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Southern Fried Chicken is classic comfort food that comes out perfectly every time! This chicken is crispy on the outside, juicy, and tender on the inside.

Close up of stacked Southern Fried Chicken on plate.

This southern fried chicken is a thing dreams are made of. Crispy on the outside, juicy and tender on the inside, the perfect chicken recipe.

Me being I added a little something-something to the mix to make this chicken dinner (or lunch or snack, I don’t judge) over the top!

If you are new to Fried Chicken, this recipe is super easy to make and requires minimal ingredients so it is pretty much foolproof and I’ll walk you for the steps below. And this is GOOD fried chicken.

This is one of those recipes that you will want to make for your family Sunday dinners time and time again and serve with all your favorite side dishes, which are so so many (I love to serve with potato salad, green beans, corn, collard greens, sweet tea, and some good biscuits)!

Southern Fried Chicken is in my bones at this point as we have lived in the south so long that I do know everyone has their own variations but this one is mine and we loooove it and everyone asks us to make it.

Some of my other favorite chicken recipes that we have on our site include: Ritz Cracker Chicken, Parmesan Chicken Wings, and Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Tenders.

Overhead of Southern Fried Chicken stacked on paper bag paper.

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS:

  1. Minimal and readily available ingredients help this come together easily!
  2. We use a whole chicken for this, but you can use your favorite chicken pieces- all chicken breasts, chicken thighs, or a mix of your favorite parts.
  3. Double this recipe to serve more people.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED (SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST FOR THE FULL RECIPE CARD):

  • Eggs
  • Water
  • Buffalo sauce or hot sauce
  • Whole chicken cut up into parts (or 8 pieces of your favorite parts)
  • Kosher salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Self-rising flour
  • Peanut oil for frying
Ingredients needed to make Southern Fried Chicken.

HOW TO MAKE SOUTHERN FRIED CHICKEN:

  1. Preheat oil temperature to 350°F. I used a deep fryer, you can also use a heavy-bottomed skillet or dutch oven with at least 3 inches of oil up the sides of the pan. DO NOT OVERFILL YOUR PAN.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, water, and buffalo sauce. Set aside.
  3. Season chicken on all sides with salt, 5 cracks of pepper, garlic, and onion powders. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, mix the flour and remaining pepper together. Set aside.
  5. When the oil is heated, take the chicken piece by piece and dip it in the egg mixture. 
  6. Let any excess egg fall off. Place chicken in the flour mixture and coat on all sides. Shaking off any excess flour.
  7. Slowly and carefully place the chicken in the hot oil, do not overcrowd the pan. You will need to do this in batches. Dark meat takes 13-14 minutes, white meat takes 8-10 minutes. If needed, turn the chicken halfway through for an even golden brown. Chicken is done when internal temperature reaches 165°F degrees you will have a crispy crust and juicy meat.
  8. Place cooked chicken on a sheet tray topped with a wire rack, this will help keep the chicken crisp and not absorb excess oil. Sprinkle a little more kosher salt on top right out of the oil. Serve warm.
Step by step photos on how to make Southern Fried Chicken.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS RECIPE:

WHAT IS SOUTHERN FRIED CHICKEN?

Whole, bone-in pieces of chicken that are dipped in a wet mixture, such as beaten eggs and water. Then, dipped in seasoned flour, normally self-rising flour to get a thicker crust.

The chicken is then deep-fried until golden brown and delicious.

WHAT TYPE OF FLOUR IS BEST FOR THIS RECIPE?

I like to use self-rising flour for fried chicken because it will automatically puff up a little and be extra crispy.

You can also use regular flour with a little baking soda and baking powder mixed in. For my fried homemade chicken tenders, I use a ratio of 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda.

You can also use cornstarch, equal parts cornstarch to all-purpose flour or self-rising flour make for a very crispy exterior as well. To see how I use cornstarch in batter, check out my sweet and sour chicken recipe!

HOW DO YOU GET THE PERFECT CRUST ON FRIED CHICKEN?

To me, it’s all about the sticky items you dip the chicken in before dredging the chicken in flour.

If you just put a piece of chicken into plain flour and place it into the hot oil, it is not going to result in a classic Southern Fried Chicken exterior.

It will have a very thick coating on the outside and may not get very crispy. The whole purpose of fried chicken!

The mixture of eggs, water, and buffalo sauce are what really makes the perfect crust on fried chicken. Dipped in this first, and then placed into the flour makes a lot of flour stick to the outside, resulting in that classic fried chicken crunch!

WHAT OIL SHOULD I USE?

I prefer to use peanut oil for deep frying chicken. A couple reasons why:

  • The smell, peanut oil does not produce that horrible hot oil smell that can linger for DAYS in your house. Some smell is produced, but nothing like other oils I have used.
  • It has a very high smoke point, perfect for frying chicken.
  • It has a very clean taste and doesn’t leave the chicken tasting greasy.

Other oils you can use are canola oil, vegetable oil, or corn oil.

Hand holding up a piece of chicken.

DANA’S TIPS AND TRICKS:

  • I ALWAYS recommend reading through the recipe in full a couple times before starting. That way you know exactly what to expect and you aren’t running around like crazy.
  • Gather all your ingredients before cooking. Believe me, I have forgotten to add an item here or there in my cooking adventures before because of this.
  • I can get that this recipe can be a little daunting, especially if you are frying for the first time. That is why I love using a deep fryer but for this recipe we made it in a pan on the stove, since it has a lid you can just drop the chicken, add the lid and you don’t have to worry about splatters.
  • When dropping any kind of food into the hot oil, you have to be careful. I have seen thousands of times people are scared of the oil and drop food into it from high above, what do you think will happen? That is going to create waves and splatter everywhere. Yes, the oil is hot but it’s not going to jump up and bite you, carefully place the item into the oil, just make sure your fingers don’t hit the oil. It’s that simple. Especially with larger pieces like southern fried chicken, place the piece of chicken into the oil away from you.
  • Once the chicken is done frying, blot off any excess oil and then place it directly on to a wire rack over a baking sheet. This will ensure the chicken stays crispy all over. DO NOT PLACE IT ON PAPER TOWELS AND JUST LEAVE IT THERE. The chicken will then steam and the bottom of it will become soggy.
  • Use your favorite chicken pieces, we use a whole cut up chicken for this recipe.
  • Easily double this recipe to serve more people.

HOW TO STORE:

Once the chicken is cooked and you have leftovers, allow them to cool completely. Place uneaten pieces into an airtight container and place into the refrigerator, eat within 3 days.

To freeze wrap the cooled pieces in heavy-duty aluminum foil and place in a zippered freezer bag. It will keep in the freezer for 2-3 months. However, I do not personally recommend freezing any leftover fried chicken as it may affect the crispy exterior.

To defrost, remove to the refrigerator overnight.

Stacked Southern Fried Chicken on plate with bite taken out of a piece.

Love fried chicken or chicken in general? Then you absolutely have to try your hand at making this Southern Fried Chicken; it is LITERALLY the best fried chicken!

If you’ve tried this SOUTHERN FRIED CHICKEN, let me know in the comments how it turned out! You can follow me over on PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM OR FACEBOOK to find some more of our mouthwatering recipes!

This Silly Girls Kitchen Logo
4.97 from 30 votes

Southern Fried Chicken

Author Dana at ThisSillyGirlsKitchen.com
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 14 minutes
Total: 24 minutes
Southern Fried Chicken, classic comfort food that comes out perfectly every time! This chicken is crispy on the outside, juicy and tender on the inside.
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients
  

Instructions

  • Preheat oil temperature to 350°F. I used a deep fryer, you can also use a heavy-bottomed skillet or dutch oven with at least 3 inches of oil up the sides of the pan. DO NOT OVERFILL YOUR PAN.
    Peanut oil for frying
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, water, and buffalo sauce. Set aside.
    3 eggs, ⅓ cup water, ¼ cup buffalo sauce
  • Season chicken on all sides with salt, 5 cracks of pepper, garlic, and onion powders. Set aside.
    1 whole chicken cut up into parts, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 25 cracks black pepper divided, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • In a large bowl, mix the flour and remaining pepper together. Set aside.
    2 cups self-rising flour
  • When the oil is heated, take the chicken piece by piece and dip it in the egg mixture.
  • Let any excess egg fall off. Place chicken in the flour mixture and coat on all sides. Shaking off any excess flour.
  • Slowly and carefully place the chicken in the hot oil, do not overcrowd the pan. You will need to do this in batches. Dark meat takes 13-14 minutes, white meat takes 8-10 minutes. If needed, turn the chicken halfway through for an even golden brown. Chicken is done when internal temperature reaches 165°F degrees you will have a crispy crust and juicy meat.
  • Place cooked chicken on a sheet tray topped with a wire rack, this will help keep the chicken crisp and not absorb excess oil. Sprinkle a little more kosher salt on top right out of the oil. Serve warm.

Notes

  1. I ALWAYS recommend reading through the recipe in full a couple times before starting. That way you know exactly what to expect and you aren’t running around like crazy.
  2. Gather all your ingredients before cooking. Believe me, I have forgotten to add an item here or there in my cooking adventures before because of this. 
  3. I can get that this recipe can be a little daunting, especially if you are frying for the first time. That is why I love using a deep fryer but for this recipe we made it in a pan on the stove, since it has a lid you can just drop the chicken, add the lid and you don’t have to worry about splatters.
  4. When dropping any kind of food into the hot oil, you have to be careful. I have seen thousands of times people are scared of the oil and drop food into it from high above, what do you think will happen? That is going to create waves and splatter everywhere. Yes, the oil is hot but it’s not going to jump up and bite you, carefully place the item into the oil, just make sure your fingers don’t hit the oil. It’s that simple. Especially with larger pieces like southern fried chicken, place the piece of chicken into the oil away from you.
  5. Once the chicken is done frying, blot off any excess oil and then place it directly on to a wire rack. This will ensure the chicken stays crispy all over. DO NOT PLACE IT ONTO PAPER TOWEL LINED PLATE AND JUST LEAVE IT THERE. The chicken will then steam and the bottom of it will become soggy.
  6. Use your favorite chicken pieces, we use a whole cut up chicken for this recipe.
  7. Easily double this recipe to serve more people.

Nutrition

Calories: 342kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 133mg | Sodium: 612mg | Potassium: 238mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 223IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutrition Disclaimer
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Southern

Love This Recipe?

Follow @ThisSillyGirlsKitchen on Instagram and @danadevolk on Pinterest for more!

Originally posted July 2018

Updated with post text August 2023

4.97 from 30 votes (28 ratings without comment)

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4 Comments

  1. Reading some of my favorite blogs this week I’m seeing how Irma affected people differently. Glad to hear your family made it through. I have a lot of friends down in Florida and even though I’m up in Ohio I spent the majority of that weekend glued to social media and YouTube for updates. Thankfully they all made it through safely.

    I’ve been looking for a new Fried Chicken Recipe. This sounds amazing. I am looking forward to trying it sometime soon.

  2. Thanks so much Crystal! It means a lot that you took the time out to write a nice comment. I hope all your friends are safe too!

  3. 5 stars
    I am recent fan of Southern Fried Chicken and this is definitely comfort food – and after what you all went through definitely deserved!!!

  4. 5 stars
    I’ve never even attempted to make fried chicken and, I’ll admit, I wasn’t too optimistic. This was amazing!!! My family loved it (and I have picky eaters). I will definitely be making this again!

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