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How to Make Southern Fried Chicken

How to Make Southern Fried Chicken

Good Southern fried chicken is a thing to behold. It will ruin you for mediocre fast food chicken for life. For me, fried chicken is intertwined with childhood memories. Every time we had a church social, my grandparents were expected to bring fried chicken. Everyone said my Granny’s chicken was the best. Funny thing, though, when it was for a church social, my grandfather was always the one frying the chicken. I can remember him standing at the gas stove, turning the chicken in the cast iron skillet while Granny got ready for church.

Why is Southern fried chicken a staple for church socials? One of the main reasons is that it is just as good cold/room temperature as it is piping hot. When you have a lunch at church, everything has to be cooked before you head to Sunday School so there will be at least a two hour break between it being done and being eaten. Fried chicken is delicious either way which makes it perfect for a picnic, a party or as a make-ahead supper in the hotter months if you don’t have air conditioning (like me).

Also, if you don’t have a cast iron skillet…buy one. They make for even cooking and you must use one to make Southern cornbread!

Now, let’s get to the chicken! Follow along below to learn how to make Southern fried chicken that your family and friends will love! (Yes, there have been a few tweaks made over the years for seasoning, etc but I promise it is DELICIOUS)

Southern Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Equipment

Cast iron or large skillet
Large bowl for marinade
Medium bowl for dredge or dredging trays

Seasonings

1 Tbsp adobo seasoning
1 Tbsp seasoning salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Ingredients

4-6 pounds bone in chicken with skin
2 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup cornstarch

Instructions

Seasonings for fried chicken

Mix all the seasonings together in a small bowl. Hate one of the seasonings listed or don’t have it? Fine. You can tweak it as you need to BUT seasoning is not optional. Unseasoned fried chicken is sad fried chicken. Don’t do it.

chicken, buttermilk and spices

Add chicken, buttermilk and half of the seasonings to a bowl. Mix well and let it marinate in the fridge for one hour. No, you can’t skip this step. Oh, and if you want to take the skin off the chicken FINE but fried chicken skin is delicious. I said what I said.

After an hour, mix the cornstarch, flour and remaining seasonings in a large bowl. Remove chicken from the fridge and heat oil over medium high in a large cast iron skillet. You want your oil to be an inch or two in depth so that it will come halfway up your pieces of chicken.

dredging marinated chicken in flour before frying

Take chicken from marinade and coat in the flour mixture. Don’t worry if the marinate sticks to the chicken. That is FLAVOR and helps the flour and seasonings stick to the chicken. The breading will stick to your hands. It’s fine. You can scare your kids with your breaded hands once you’re done.

Test the oil by sprinkling a little flour into the grease. If it does not sizzle the grease isn’t hot enough. It’s important to wait until the temperature of the grease comes up to medium high before adding the chicken. Otherwise your chicken will soak up the grease instead of frying.

chicken frying in a cast iron skillet

Cook for 8-10 mins per side. The larger pieces will need to cook for longer. Pierce the chicken with a fork in its thickest part down to the bone to check for doneness. When it is done, the juices will run clear instead of pink. Remove chicken with tongs and let drain on paper towels.

Congratulations! You just learned how to make Southern fried chicken!

Southern fried chicken on a white plate

Southern Fried Chicken

Yield: 10
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Southern fried chicken is the best when done right. This recipe teaches you how to do it right.

Ingredients

Seasonings

  • 1 Tbsp adobo
  • 1 Tbsp seasoning salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Chicken

  • 4-6 pounds bone in chicken
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch
  • Vegetable or canola oil for frying

Instructions

    1. Mix all the seasonings together in a small bowl.
    2. Add chicken, buttermilk and half of the seasonings to a bowl. Mix well and let it marinate in the fridge for one hour.  
    3. After an hour, mix the cornstarch, flour and remaining seasonings in a large bowl. Remove chicken from the fridge and heat oil over medium high in a large cast iron skillet. You want your oil to be an inch or two in depth so that it will come halfway up your pieces of chicken.
    4. Take chicken from marinade and coat in the flour mixture.
    5. Test the oil by sprinkling a little flour into the grease. If it does not sizzle the grease isn’t hot enough. It’s important to wait until the temperature of the grease comes up to medium high before adding the chicken. Otherwise your chicken will soak up the grease instead of frying.
    6. Cook for 8-10 mins per side. The larger pieces will need to cook for longer. Pierce the chicken with a fork in its thickest part down to the bone to check for doneness. When it is done, the juices will run clear instead of pink.
    7. Remove chicken with tongs and let drain on paper towels. 

Notes

Don't leave out the seasonings or skip marinating the chicken. It will be sad and you will have regrets!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 747Total Fat: 38gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 258mgSodium: 995mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 69g

This is based on ingesting ALL the ingredients listed. Since much of the marinade will be left behind, this is likely a high estimate. This is posted for general information only, not for using to follow a specific plan or diet.

Don’t forget to Pin for Later!

Southern fried chicken in a white bowl

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