Chicken

The Ultimate Guide to Perfect Crispy Fried Chicken

Fried chicken is a universal favorite, a versatile dish that can be enjoyed on any occasion. This blog post will guide you through everything you need to know to make perfect crispy fried chicken at home, right in your own kitchen.

Fried chicken is beloved for its satisfying crunch and juicy interior. The secret to achieving this lies in a few key steps and ingredients, which we’ll cover in detail. Get ready to elevate your fried chicken game to a whole new level!

Ingredients for Perfect Crispy Fried Chicken

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to create deliciously crispy fried chicken:

For the Chicken:

  • 8 chicken drumsticks
  • 8 chicken thighs

For the Marinade:

  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce (Louisiana brand recommended)
  • 1/2 cup pickle juice (dill or sweet)
  • 2 teaspoons salt

For the Flour Mixture:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder (optional)

For Frying:

  • Cooking oil (vegetable, canola, or peanut oil)

Why These Ingredients?

Buttermilk: Helps tenderize the chicken and adds flavor.

Pickle Juice: Acts as a tenderizer and adds a subtle tang.

Hot Sauce: Adds a mild kick and depth of flavor.

Cornstarch: Provides extra crispiness to the coating.

All-Purpose Flour: Forms the base of the crispy coating.

Seasonings: Enhance the overall flavor profile of the chicken.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Let’s dive into the detailed process of making perfect crispy fried chicken.

Step 1: Preparing the Chicken

Clean and Trim the Chicken: Rinse the chicken pieces under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels. Trim any excess fat and skin from the thighs. Make small cuts along the thick parts of the thighs to ensure even cooking and to avoid blood spots.

Check for Bone Fragments: Inspect the drumsticks and thighs for any bone fragments or sharp edges. Remove these to ensure a pleasant eating experience.

Step 2: Marinating the Chicken

Combine Ingredients: In a large bowl, mix the buttermilk, hot sauce, pickle juice, and salt. Stir until well combined.

Add the Chicken: Submerge the chicken pieces in the marinade, ensuring they are fully covered. If necessary, use a second bowl to ensure all pieces are properly marinated.

Cover and Refrigerate: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight for best results. This allows the flavors to penetrate the meat and tenderize it.

Step 3: Preparing the Flour Mixture

Mix the Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, salt, black pepper, and onion powder (if using). Stir until the ingredients are evenly distributed.

Taste Test: Taste a small amount of the flour mixture to ensure it is well-seasoned. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Step 4: Coating the Chicken

Remove the Chicken from the Marinade: Take the chicken pieces out of the marinade, allowing any excess liquid to drip off.

Dredge the Chicken: Dip each piece of chicken into the flour mixture, pressing the flour into the chicken to cover all nooks and crannies. Ensure each piece is thoroughly coated.

Rest the Coated Chicken: Place the coated chicken on a wire rack to rest for about 15 minutes. This helps the coating adhere better and results in a crispier crust.

Step 5: Heating the Oil

Choose Your Oil: Select a high smoke point oil, such as vegetable, canola, or peanut oil.

Heat the Oil: In a large cast iron Dutch oven, heat the oil to 375°F (190°C). Use a deep-fry thermometer to monitor the temperature.

Test the Oil: Drop a small bit of the flour mixture into the oil. If it sizzles and rises to the surface, the oil is ready.

Step 6: The Frying Process

Fry in Batches: Carefully place a few pieces of chicken into the hot oil, frying in batches to avoid overcrowding. This ensures even cooking and prevents the oil temperature from dropping too much.

Monitor the Temperature: Keep an eye on the oil temperature, adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain a steady 375°F (190°C).

First Fry: Fry the chicken for 2 minutes on each side, then remove and let rest on a clean wire rack. This initial fry helps set the coating and partially cooks the chicken.

Step 7: Double Frying for Extra Crispiness

Reheat the Oil: Ensure the oil is back up to 375°F (190°C) before starting the second fry.

Second Fry: Return the partially cooked chicken to the hot oil. Fry for an additional 3-4 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F (74°C) and the coating is extra crispy.

Drain the Chicken: Remove the chicken from the oil and let it drain on a wire rack.

Step 8: Serving and Enjoying Your Fried Chicken

Rest Before Serving: Allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes before serving. This helps the juices redistribute and keeps the meat moist.

Pair with Sides: Serve your fried chicken with classic sides like coleslaw, mashed potatoes, biscuits, or cornbread.

Enjoy: Dig in and savor the crispy exterior and juicy interior of your homemade fried chicken!

Tips for Perfect Crispy Fried Chicken

Use Buttermilk for Marinating: Buttermilk tenderizes the chicken and adds flavor. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make a substitute by adding 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup of milk.

Season Your Flour: Ensure your flour mixture is well-seasoned. This adds flavor to the coating and enhances the overall taste of the chicken.

Double Fry for Crispiness: Double frying ensures an extra crispy exterior while keeping the meat juicy and tender.

Choose the Right Oil: Use a high smoke point oil such as vegetable, canola, or peanut oil.

Maintain the Oil Temperature: Keep the oil at a steady 375°F (190°C) for optimal frying results.

Uniform Cutting: Ensure your chicken pieces are uniformly cut to guarantee even cooking.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Overcrowding the Pan: Frying too many pieces at once lowers the oil temperature, resulting in greasy, unevenly cooked chicken. Fry in small batches for best results.

Skipping the Resting Period: Letting the coated chicken rest before frying helps the coating adhere better and results in a crispier crust.

Using the Wrong Oil Temperature: Oil that is too hot can burn the coating before the chicken is cooked through, while oil that is too cool can result in greasy chicken. Maintain a steady 375°F (190°C) for optimal results.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use boneless chicken for this recipe?

Yes, you can use boneless chicken breasts or thighs. Adjust the frying time accordingly, as boneless pieces will cook faster.

How can I tell if my chicken is cooked through?

Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. The chicken is done when it reaches 165°F (74°C).

Can I make fried chicken ahead of time?

Fried chicken is best enjoyed fresh, but you can keep it warm in a 200°F (93°C) oven for up to 30 minutes. Avoid covering it, as this can make the coating soggy.

The Ultimate Guide to Perfect Crispy Fried Chicken

Difficulty:BeginnerPrep time: 30 minutesCook time: 40 minutesRest time: 40 minutesTotal time: minutesServings:4 servingsCalories:300 kcal Best Season:Summer

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Rinse the chicken pieces under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels. Trim any excess fat and skin from the thighs. Make small cuts along the thick parts of the thighs to ensure even cooking and to avoid blood spots.
  2. Inspect the drumsticks and thighs for any bone fragments or sharp edges. Remove these to ensure a pleasant eating experience.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the buttermilk, hot sauce, pickle juice, and salt. Stir until well combined.
  4. Submerge the chicken pieces in the marinade, ensuring they are fully covered. If necessary, use a second bowl to ensure all pieces are properly marinated.
  5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight for best results. This allows the flavors to penetrate the meat and tenderize it.
  6. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, salt, black pepper, and onion powder (if using). Stir until the ingredients are evenly distributed.
  7. Taste a small amount of the flour mixture to ensure it is well-seasoned. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  8. Take the chicken pieces out of the marinade, allowing any excess liquid to drip off.
  9. Dip each piece of chicken into the flour mixture, pressing the flour into the chicken to cover all nooks and crannies. Ensure each piece is thoroughly coated.
  10. Place the coated chicken on a wire rack to rest for about 15 minutes. This helps the coating adhere better and results in a crispier crust.
  11. Select a high smoke point oil, such as vegetable, canola, or peanut oil.
  12. In a large cast iron Dutch oven, heat the oil to 375°F (190°C). Use a deep-fry thermometer to monitor the temperature.
  13. Drop a small bit of the flour mixture into the oil. If it sizzles and rises to the surface, the oil is ready.
  14. Carefully place a few pieces of chicken into the hot oil, frying in batches to avoid overcrowding. This ensures even cooking and prevents the oil temperature from dropping too much.
  15. Keep an eye on the oil temperature, adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain a steady 375°F (190°C).
  16. Fry the chicken for 2 minutes on each side, then remove and let rest on a clean wire rack. This initial fry helps set the coating and partially cooks the chicken.
  17. Ensure the oil is back up to 375°F (190°C) before starting the second fry.
  18. Return the partially cooked chicken to the hot oil. Fry for an additional 3-4 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F (74°C) and the coating is extra crispy.
  19. Remove the chicken from the oil and let it drain on a wire rack.
  20. Allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes before serving. This helps the juices redistribute and keeps the meat moist.
  21. Serve your fried chicken with classic sides like coleslaw, mashed potatoes, biscuits, or cornbread.
  22. Dig in and savor the crispy exterior and juicy interior of your homemade fried chicken!

Hey family,

My name is Aaron Brown. You can call me “A.B.”

My mission is to help you level up the process of making your favorite mealswith my video tutorials and recipe guides,plus my tried-and-true spices, cookware, and more that make every meal special.

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