Southern Fried Chicken

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If burgers are America’s favorite cookout food, then fried chicken is America’s favorite food for dinner. 

And there’s nothing more finger-licking good than Southern fried chicken!

Southern Fried Chicken

What is Southern fried chicken?

Southern fried chicken is a Southern American dish consisting of chicken pieces (often from the chicken breast, thigh, leg, or wing) that are battered, pan-fried, or deep-fried. 

As the name suggests, traditional Southern fried chicken is battered in flour and deep fried in oil to yield chicken with a crispy, crunchy, and flavorful outside, with tender, juicy meat on the inside!

Do you leave the skin on for Southern fried chicken?

Do you leave the skin on for Southern fried chicken?

Its uniqueness is that the chicken is deep-fried to deliver an unbelievably flavorful and crunchy skin. 

The perfect chicken recipe for Sunday dinners and all holidays where you are hosting. 

And the best Southern fried chicken is always homecooked from scratch! 

What makes something Southern fried?

Why is it Southern fried chicken?

Southern fried chicken is a quintessential Southern dish. 

The fried chicken recipes in this post set the standard for Southern fried chicken because of the soul food seasonings and spices.

Southern fried because the crispy outer skin is just as flavorful as the inside tender, juicy chicken.

Who invented Southern fried chicken?

Who invented Southern fried chicken?

It’s no secret that Southern fried chicken is a recipe that Black people created and perfected!

There’s no denying that chicken with a balance of tender meat on the inside and crispy skin seasoned to perfection on the outside is a recipe for success and a signature soul food dish!

What is the difference between fried chicken and Southern fried chicken?

The difference has everything to do with the fried chicken spices, seasoning, and flavor!

How do you fry chicken?

Each piece of chicken goes through a three-step Southern fried chicken batter, dredging the chicken in a seasoned flour mix, a buttermilk mixture, and then again in flour for the perfect fried chicken crunch. 

Then place the coated chicken into the hot oil and fry until the chicken batter turns golden brown.

How To Fry Chicken
How do you make fried chicken from scratch? 
Cooking perfectly fried chicken with extra crispy skin is not as hard as it seems. 
Use these step-by-step how to fry chicken instructions to cook the most delicious fried chicken from scratch with homemade Southern fried chicken seasoning!
Check out this recipe!
How to Fry Chicken
Southern Fried Chicken - How do you fry chicken?

What is the secret to good fried chicken?

The secret to good Southern fried chicken lies in the marinating, frying, and seasoning

These three components will make perfectly crunchy and flavorful chicken on the outside with juicy, seasoned tender meat inside!

Kitchen equipment for a Southern fried chicken recipe

Ingredients for a Southern fried chicken recipe

What ingredients do you need for Southern fried chicken?

  • 6 pieces of chicken (or one 3-pound chicken cut into pieces)
  • 48 oz. of peanut oil, or vegetable oil
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour, divided 
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch (optional for increased crunch)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of garlic powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of onion powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of paprika
  • ¾ teaspoon of red pepper (chili pepper)
  • 1 tablespoon of poultry seasoning or all-purpose seasoning
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of salt
  • ¾ teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup of buttermilk (½ cup of buttermilk = ½ cup of milk & ½ tablespoon of apple cider vinegar)

You can make the buttermilk for this recipe yourself. Because let’s be honest – it’s not a common pantry ingredient!

Buttermilk for this recipe: 

  1. ½ cup of buttermilk = ½ cup of milk + ½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar. 
  2. Stir and let it sit for 5 minutes. 
Buttermilk Marinade For Chicken | How To Make Buttermilk
How do you make chicken soft and tender when cooking?
The simple answer to that age-old question is to use a buttermilk marinade for chicken. It's the easiest and effortless way to get restaurant-quality tender, juicy chicken!
Check out this recipe!
Buttermilk Marinade For Chicken
How to make buttermilk for fried chicken

Instructions for a Southern fried chicken recipe 

  1. Mix the poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
  2. Rub the seasoning mixture all over each piece of chicken.
  3. Pour the peanut oil (preferred) or vegetable oil into a deep fryer, 6-quart skillet, or Dutch oven until the oil is 1-inch deep.
  4. Heat the oil over medium heat or until it reaches 350 degrees F.
  5. While you’re waiting for the oil to heat up, place 1 cup of the divided flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and red pepper in a medium-size mixing bowl or 1-gallon resealable food storage bag. 
  6. Shake (or mix) the sealed bag to combine the ingredients for a homemade poultry seasoning, and set the flour mixture aside.
  7. Pour the second cup of flour into a second resealable bag (or medium-sized mixing bowl) and set it aside.
  8. Whisk together the buttermilk and egg in another medium-sized bowl, and set that mixture aside.
  9. In a third bag or bowl, mix the remaining flour and the optional cornstarch and set this mixture aside.
  10. The chicken will go through a 3-step process from here.
  11. First, place the chicken in the bag (or bowl) of seasoned flour and shake or toss to coat the chicken evenly. 
  12. Second, shake off the excess flour and dip the chicken into the buttermilk mixture.
  13. Third, transfer the chicken to the last bag (or bowl) of flour and shake or toss until it’s very well coated. 
  14. Place the coated chicken into the pre-heated oil, skin-side down, and be careful not to overcrowd the chicken in the oil. You can fry a second batch, if need be, to avoid overcrowding by frying all the chicken at once. Just make sure the hot oil remains at 350 degrees F.
  15. Cook the chicken pieces for 10 to 12 minutes, occasionally turning to prevent excessive browning.
  16. As the chicken batter turns golden brown. Then remove it from the hot oil, and allow it to drain in a closed container (to keep the fried chicken warm) with a paper towel under the chicken. 
  17. Serve this Southern fried chicken recipe right away, and enjoy!

Pro tips: 

  • Some Southern cooks like to use a baking sheet or a large bowl to separate the dark meat and white meat. They dredge the dark meat first, fry, and then dredge the remaining chicken (the white meat) and fry.

8 Best Southern fried chicken recipes 

Black Folks Soul Food Southern Fried Chicken Recipe
What is the secret to good fried chicken?
The answer is a soul food Southern fried chicken recipe that Black folks created and perfected!
Check out this recipe!
Black Folks Soul Food Southern Fried Chicken Recipe
Black Folks Buttermilk Fried Chicken Recipe
Tender, juicy, fried chicken with flavorful, crispy, crunchy skin is a Black folks' buttermilk fried chicken recipe. A soul food recipe for buttermilk marinated chicken.
Check out this recipe!
Black Folks Buttermilk Southern Fried Chicken Recipe

Can you make this recipe in your Instant Pot?

How do you fry chicken in a pressure cooker?

We’re not going to attempt a pressure-frying chicken recipe!

Instead, use the pressure cooker to tenderize the chicken with a buttermilk brine. 

This helps the soul food seasoning and flavors to infuse quickly into the meat!

Instant Pot Soul Food Southern Fried Chicken
How do you fry chicken in a pressure cooker?
For Instant Pot Southern fried chicken, first pressure cook the chicken in a buttermilk brine to tenderize the meat.
Instant Pot pressure cooking the chicken before frying will shorten the marinating process from 24 hours to only 20 minutes!
Check out this recipe!
Instant Pot Southern Fried Chicken

Can this be made in an air fryer?

Absolutely! The air fryer allows you to experience Southern fried chicken without excess fat because you use cooking spray instead of hot oil.

Black Folks Soul Food Air Fryer Southern Fried Chicken
Do air fryers work for soul food Southern fried chicken?
Yes, and you won't believe how good and crispy chicken is when it's air fryer Southern fried chicken! A soul food Southern fried chicken recipe is a unique, flavorful dish that Black folks created and perfected – and here's how to cook it in an air fryer!
Check out this recipe!
Black Folks Soul Food Southern Fried Chicken Recipe In The Air Fryer
Soul Food Southern Fried Chicken Drumsticks In The Air Fryer Without Flour
Air fryers cook crispy air fryer Southern fried chicken without any mess, oil splatter, or flour. In only 20 minutes, cook something new without putting in too much work! 
Here's how you can make crispy air fryer fried chicken drumsticks with a soul food Southern fried chicken seasoning!
Check out this recipe!
Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks
Soul Food Southern Fried Chicken Seasoning
Homemade soul food Southern fried chicken seasoning is a unique soul food specialty blend!
Use the recipe ingredients and step-by-step instructions for cooking the most flavorful and delicious fried chicken from scratch!
Check out this recipe!
Soul Food Southern Fried Chicken Seasoning How To Instructions
Southern Fried Chicken Spices
What is the secret to fried chicken?
The key to making delicious Southern fried chicken is to find the right Southern fried chicken spices to make a seasoning blend!
Fried chicken spices are great for fried chicken thighs, chicken wings, chicken breast, or even a whole chicken!
Check out this recipe!
Southern Fried Chicken Spices

What type of waffle is best for chicken and waffles?

Homemade waffles are always best!

When is the best time to make chicken and waffles?

Southern fried chicken and waffles is a soul food recipe best-served for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner!

Black Folks Southern Fried Chicken And Waffles Recipe
Southern fried chicken and waffles recipe is the perfect pair for a delicious and soulful breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner! 
This recipe includes a beautiful marriage of juicy and tender Southern fried chicken and fluffy, buttery waffles with a delicious twist of sweet and spicy syrup for a delicate kiss of sweet heat. 
Check out this recipe!
Black Folks Fried Chicken And Waffles Recipe
When is the best time to make chicken and waffles?

What do you serve with soul food Southern fried chicken?

Southern fried chicken is a dish that is typically served with a side of biscuits, mashed potatoes and gravy, or cornbread. 

Deep fried chicken pieces are delicious, but why serve them alone when you can pair them with many delicacies?

Try pairing your Southern fried chicken with a healthy side like Southern coleslawbaked beanscollard greens, a Southern cabbage recipe, or green beans

What goes with Southern fried chicken?

If you’re not from the South, it might seem like an odd combination, but leafy greens like collards and cabbage help cut through the fried chicken’s richness while adding much-needed vitamins and minerals to the meal.

What sauce goes with Black folks’ soul food Southern fried chicken?

Whether it’s for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or an afternoon snack, one of these condiments is a favorite pick for Southern fried chicken. 

  • Hot sauce
  • Ranch dressing
  • Pure honey 
  • Honey mustard
  • Ketchup
  • BBQ sauce
What type of chicken is best for frying?

Southern fried chicken FAQs

What type of chicken is best for frying?

When making flavorful fried chicken, people often ask, “Which part of the chicken should you use for this Black folks’ soul food Southern fried chicken recipe?”

Great news! You can use this Southern fried chicken recipe on whatever chicken pieces you like! 

Whole chicken, half, or just your favorite parts of the chicken – frozen chicken wings, legs, chicken breast, chicken thigh, boneless skinless chicken thighs, chicken tenders, chicken strips, chicken legs, quarters, or drumsticks!

What is the use of a deep fryer?

A deep fryer is a wonderful enclosed frying appliance that quickly fries foods like Southern fried chicken in deep oils at high temperatures.

Deep frying can quickly be done indoors or outdoors.

How long do you cook this Southern fried chicken recipe?

So how long does it take chicken to fry? 

Deep fry the chicken for 10-12 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees F, occasionally turning to prevent excessive browning.

Remember to turn it occasionally so it doesn’t get too brown or overcooked.

Does cooking chicken longer make it more tender?

It’s not necessary to cook for a long time. Simply for the correct amount of time to get tender meats. 

What temperature does the oil need to be to fry chicken?

What temperature does the oil need to be to fry chicken?

Southern fried chicken is best cooked when the oil temperature is 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

What’s the best oil to use for frying chicken?

Peanut oil is preferred for deep-frying because of its relatively high smoke point of about 450 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Other oils have higher smoke points but impart a strong flavor to the food. Peanut oil is a mild-flavored oil, so it won’t interfere with the taste of the fried chicken. 

Peanut oil has the least amount of saturated fats compared to other cooking oils, making it the best choice for frying chicken. 

Do you have to fry chicken in peanut oil?

No, especially if you’re allergic to peanuts! Instead, use vegetable oil.

What type of flour is best for fried chicken?

All-purpose flour is best for frying soul food Southern fried chicken. 

Do you season flour for fried chicken?

Do you season flour for fried chicken?

Yes, season the flour, too!

And what is fried chicken batter made of?

The Soul Food Pot’s signature fried chicken seasoning is a simple mixture of flour with:

Are there any Southern fried chicken seasoning substitutes you can use?

You could use a Cajun seasoning or seasoned salt instead of the poultry seasoning. Or cayenne pepper in place of the red pepper/chili pepper.

Why add cornstarch to the fried chicken batter?

Some Southern fried chicken recipes call for cornstarch to bind and thicken the batter for an extra crunch!

Cornstarch absorbs moisture and also helps prevent gluten development. As a result, the coating will be crispier.

Southern Fried Chicken: What does buttermilk do for chicken?

How do you tenderize chicken before frying?

Use a buttermilk marinade for fried chicken.

What does buttermilk do for chicken?

Buttermilk marinade for fried chicken makes the chicken meat tender and juicy! The acidity in the buttermilk tenderizes the chicken, so it doesn’t become tough and chewy. 

Is it better to soak chicken in milk or buttermilk?

Buttermilk, because milk alone does not have the necessary acidity to tenderize meat.

Do you dip chicken in egg or milk first?

If you’re using The Soul Food Pot’s signature Southern fried chicken seasoning, the milk is mixed with the egg. 

Then, before placing the buttermilk mixture coated chicken into the pre-heated oil, the chicken will go through a 3-step dredging process.

  1. First, place the chicken in the bag (or bowl) of seasoned flour and shake or toss to coat the chicken evenly. 
  2. Second, shake off the excess flour and dip the chicken into the buttermilk and egg mixture.
  3. Third, transfer the chicken to the last bag (or bowl) of flour (and optional corn starch) and shake or toss until it’s very well coated. 
Why does your breading fall off your fried chicken?

Why does your breading fall off your fried chicken?

For your breading to stick to your chicken and create that crispy, delicious texture, it’s essential to shake off the excess flour before proceeding with dredging in the egg mixture. 

If there’s too much flour, it’ll create a barrier between the egg and chicken, which will prevent the breading from doing its job correctly. 

Why won’t your fried chicken get crispy?

Possibly the oil in the fryer was either too high or too low. The oil should be maintained at 350 degrees F.

What state is famous for fried chicken?

Nothing beats a homemade soul food Southern fried chicken recipe!

However, restaurant chains like Kentucky Fried Chicken and Lousiana-inspired Popeyes have made these states famous for a winner-winner chicken fried chicken dinner!

What's the difference between fried chicken and broasted chicken?

What’s the difference between fried chicken and broasted chicken?

Broasted chicken is made with the invention of a speedy restaurant appliance where chicken is fried in oil inside a pressure cooker. 

Homecooked classic Southern fried chicken does not fry in a pressure cooker.

What did you think about this recipe?

Have you had a Southern fried chicken recipe?

Would you make it? 

Comment below and lemme know. 

Then subscribe HERE for all the soul food!

The Ultimate Soul Food Recipes Guide
What is soul food? Soul food recipes are African-American recipes full of flavor! A legacy of Southern cooking the Black way. Check out this collection of the best soul food recipes!
Check out this recipe!
The Ultimate Soul Food Recipes Guide

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Southern Fried Chicken Recipe
Southern Fried Chicken

Southern Fried Chicken

What is Southern fried chicken?
Battered in flour and deep-fried in oil, its uniqueness is that the crispy outer skin is just as flavorful as the inside tender, juicy chicken!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Soul Food, Southern Food
Keyword: air fryer Southern fried chicken, Black folks fried chicken recipe, Black folks soul food Southern fried chicken recipe, Black people food, Black people fried chicken recipe, buttermilk fried chicken recipe, fried chicken, soul food, soul food fried chicken, southern food, Southern fried chicken, Southern fried chicken recipe
Servings: 6
Calories: 2199kcal
Author: Shaunda Necole

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 6-8 pieces chicken 6-8 pieces of chicken, or one 3-pound chicken cut into pieces
  • 48 oz peanut oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour divided
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch (optional for increased crunch)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¾ teaspoon red pepper (chili pepper)
  • 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning or all-purpose seasoning
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup buttermilk ½ cup of buttermilk = ½ cup of milk & ½ tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

Instructions

  • Mix the poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
  • Rub the seasoning mixture all over each piece of chicken.
  • Pour the peanut oil (preferred) or vegetable oil into a deep fryer, 6-quart skillet, or Dutch oven until the oil is 1-inch deep.
  • Heat the oil over medium heat or until it reaches 350 degrees F.
  • While you’re waiting for the oil to heat up, place 1 cup of the divided flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and red pepper in a medium-size mixing bowl or 1-gallon resealable food storage bag.
  • Shake (or mix) the sealed bag to combine the ingredients for a homemade poultry seasoning, and set the flour mixture aside.
  • Pour the second cup of flour into a second resealable bag (or medium-sized mixing bowl) and set it aside.
  • Whisk together the buttermilk and egg in another medium-sized bowl, and set that mixture aside.
  • In a third bag or bowl, mix the remaining flour and the optional cornstarch and set this mixture aside.
  • The chicken will go through a 3-step process from here.
  • First, place the chicken in the bag (or bowl) of seasoned flour and shake or toss to coat the chicken evenly.
  • Second, shake off the excess flour and dip the chicken into the buttermilk mixture.
  • Third, transfer the chicken to the last bag (or bowl) of flour and shake or toss until it’s very well coated.
  • Place the coated chicken into the pre-heated oil, skin-side down, and be careful not to overcrowd the chicken in the oil. You can fry a second batch, if need be, to avoid overcrowding by frying all the chicken at once. Just make sure the hot oil remains at 350 degrees F.
  • Cook the chicken pieces for 10 to 12 minutes, occasionally turning to prevent excessive browning.
  • As the chicken batter turns golden brown. Then remove it from the hot oil, and allow it to drain in a closed container (to keep the fried chicken warm) with a paper towel under the chicken.
  • Serve this Southern fried chicken recipe right away, and enjoy!

Video

Notes

  • Some Southern cooks like to use a baking sheet or a large bowl to separate the dark meat and white meat. They dredge the dark meat first, fry, and then dredge the remaining chicken (the white meat) and fry.

Nutrition

Calories: 2199kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 229g | Saturated Fat: 39g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 73g | Monounsaturated Fat: 105g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 616mg | Potassium: 109mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 151IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 2mg
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Nutrition Facts
Southern Fried Chicken
Amount per Serving
Calories
2199
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
229
g
352
%
Saturated Fat
 
39
g
244
%
Trans Fat
 
0.01
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
73
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
105
g
Cholesterol
 
30
mg
10
%
Sodium
 
616
mg
27
%
Potassium
 
109
mg
3
%
Carbohydrates
 
37
g
12
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
1
g
1
%
Protein
 
6
g
12
%
Vitamin A
 
151
IU
3
%
Vitamin C
 
3
mg
4
%
Calcium
 
44
mg
4
%
Iron
 
2
mg
11
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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