Very Best Fried Chicken Recipe

It's no surprise that nearly every meat-eating man, woman, and child has a mild obsession with fried chicken. That juicy meat, the crispy fried exterior, the explosion of flavors: it's all just too perfect. But you don't need to grab that red and white bucket, or order take out, if you want to fill your house with the smell of fried chicken. A few easy tips and tricks and you'll be known as the host who always makes the best fried chicken. Be careful though, you might have a line of neighbors at your front door once the smell starts wafting down the street.

Image Credit: Jackie Dodd

Things You'll Need

  • 3 pounds chicken drumsticks

  • 2 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 cups buttermilk

  • 1 large egg

  • 2 cups flour

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • Oil for frying

Image Credit: Jackie Dodd

Step 1: Salt the Chicken

Add the chicken to a large bowl or baking dish. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of salt. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, and up to 12.

Image Credit: Jackie Dodd

Step 2: Combine the Wet Ingredients

In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and the egg.

Image Credit: Jackie Dodd

Step 3: Combine the Dry Ingredients

In a large bowl stir together the flour, cornstarch, paprika, chili powder, brown sugar, black pepper and remaining 1 teaspoon of salt.

Image Credit: Jackie Dodd

Step 4: Dip Chicken in the Buttermilk

One at a time dip the chicken in the buttermilk until well coated. Remove and allow the excess to drip off.

Image Credit: Jackie Dodd

Step 5: Coat in Flour

Add the buttermilk coated chicken to the dry ingredients, and toss until well coated.

Image Credit: Jackie Dodd

Step 6: Re-dip in Buttermilk

Re-dip the chicken in the buttermilk.

Image Credit: Jackie Dodd

Step 7: Re-flour

Add to the flour mixture, rolling to coat.

Image Credit: Jackie Dodd

Tip

Two coats of buttermilk and flour will give you a thicker, crispier coating.

Step 8: Rest

Add to a wire rack over a baking sheet and allow coating to rest for 15 minutes.

Image Credit: Jackie Dodd

Step 9: Heat the Oil

Heat 4 inches of oil in a pot over medium high heat until it reaches 350 degrees Fahrenheit on a deep fry thermometer.

Tip

Popular oils for deep frying are safflower, canola, soybean, and peanut because of the high smoke points and neutral flavors. (Be sure to alert anyone with nut allergies if you use nut oils.)

Step 10: Fry

Fry the chicken, a few at a time, until golden brown and cooked through, about 12 minutes.

Image Credit: Jackie Dodd
Image Credit: Jackie Dodd

Step 11: Drain and Dry

Add to a wire rack over a baking sheet to drain and dry.

Image Credit: Jackie Dodd
Image Credit: Jackie Dodd