How To Make Fried Chicken

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Fried chicken is as varied as the people and cultures that make it. What I am presenting to you would be southern fried chicken or buttermilk fried chicken. There are several ways to accomplish this recipe. Obviously, the way that I am making it. Alternatively, you can batter and deep fry it or you could bread it and deep fry it. They all work equally well. I chose to shallow fry because I didn't have enough peanut oil to deep fry, no other reason.

One Of The Best Fried Chicken Recipes Ever

Fried chicken on a plate.How to make fried chicken!

If you want to learn how to make fried chicken the best fried chicken recipe is brined buttermilk fried chicken. First the brine pulls in flavor and moisture that remains after the brining process. The buttermilk helps to tenderize the chicken because the acid begins breaking down the fibers.  The result is an incredibly moist, tender, and flavorful fried chicken.

I am aware that many of my recipes require an enormous effort to plan and execute. Particularly the planning required to use these methods that take literally days. But I am telling you my fried chicken and for that matter my chicken in general, comes out extremely moist and tender every time. Not only does it come out flavorful, moist and tender but it stays that way, even the leftover chicken is still moist and tender the next day. The secret is brining, and in the case of fried chicken marinating also. While I did stress that this recipe requires planning and time it is actually an easy fried chicken recipe.

Back in my chef days I was the executive sous chef at a place in NY. One night I told the chef I wanted to do fried chicken as a special. He looked at me and said he didn't want to do fried chicken because the only way to make good fried chicken is to use a pressure fryer, and we didn't have one.

Back then, I didn't really brine, so I never really gave it much thought. After I tasted this chicken I remembered that conversation and it brought a smile to my face. I wonder what Johnny would say if he tasted my fried chicken?

Ingredients for fried chicken: flour in a pan, egg mixture in a bowl, and chicken on a rack.

The first steps when you want to learn how to make fried chicken, or anything culinary, is mise en place, mise en place, mise en place! Flour in a pan, egg mixture in a bowl, and chicken on a rack.

Dredging chicken breasts in flour.

Dredging the chicken in the flour.

Chicken breasts shallow frying in a saute pan.

Shallow frying the chicken breasts and tenders.

Fried chicken on a plate.

Notice the wing on the left. It is not breaded. You can bread it but you need to remove the skin if you do. Since I don't remove the skin from the wing I don't bread them. I just fry them and coat them in pepper sauce.

That way you get a twofer fried chicken and hot wings.

How To Make Fried Chicken That Is Moist Tender And Flavorful

  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Prep Time: 2 hours over 3-days
  • Cook Time:15 minutes


  • 1 whole chicken, cut up - See butchering a chicken
  • 1 recipe brine for poultry
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • flour to coat twice, about 2 cups
  • 3 eggs
  • Breadcrumbs to coat, about 1/2 cup - optional
  • Peanut oil for shallow frying, about a 1/2 cup


  1. Prepare the brine the night before.
  2. The next morning remove the chicken from the packaging. Set aside any giblets. Breakdown the chicken into 2 breasts, 2 wings, 2 thighs, and 2 legs.
  3. Add the chicken pieces to the brine. If you like you can add the giblets to the brine as well. Alternatively, if you aren't going to eat them, you can boil them and cut them up and mix them into your dog's food. You can save the liquid broth and add it to your stock pot or use it to make a pan sauce, or sauce your dog's food.
  4. Allow the chicken to brine for at least 24-hours. When the chicken is ready remove it from the brine and discard the brine. Rinse the pieces thoroughly under running water.
  5. Add the chicken to a 4-quart non-reactive pot or mixing bowl and pour the buttermilk over the chicken. Rest in refrigerator for 24 hours.
  6. When the chicken is ready remove it from the buttermilk and wipe the excess milk off. Allow it to rest for 30 minutes on a rack over a sheet pan. Reserve about 2 tablespoons of the buttermilk.
  7. Preheat oven to 150 degrees.
  8. Meanwhile prepare your breading station. Add the flour to a loaf pan.
  9. Add the eggs to a pie pan or bowl, along with the reserved buttermilk, and whisk or scramble with a fork.
  10. Set a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil to between 1/4 and 1/2 inch deep in the pan. Allow the oil to get to 355 degrees.
  11. Bread the chicken by coating it in flour, patting it to knock off any excess, coating it in the egg mixture, and then back into the flour. Alternatively, flour all of the chicken and set it on a rack. Then add the breadcrumbs to the flour and mix it well. Then proceed by coating in egg and back in the flour breadcrumb mix.
  12. Place the chicken in the hot oil and cook until it is golden brown. Turn it and cook the other side until golden brown and crisp. Hold in a warm oven on a rack set over a sheet pan. Continue until all of the chicken is cooked.


  1. The reason you remove the skin on fried chicken is because the breading is going to coat it. When you fry it the skin will cook but it doesn't get crisp. It becomes a layer of unpleasant fat between the breading and the meat.
  2. The optional breadcrumbs are there to add a little texture to the breading, that's it.