Perfectly Crispy Fried Chicken

Story by Natalie
Perfectly Crispy Fried Chicken
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Fried Chicken. You read it right….fried chicken. Don’t turn your nose up on me. I know that each and everyone of you has a weak spot for the succulent fowl wrapped in golden, crispy skin. I know you’ve lurked at the church potluck table, rolling your eyes in disgrace at the person who shamefully brought the 15 piece bucket to contribute to the spread. I also know that secretly you (and I) are always relieved to see it and always take one for the team and eat a piece...or two or three, because it’s fried chicken and let’s be honest, when it comes to white meat it has no competition. None. Not any. Yeah, I'm pretty sure we’re on the same page here.


...show-up everyone and bring fried chicken, from scratch, made by you...

Perfectly Crispy Fried Chicken

I must confess that I love fried chicken so much that two years ago I set out to master the classic dish. A dangerous feat I’ll admit, but one I conquered with pride. Served alongside some hearty heaps of coleslaw, mac and cheese, cornbread and honey, my husband will tell you it was his favorite meal that has ever come out of our kitchen. It was a highlight of my culinary journey for sure, and the way I see it there are only two things holding you back from making this American classics one your victories as well: 1. You’re health conscious. 2. Intimidation. Do me a favor and get over number one for the sake of a good meal and I’ll help you get over number two. Deal? Cool.

Perfectly Crispy Fried Chicken

I’ll let you in on a little secret...it’s really hard to screw up, unless you don’t have the right tools. You’ll need a thermometer to get your frying oil the proper temperature, a good amount of oil (we used canola, but peanut is acceptable as well), and very importantly, a good heavy bottom, indestructible, easy to clean stock pot. We went with a 6 qt Calphalon pot that we recently got as part of a complete set for a steal from our local Kroger store, Fred Meyer. Did I mention the words easy to clean? This is key. Not any old stock pot will do. (You’ll thank me for this warning later when you’re cleaning up from your southern fried chicken feast.)

Once you’ve got the proper tools in place, the method is fairly simple. Be sure to diligently watch the oil temp and timer to make sure you don’t over cook that glorious skin and undercook your bird. If you can nail that, the rest is as easy as following a simple recipe, and this straightforward, but oh so tasty one I'm sharing will take you the rest of the way. Now next time you’re asked to bring food to a picnic or a party (or church potluck) show-up everyone and bring fried chicken, from scratch, made by you! Or, be like me and stay home with a batch all for yourself with some great southern sides and a tall, frosty beer. Because as much as I love a good party, some things are too good to share.

Perfectly Crispy Fried Chicken

This post was sponsored by Kroger. All opinions are our own. Thank you for supporting the brands that we love. 

Perfectly Crispy Fried Chicken

Serves 6

Dry Mixture

3 1/2 cups flour
2 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper

Wet Batter

2 eggs
1 3/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients

2 quarts oil for frying (vegetable, canola or peanut)
4 lbs bone in, skin on, chicken thighs and drumsticks
extra salt and pepper for seasoning chicken

Method

  1. Using a small whisk or fork, mix together the flour, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper in a large shallow bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, make the batter by mixing the eggs first with the buttermilk. Add to the buttermilk mixture the flour, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.
  3. Heat the oil in a large 6 quart heavy pot set over medium high heat until deep fry thermometer reaches 325°F. Plan on frying three pieces of chicken at a time. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dip each piece into the wet batter, holding it above the bowl to let excess batter drip off, place into bowl of dry flour mix, rolling to coat it on all sides. Carefully place each piece into the hot oil.   
  4. Fry chicken for 12-18 minutes (times vary depending on size of chicken pieces) until deep golden brown and the meat registers 175°F (160°F if using chicken breast). Adjust oil temperature after each batch of chicken.
  5. To ensure your chicken stays crispy, never cool on a paper towel. Instead, place the chicken on a wire rack set over a cookie sheet to drain.