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Learn how to make perfect Fried Chicken with the crispiest, most flavorful crunchy outside with moist and juicy meat on the inside.

crispy fried chicken thighs and drumsticks

When it comes to chicken there just isn’t anything more delicious than a juicy, crusty piece of finger-licking good fried chicken. It might seem intimidating to fry your own chicken, but it’s actually pretty straightforward and it puts grocery store and fast food fried chicken to shame.  If you have a thermometer for the oil and a timer, you can produce fail-proof fried chicken.  If you’ve ever wanted to make your own fried chicken, now is the time to try!

Do I have to use cornstarch? Can I replace the flour?

Cornstarch is one of our recommended ingredients for the crispiest fried chicken. Cornstarch is often used in Asian fried chicken recipes. The combination of the flour with cornstarch produces the crispiest result. You can replace all of the flour with cornstarch, or you can try using a similar non-gluten based flour or flour blend in place of traditional all-purpose flour.

How many minutes do I cook fried chicken?

The average piece of chicken will need to be fried for 14 minutes. Each piece of chicken will be different though so make sure you cook each one to a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. White meat will have its peak juiciness at 165 degrees F. Dark meat can be cooked to 170-175F for the best texture.

Why does the breading on my fried chicken fall off? How can I avoid that?

One of the challenges that people face when making fried chicken is that their crunchy coating falls off. There’s usually a few reasons for this to happen. Here are some tips for making sure your breading doesn’t fall off.

  • When coating and breading your chicken, be sure to tap off the excess buttermilk as well as the excess flour.
  • Give your chicken a gentle pat after coating with the flour mixture to make sure that the flour sticks to the buttermilk.
  • Make sure that you don’t overcrowd your pan. You want to make sure that the chicken isn’t bumping against other pieces of chicken which can knock off the breading.
  • Only flip your chicken once while frying. The more you fuss with your chicken, the more likely you are to knock off or disturb some of the crunchy coating.

Some people recommend allowing your chicken to dry on a wire rack after dipping and dredging. This is not only useful, it’s also convenient when making large batches.

Fried Chicken Soaking in Buttermilk
Coat chicken in dredging flour before frying
Heat vegetable oil to 350 degrees F for fried chicken
Fried Chicken cooked to internal temperature of 165 degrees F.

What kind of oil is best for frying? Can I save my used oil for later?

There are lots of options when it comes to oil used for deep frying. Common options include peanut oil, vegetable oil, canola oil, safflower oil, corn oil and more. Vegetable oil is the oil we recommend using for deep frying. It has a high smoke point and once used for frying, can be reused. Simply let the oil cool down completely, strain it, and return it to a storage container for later use. The best temperature to fry chicken at is 350 degrees Fahrenheit. It is normal though for the oil temperature to fluctuate while cooking. As long as your oil is between 300 and 350 degrees Fahrenheit, your chicken should come out perfect.

How long is fried chicken good for?

Fried chicken is best when it is fresh and the skin is still crispy. Leftovers though will be good in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. The skin will not be as crispy reheated. For best results, reheat leftover fried chicken in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.

Bird's eye view Crispy Fried Chicken on a paper towel on a wood plate.

Looking for what to serve with Fried Chicken? You may enjoy these delicious classic American side dishes:

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

This recipe first appeared on The Stay At Home Chef July 9, 2013

Bird's eye view Crispy Fried Chicken on a paper towel on a wood plate.
Learn how to make perfect Fried Chicken with the crispiest, most flavorful crunchy outside with moist and juicy meat on the inside. 
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
  • 6 chicken thighs
  • 6 chicken drumsticks
  • 3 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup Buffalo Hot Sauce optional
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Dredging Mixture

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 quart vegetable oil for frying
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together buttermilk, hot sauce (optional, for added flavor), salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl. Add in chicken pieces. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate 4 hours.
  • When ready to cook, pour the vegetable oil in a skillet until it is about 3/4 inch deep. Heat to 350 degrees.
  • Prepare the breading by combining the flour, cornstarch, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, basil, white pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, and salt in a gallon sized resealable plastic bag or shallow dish. Mix it thoroughly.
  • Working one at a time, remove chicken pieces from buttermilk mixture. Shake it gently to remove the excess. Place it in the breading mix and coat thoroughly. Tap off the excess.
  • Place the breaded chicken into the 350 degree oil. Fry 3 or 4 pieces at a time. The chicken will drop the temperature of the oil so keep it as close to 350 degrees as possible. Fry each piece for 14 minutes, turning each piece over about every 2 minutes, until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. 
  • Remove from the oil and place on paper towels. Let them rest for at least 10 minutes before serving. 


Calories: 723kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 42g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 193mg | Sodium: 2847mg | Potassium: 681mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1035IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 178mg | Iron: 4.9mg
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Fried Chicken
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Ashley Rossi
March 3, 2020 1:41 pm

5 stars
My first time making fried chicken and it was a success! My husband was obsessed.
Thank you for this awesome recipe.

July 28, 2020 7:09 am
Reply to  Ashley Rossi

I kept the temp at 350 degrees but my chicken was not cooked, especially the legs. the crust was getting too dark a d the oil started to turn black. cant figure out what i did wrong. I took it off the stove and put it in the oven. may e i need to take the chicken out of the pan whrn it is this colour and finish it in the oven

August 17, 2020 3:17 pm
Reply to  Michelle

what kind of oil did you use?

Mir B
September 17, 2020 8:14 am
Reply to  Meryl

Best oil (and healthier) is either sunflower or grapeseed oil. I’ve been using it for 10+ years! Great flavor and a golden fry!

melissa murray
September 9, 2020 9:04 pm
Reply to  Michelle

I’ve learned to poke holes in the chicken to allow the oil to flow through and cook it inside.

September 11, 2020 2:13 pm
Reply to  Michelle

Make sure whatever thermometer you’re using is properly calibrated. Your result is what happens when a thermometer is giving bad readings.

September 22, 2020 10:27 am
Reply to  Michelle

I cut a slit along side the bone in legs and thighs prior to coating. It helps to cook chicken evenly and can not be seen when serving.

E maui
January 9, 2021 2:55 am
Reply to  Michelle

Looks like your oil was way above 350 … Check your thermometer if its calibrated correctly and make sure your oil is not jumping all over as it is a sign it’s way too hot and the coating on your chicken will burn. Start low and slow..make note that skillet size and the amount of chicken pieces you cook at a time also affect oil temperature.. trust me i know.. 3rd times the charm🙂

Last edited 8 days ago by E maui
January 14, 2021 3:39 pm
Reply to  Michelle

You can try to lower the temperature down to 300-325 and cook it slower but longer or when the chicken coating is the desired colour not too dark put the chicken on a wire rack on a baking sheet and put it in to a 350-375 oven and go 5mins at a time and then flip the chicken over and go another 5 minutes use a thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken , also when you take the chicken out of the oil once it is browned to the colour you want check the internal temperature of… Read more »

January 14, 2021 4:38 pm
Reply to  Michelle

Vegetable oil has a high smoke point, but so does olive oil if you’ll use the light flavored one to avoid the taste going to the chicken.

November 19, 2020 9:23 am
Reply to  Ashley Rossi

Wow that is great

shelley brewer
April 12, 2020 7:15 am

Made this last night and it was just as the name of the recipe says “Crispy Fried Chicken”. I didn’t have buttermilk so I made my own with the 1TBS lemon juice and then milk to equal 1 cup. I heated my cast iron frying pan with oil to temperature and added chicken. After it was browned I should have turned the heat down a bit to regulate temperature so it wouldn’t get too brown. But it was as good, if not better, than any friend chicken I have had in a restaurant. I used boneless chicken breasts. So happy… Read more »

Randell Tober
August 4, 2019 6:05 am

5 stars
Perfect! Thank you… I Fry mine for about 4 min each side and finish it off in the oven at 350 deg.

Ruebini Heller
May 24, 2020 7:56 pm
Reply to  Randell Tober

How long did you bake it for? Do you think I can skip the frying and bake it all the way?

Ed Leicester
January 18, 2020 6:49 am

5 stars
Best one I’ve tried my kids prefer it to KFC

November 18, 2020 12:36 pm

5 stars
Awesome fried chicken. I’m only 10 years old and I made it three times. Great every time. My family and I loved it. I do find it easier to bake it in the oven for 30 minutes, turning over halfway. It was a little spicy but totally worth it.

Amanda Davis
January 19, 2020 9:29 am

5 stars
I love fried chicken but have never made one that I have my husband brag to everyone about. This stuff is good!!!!!!! Thanks so much for the recipe. It made me look like a real fried chicken queen!

May 26, 2020 4:17 am

amazing! turned out delicious. The chicken was moist in the inside and crunchy and full of flavour on the outside, just perfect! Thanks so much for sharing:)

Yati Bailey
April 17, 2020 3:46 am

5 stars
Very crunchy n i added more sriraca chilli sauce into the chicken wet mix. lovey and will definitely cook it again!!
thank you.
never thought of not using egg at all!!

Adesuwa A.
January 29, 2020 3:57 pm

5 stars
I just made chicken with this recipe and it tastes and looks amazing.

Yvonne Yeager
May 4, 2020 8:27 pm

5 stars
Great website!??

June 27, 2020 7:21 am

5 stars
The chicken was so good !!

April 24, 2020 8:56 pm

5 stars
Your recipe with amazing, I love fried chicken

April 3, 2020 7:27 am

Wonderful absolutely wonderful!!! I enjoy your presentation!!! Lovely ?

July 6, 2020 4:18 pm

5 stars
We made this fried chicken over the 4th of July weekend & it was delicious.

John Koch
May 24, 2020 9:41 am

5 stars
Terrific recipe ! This is the third on this site, it is printed and in the books. Thanks so much !

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