Crispy Fried Chicken Recipe

There's really nothing more delicious than crispy fried chicken. And no, we're not talking about fried chicken that takes "healthy" shortcuts with an air fryer — we're talking about classic, no-frills, deep-fried chicken that turns out juicy, tender, and full of flavor. Recipe developer Ting Dalton is a pretty big fried chicken fan herself, which is why she crafted this recipe that perfectly balances simplicity with deep-fried goodness.

"I love this recipe because I get to have crispy fried chicken at home without having to buy it from a takeout," Dalton explains. "It's definitely a treat — but well worth the effort. It tastes amazing, too." While many home chefs are intimidated by the idea of frying food in their kitchen, it's actually an easier task than it initially seems. As long as you bring the oil to the right temperature — and keep it there — then you can easily (and safely!) fry up some chicken that will leave KFC shaking in its boots. 

Gather the ingredients for crispy fried chicken

To make fried chicken, you'll of course need some chicken — Dalton uses a mix of skin-on thighs and drumsticks. And, it wouldn't be fried chicken without the deliciously crispy skin, for which you'll need buttermilk, pepper, salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, turmeric, dried oregano, all-purpose flour, and cornstarch. Finally, to achieve the "fried" part of this recipe, you'll need some sunflower oil for frying. There is some room for improvisation here — Dalton notes that "you could use chili flakes instead of cayenne pepper," or "add celery salt to the spice mix for some extra flavor," and sub Italian seasoning for the oregano. 

While this recipe is pretty standard, there is one ingredient that sticks out: turmeric. "I think the turmeric adds an extra layer of flavor," Dalton explains, adding that it also "helps the color of [the] coating become golden." Is there any sight more beautiful than perfectly-golden fried chicken skin?

Let the chicken marinate in buttermilk

Like any great fried chicken recipe, this one starts out with soaking the chicken in buttermilk. In a large bowl, combine the buttermilk, salt, and pepper, then add all of the chicken pieces. Mix it all up and ensure that each piece of chicken is evenly coated in the buttermilk. Cover the bowl, and allow the chicken to marinate for 3-4 hours. 

Mix together the seasoning blend and dredge the chicken

As the marinating time nears an end, grab a large bowl and add the flour, cornstarch, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, turmeric, and oregano. Stir these ingredients together until they're thoroughly combined. Alternatively, you can add the flour, cornstarch, and seasonings to a large plastic bag and shake it up to combine.

Now, grab a piece of chicken from the buttermilk mixture, and be sure to shake off the excess buttermilk. Dunk the chicken into the seasoned flour, ensuring that it's fully coated, then dunk it back into the buttermilk. Remove it, shaking off excess buttermilk once again, then dip it into the seasoned flour once more. Put the piece of chicken to the side, and repeat this process with each of the remaining pieces. 

Fry the chicken

In a large pot, heat the oil to 350 F. To ensure safe frying, keep the oil around this temperature for the entire cooking process — you may have to adjust the heat on your stovetop accordingly. 

Now, add in the coated chicken pieces, 3-4 at a time. Allow the chicken to cook for 12 minutes total, and flip each piece halfway through the cooking time. This recipe yields 8 pieces of chicken, so you'll have to do 2-3 batches. When the chicken is done frying, place each piece onto a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.

Serve your crispy fried chicken

It's best to serve this chicken when it's freshly fried and hot, so once you finish cooking, you're ready to serve and enjoy. Dalton notes that this chicken would go "great with a cold beer," or paired with fries, mashed potatoes, or corn on the cob. If you happen to have leftovers, you can keep them in the fridge, covered, for up to 3 days. When you're ready to reheat, pop the chicken into a 300 F oven for 10-15 minutes, which will help revive the delicious crispiness. 

Crispy Fried Chicken Recipe
5 from 39 ratings
When it comes to comfort food, it's hard to beat fried chicken, and it may surprise you, but it's easy to make crispy fried chicken. Just follow this recipe.
Prep Time
Cook Time
fried chicken on cooling rack
Total time: 34 minutes
  • 2 pounds chicken thighs and drumsticks, skin-on
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup of cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • sunflower oil for frying
  1. In a large bowl, combine the buttermilk, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken thighs and drumsticks and combine well. Cover and leave to marinate for 3-4 hours.
  2. When you're ready to cook, get a large shallow bowl or large freezer bag, and add the flour, cornstarch, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, turmeric, and oregano. Stir to combine well, or shake the bag until combined.
  3. Take a piece of chicken, shake off the excess buttermilk, then dip it into the seasoned flour and make sure all the chicken is covered well. Dip again in any reserved buttermilk and dredge again in the flour. Put it aside and repeat with the remaining chicken.
  4. In a large pot, heat roughly a quart of oil to 350 F. Add 3-4 pieces of dredged chicken into the oil, and fry each piece for 12 minutes, turning about halfway through. Repeat the process until all of the chicken is cooked.
  5. Place the cooked chicken on paper towels to drain any excess oil. Serve hot.
Calories per Serving 905
Total Fat 73.6 g
Saturated Fat 13.9 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 217.3 mg
Total Carbohydrates 17.6 g
Dietary Fiber 0.8 g
Total Sugars 2.4 g
Sodium 592.3 mg
Protein 41.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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