How to Make Fried Chicken

Who needs the Colonel? You can make delicious fried chicken in your own kitchen. Here's how.

Fried chicken is an American comfort food loved by adults and children alike. Creating this simple dish is just a matter of coating chicken pieces in flour, crumbs, or batter, then frying them in hot oil until golden brown. Fried chicken is a snap to make, as you can see in this classic recipe from Better Homes and Gardens. Scroll past the recipe to check out 19 of the Web's best fried chicken recipes, including yummy oven-fried versions.

These tips will help you make the juiciest, crispiest skillet-fried chicken ever:

  • Fry chicken in a large skillet. It is OK for the chicken pieces to touch, but they should not be crowded.
  • To make the coating stick better, refrigerate chicken pieces, uncovered, for about 30 minutes before coating.
  • For quick, easy, mess-free coating, place coating ingredients in a clean paper bag, add chicken pieces, and shake thoroughly.
  • Turn chicken pieces with tongs rather than with a fork. Puncturing chicken pieces with a fork allows juices to escape.
  • To avoid soggy fried chicken, make sure your frying oil is 360 degrees.

Buttermilk-Brined Fried Chicken

Servings: Makes 6 servings.
Prep: 30 minutes
Total: 2 hours 42 minutes


  • 3 cups buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2-1/2 to 3 pounds meaty chicken pieces (breast halves, thighs, and drumsticks)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • Cooking oil


  1. For brine, in a resealable plastic bag set in a bowl combine the 3 cups buttermilk, the coarse salt, and sugar. Cut chicken breasts in half crosswise. Add all chicken pieces to the brine; seal bag. Chill for 2 to 4 hours; remove chicken from brine. Drain chicken; pat dry with paper towels. Discard brine.
  2. In a large bowl combine flour, the 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Place the 3/4 cup buttermilk in a shallow dish. Coat chicken with flour mixture. Dip in the buttermilk; coat again with flour mixture.
  3. Meanwhile, in a deep, heavy Dutch oven or kettle or a deep-fat fryer, heat 1-1/2 inches oil to 350 degrees F. Using tongs, carefully add a few pieces of chicken to Dutch oven. (Oil temperature will drop; maintain temperature at 325 degrees F.) Fry chicken for 12 to 15 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink (170 degrees F for breasts; 180 degrees F for thighs and drumsticks), and coating is golden, turning once. Drain on paper towels. Keep fried chicken warm in a 300 degree F oven while frying remaining chicken pieces. Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 549, Total Fat 30 g, Saturated Fat 6 g, Monounsaturated Fat 4 g, Polyunsaturated Fat 2 g, Cholesterol 88 mg, Sodium 1191 mg, Carbohydrate 35 g, Total Sugar 4 g, Fiber 1 g, Protein 34 g. Daily Values: Vitamin A 0%, Vitamin C 2%, Calcium 9%, Iron 19%. Exchanges: Starch 2.5, Medium-Fat Meat 3.5, Fat 2. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000-calorie diet.

Here are 18 of the Web's best fried chicken recipes, including yummy oven-fried versions.

Perfect Fried Chicken

These chicken pieces are marinated in buttermilk and hot pepper sauce, then coated in seasoned flour and fried, creating the crispiest and juiciest fried chicken dinner ever.


Firecracker Fried Chicken

In this chicken recipe, adjust the heat to suit your family's taste. The longer the chicken chills in the hot pepper sauce, the hotter it gets.


Fried Chicken with Buttermilk Cherry Tomatoes

Hot sauce and cayenne pepper give this fried chicken its kick. A tangy buttermilk blue cheese dressing adds a cool contrast.


Buffalo Chicken Drumsticks

Here's a drumstick version of the popular chicken wing appetizer. If you like a little less hot and spicy flavor, use 2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce and add 1 teaspoon vinegar.


Fried Chicken Tenders

Baked in the oven or sizzled in a fryer, chicken-fried tenders are treats for all ages. Savor these easy chicken-fried tender recipes in making salads, sandwiches, and appetizers. Make an extra batch and freeze for another meal.


Hot 'n' Spicy Fried Chicken

Serve this crispy fried chicken with black-eyed peas, a mess of greens, and lots of piping-hot cornbread.


Quita's Egg-Battered Fried Chicken

The flour mixture coating for this chicken main dish recipe is simple to make, but a purchased variety speeds the process. A liberal splash of hot pepper sauce zips up the flavor.


Crispy Buttermilk Oven-Fried Chicken

You can have oven-fried chicken that's moist on the inside and crispy, crunchy on the outside -- just like pan-fried but with much less fat.


Oven-Fried Ranch Chicken

Dip the chicken in ranch dressing, then seasoned corn bread mix, to get delicious chicken that's "fried" in your oven.


Crunchy Munchy Chicken

Thanks to the cornmeal coating, the chicken stays crunchy on the outside without being fried.


Oven-Fried Parmesan Chicken

The crunchy cheese crust makes the chicken especially crisp and flavorful in this baked chicken dinner recipe.


Oven-Fried Chicken

A light coating of flour, sesame seeds, and spices, with a mist of olive oil, forms an appealing crust on the chicken during baking.


Tiki Hut Chicken Drumsticks

Have the kids crush the cornflake crumbs in a resealable bag while you assemble the ingredients for this crunchy chicken dinner.


Quick Fried Chicken Salad with Strawberries

most restaurant versions, this fried chicken salad is low in calories and sodium. Plus it's quick to make.


Mustard Crisp Chicken

Mustard blends with herbs and spices to season this oven-fried chicken.


Oven-Fried Chicken Breasts

This recipe crisps chicken in the oven rather than in a skillet or deep-fat fryer, cutting down on calories and fat.


Double-Coated Chicken with Cornflake Crumbs

Dip chicken pieces in batter, then in cornflake crumbs, for an extra crispy crust.


Chicken Hawaiian

Made with pineapple-orange juice concentrate, curry powder, and coconut, the crunchy coating on this baked chicken conjures images of the tropics.



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