favorite bone-in chicken pieces)
  • 1 quart whole buttermilk (960mL)
  • 3 tablespoons hot sauce optional
  • 1 tablespoon salt

For Dredge and Frying:

  • Peanut or vegetable oil for frying
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (360g)
  • ½ cup cornstarch (80g)
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional

Instructions

Brined Chicken:

  • In a large bowl or ziptop bag, combine chicken pieces, buttermilk, hot sauce, and salt. Toss to combine. Cover or seal and let stand for 30 minutes, or for juicier chicken refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Dredge and Frying:

  • When ready to fry, fill a Dutch oven with 3 inches of peanut oil. Place a candy or deep-fry thermometer in the oil and place over medium heat until it reaches 340F. Place a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet.
  • While the oil is heating, in a shallow dish, whisk together flour, cornstarch, onion powder, salt, black pepper, and cayenne.
  • Remove chicken pieces from brine, and shake off excess buttermilk. Dredge in the flour mixture, making sure each piece is well coated. Place on plate or baking sheet. Let dredge pieces rest until oil is ready. (For an extra crunchy crust, lightly coat chicken again in the dredge when ready to fry.)
  • Working in batches, carefully place chicken in the hot oil. Fry until golden brown and they register 165F on a meat thermometer when inserted into the thickest portion, about 7 minutes for wings, 12 minutes for drumsticks and thighs, and 15 minutes for breast pieces. Remove from the oil and let drain on the wire rack. Serve hot.

Video

Notes

  • A thermometer is a great tool to help get the temperature of the oil right. If the oil is too hot, the exterior of the chicken will burn before the interior cooks.
  • A Dutch oven is ideal for frying. The cast iron will help the oil temperature from fluctuating too much and help keep the cooking even. If you do not have one, use a large heavy-bottomed pot with high sides to avoid splatter.
  • You can reuse the frying oil at least one to two more times by allowing it to cool and straining it through a fine-mesh sieve.
  • Feel free to season the buttermilk however you’d like. Try adding dried herbs along with the hot sauce.
  • If cutting a whole chicken or using breast pieces, cut each breast in half crosswise before brining and dredging (this is how the chicken equals 10 pieces). This will help it cook faster and more evenly, keeping the meat juicy and the crust from getting too brown.
  • Dredging the pieces and letting them rest for a bit before frying ensures the breading sticks to the chicken and doesn’t immediately fall off when placed in the fryer.
  • Always allow the fried chicken to drain on a wire rack before serving to drip off excess oil.

Nutrition

Calories: 685kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 126mg | Sodium: 2768mg | Potassium: 591mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 616IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 217mg | Iron: 4mg