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: 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: 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: Jackie Dodd)

Step 2: Combine the Wet Ingredients

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

(Image: 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: 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: Jackie Dodd)

Step 5: Coat in Flour

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

(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Step 6: Re-dip in Buttermilk

Re-dip the chicken in the buttermilk.

(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Step 7: Re-flour

Add to the flour mixture, rolling to coat.

(Image: Jackie Dodd)


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: 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.


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: Jackie Dodd)
(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Step 11: Drain and Dry

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

(Image: Jackie Dodd)
(Image: Jackie Dodd)