This fried chicken is extra crispy and delicious because it’s double dredged and seasoned with lots of spices! And when you're looking for the best fried chicken, nothing beats the taste of buttermilk fried chicken, crisped up to perfection!
Fried Chicken Never Tasted So Good
When I was a kid, I used to just love the huge trays of fried chicken my parents and I would pick up on our way home from church, when we would invite company over for lunch.
I'd already be absolutely starving by the time church services would let out around noon. So when we'd stop at my parent's favorite fried chicken place to pick up their phoned-in order for a ginormous quantity of crispy, buttermilk fried chicken, I would plead with my mom and dad to let me take just one little piece out of that foil-wrapped tray to nibble on for the drive home, and they pretty much always obliged.
Actually, if memory serves me correctly, my dad would often join me in that little snack, and it would tie us both over nicely until we got home and set up for our lunch guests! 😉
Peppery and crispy, there was nothing like that fried chicken; and frankly, it made inviting company over to the house a real treat!
It is because of those wonderful memories that I developed my own finger-licking fried chicken recipe. Now, I'm able to whip up this treat anytime the craving for it hits!
How to Make Fried Chicken
When chicken is seasoned and then marinated for anywhere from 4-12 hours in buttermilk (even overnight for extra flavor), this makes for super juicy fried chicken. Buttermilk fried chicken is more tender and infused with a bit of extra flavor!
And the secret to making fried chicken extra crispy and delicious is double dredging.
For my recipe, I like to dredge the chicken pieces in buttermilk and flour a couple of times; because it creates an extra layer of crust, which when fried, creates extra crunch and flavor. It also seals in those juices!
Here's what I do to make the best fried chicken (you can jump to my full recipe here):
- First, I season my chicken with a variety of delicious spices and seasonings; and with the chicken in buttermilk, I allow it to marinate ideally over night (or at least 4 hours).
- Next, I double-dredge my chicken. Believe me when I tell you the double-dredge is what takes fried chicken from good to the best!
- Then, I fry the chicken in batches—it helps to make sure it's cooked through and extra crispy.
Let me tell you, there's nothing quite like homemade, freshly prepared, fried chicken—it's just one of those simple culinary pleasures!
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: 8 pieces
Nutrition Info: 320 calories (per piece)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
• 1 fryer chicken, cut-up into 8 pieces
• 2 tablespoons salt, divided use
• 1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper, divided use
• 1 tablespoon granulated garlic, divided use
• 1 tablespoon onion powder, divided use
• 1 tablespoon paprika, divided use
• 1 tablespoon smoked paprika, divided use
• 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning, divided use
• ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, divided use
• ½ teaspoon white pepper, divided use
• 4 cups buttermilk
• 4 cups flour
• Peanut or vegetable oil, for frying
- Place the chicken pieces into a large bowl, and add 1 tablespoon of the salt and ½ tablespoon each of the black pepper, granulated garlic, onion powder, paprika, smoked paprika and Italian seasoning, plus ¼ teaspoon of the cayenne pepper and ¼ teaspoon of the white pepper; rub these spices and seasonings into the chicken, and allow this to sit for about 5 minutes.
- Next, add the buttermilk to cover the seasoned chicken, and allow the chicken to marinate in it for anywhere from 12 hours to overnight (ideally), or at least 4 hours.
- To prepare the chicken for dredging: prepare two baking sheets lined with foil, each with a wire rack set over top; add the flour into a large bowl, then add to it the remaining 1 tablespoon of salt and the remaining ½ tablespoon each of the black pepper, granulated garlic, onion powder, paprika, smoked paprika and Italian seasoning, plus the remaining ¼ teaspoon of the cayenne pepper and the remaining ¼ teaspoon of white pepper, then whisk to combine.
- Remove the chicken pieces from the buttermilk, and place them onto one of the wire racks to allow the excess buttermilk to drip off; then, dredge each piece of chicken in the seasoned flour, and place onto the other wire rack, repeating the process until all pieces are flour-dredged.
- Then, go back and re-dip the chicken pieces into the buttermilk, allowing the excess to drip off, and then one again add back into the seasoned flour, pressing the chicken pieces into the flour and coating a second time, and placing them back onto the second wire rack; repeat until all pieces are double-dredged, keeping the pieces on the wire rack while you heat the oil.
- Add enough oil to a large pot or a large, deep, cast-iron skillet to come up about half way (do not fill more than that), and bring the temperature of the oil up to 360°.
- Once the oil is hot, fry the chicken pieces in batches of two or three, turning once or twice, until golden brown and cooked through, about 8-10 minutes for white meat, and 13-14 minutes for dark.
- Remove and drain on a clean wire rack set over a paper towel or foil-lined baking sheet to catch any grease/drippings; serve while hot, or enjoy cold!
Tips & Tidbits for Fried Chicken:
- Choose “fryer” chicken for frying: You can certainly use any size chicken pieces for frying, but a “fryer” chicken is a bit smaller, and easier to fry. If the pieces are too big, it can be tougher to ensure that the meat is cooked through before the coating gets too dark, and the fryer chicken's slightly smaller pieces make for quicker cooking and easier handling.
- Seasoning the chicken and the flour: Giving the chicken pieces a good rub in a generous mixture of herbs and spices before pouring over the buttermilk will provide lots of additional flavor for the meat. Adding the same herbs and spices to the flour will also give an extra layer of flavor in that outer coating.
- Marinate for at least 4 hours: It's best to allow at least 4 hours of marination in the seasoning/buttermilk before dredging and frying the chicken pieces. This provides a bit of tenderization and extra flavor. You can even marinate overnight for better results!
- Double-dredging for extra crispy-ness: When you double dredge, you're basically giving the chicken pieces a double layer of coating. It's important to allow as much of the excess buttermilk to drip off the pieces first before dredging in your seasoned flour to allow it to stick better, and then repeat that process once more for the second coating.
- Hold the fried pieces in a warm oven: In order to keep the fried chicken pieces nice and warm, I'll usually place a baking sheet with a wire rack in a warm oven (around 220°) and place the cooked pieces there to hold nice and hot until all the chicken is fried.
- Reheating fried chicken, or eating it cold: When it comes to reheating fried chicken, the best bet is to use a toaster oven set to 350-400°, and reheat the chicken on a little tray for about 15-20 minutes. You can also reheat the chicken until crisp in a standard oven at 350° for about 10-15 minutes, or even enjoy it cold!
Cook's Note: This recipe was originally published in 2013, and has been updated with even more love!