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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 YouTubeFacebook 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
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  • 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. 
Notes

Nutrition

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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Yvonne Yeager

5 stars
Great website!??

Ashley Rossi

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

shelley brewer

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

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

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

Nikki

5 stars
Your recipe with amazing, I love fried chicken

Yati Bailey

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.

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

Amanda Davis

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!

Ed Leicester

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

Amina

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:)

Zamrus Zakaria

5 stars
Hv used ur fried chicken simple yet effective recipe many times, & those fried chicken came out “flying” to a happy family of mine …

Thxs Rachel …

John Koch

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

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

Sarah Coulson

SO GOOD! New family favorite! Thank you!

Lisa m green

5 stars
Hey there , fantastic , I absolutely , cannot fry chicken , I pray I do this right , t he snk you

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