Crispy Fried Chicken

Apr 18, 2023 | Main Course, Poultry, Recipes

Prep Time: 15 mins       Cook Time: 35 mins      Additional Time: 30 mins      Total Time: 1 hrs 20 mins      Servings: 8


Over the years, I tried a lot of different recipes to find the best crispy fried chicken. It’s here! I’ve heard a few hints in passing over the years. The method of preparation and cooking is more important!


This is the only crispy fried chicken recipe you’ll ever need. Why? It combines all the tried-and-true tricks to ensure the juiciest, most flavorful, crispiest chicken every time.


What Makes This Fried Chicken So Crispy?

There are a few reasons this crispy fried chicken works so well:

· Allowing the buttermilk-flour mixture to come to a paste-like consistency is key to a crispiness on the outside and juiciness on the inside.
· Most fried chicken is cooked at a high temperature throughout the frying process. This one, however, only starts at a very high heat — after browning, the heat is reduced for about 30 minutes. You’ll turn up the temperature again at the end, locking in that crispy texture.
· Paprika adds smoky flavor and has a low smoke point, which helps with browning the chicken.


Crispy Fried Chicken Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make the best, crispiest fried chicken of your life:

Chicken – Cut a four-pound whole chicken into pieces or purchase four pounds of breasts, drumsticks, wings, legs, and/or thighs at the grocery store.

Buttermilk –  Acidic buttermilk tenderizes the chicken without making it too tough. Also, it helps the flour mixture stick to the chicken.

Flour – All-purpose flour gives the buttermilk and seasonings something to stick to, while ensuring a wonderfully crispy crust.

Seasonings – This crispy fried chicken recipe calls for paprika (which helps with browning), salt, and pepper. You can add more spices and seasonings to taste.

Oil- Vegetable oil is perfect for frying chicken because it has a high smoke point.


How to Make Crispy Fried Chicken?

You’ll find the step-by-step recipe below, but here’s a brief overview of what you can expect when you make this crispy fried chicken:

Make the Breading

Combine the flour, paprika, salt, and pepper in a zip-top bag. Seal the bag and shake until well-combined.

Dredge the Chicken

Pour buttermilk into a shallow bowl, then dip the chicken (on both sides) until it’s completely soaked in buttermilk. Place the soaked chicken in the bag with flour mixture, seal, and shake well to coat. Transfer the coated chicken to a baking sheet, and cover. Allow the flour coating to become a paste-like consistency.

Fry the Chicken

Pour the oil in a skillet and bring it to high heat. Brown the chicken on both sides, then reduce the heat, cover the skillet, and cook for about 30 minutes. Remove the cover, return the heat to high, and fry until extra crispy. Drain the chicken on paper towels.


How to Store Fried Chicken

Let the fried chicken cool before storage to prevent bacteria growth. Place it in a shallow airtight container or wrap it tightly in aluminum foil, then refrigerate for up to four days. Reheat in the microwave or in the oven.


How to Store Fried Chicken

Let the fried chicken cool before storage to prevent bacteria growth. Place it in a shallow airtight container or wrap it tightly in aluminum foil, then refrigerate for up to four days. Reheat in the microwave or in the oven.



1 (4 pound) chicken, cut into pieces

1 cup buttermilk

2 cups all-purpose flour for coating

1 teaspoon paprika

salt and pepper to taste

2 quarts vegetable oil for frying



Take your cut up chicken pieces and skin them if you prefer.

Put the flour in a large plastic bag (let the amount of chicken you are cooking dictate the amount of flour you use). Season the flour with paprika, salt and pepper to taste (paprika helps to brown the chicken).

Overhead of a flour mixture in a releasable plastic bag.

Dip chicken pieces in buttermilk then, a few at a time, put them in the bag with the flour, seal the bag and shake to coat well.

Overhead of chicken being dipped in a buttermilk mixture and placed in a resealable plastic bag with a flour mixture.

Place the coated chicken on a cookie sheet or tray, and cover with a clean dish towel or waxed paper. LET SIT UNTIL THE FLOUR IS OF A PASTE-LIKE CONSISTENCY. THIS IS CRUCIAL!

Overhead of floured covered chicken pieces resting on a baking dish.

Fill a large skillet (cast iron is best) about 1/3 to 1/2 full with vegetable oil. Heat until VERY hot.

Put in as many chicken pieces as the skillet can hold. Brown the chicken in HOT oil on both sides.

Overhead of chicken cooking in a cast iron filled with boiling oil.

When browned, reduce heat and cover skillet; let cook for 30 minutes (the chicken will be cooked through but not crispy). Remove cover, raise heat again, and continue to fry until crispy.

Drain the fried chicken on paper towels. Depending on how much chicken you have, you may have to fry in a few shifts. Keep the finished chicken in a slightly warm oven while preparing the rest.


Editor’s Note:

We have determined the nutritional value of oil for frying based on a retention value of 10% after cooking. The exact amount may vary depending on cook time and temperature, ingredient density, and the specific type of oil used.


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