“Then the deep fryer was introduced, and that was even better because you put the food in. There was no turning of the chicken or anything!”
– Mama Mary on The Soul Food Pod: Mama’s fried chicken
How do you make fried chicken from scratch?
Cooking perfectly fried chicken with extra crispy skin is not as hard as it seems.
Everyone loves Southern fried chicken for its crisp, crunchy, flavorful coating and juicy, tender meat.
But it can be hard to choose the right blend of Southern fried chicken spices and know all the how-to-fry chicken to-dos on your own.
How to fry chicken
On this episode of The Soul Food Pod, join host Shaunda Necole as she introduces her mother, Mama Mary, for a conversation about how to make Mama’s Southern fried chicken!
Shaunda and her mom share their love for classic Southern fried chicken, and listeners learn the difference between Southern and soul food and the importance of seasoning.
Shaunda and her mom share tips and tricks for how to make delicious fried chicken, including the evolution of fried chicken cooking appliances from the cast iron skillet to the deep fryer and air fryer. Then they reveal Mama’s secret recipe for the best Southern fried chicken!
What you’ll learn in this episode about Mama’s fried chicken?
Shaunda Necole starts the episode by sharing fond memories of family gatherings in her grandmother’s tiny kitchen.
With a distinct smell of soulful seasonings, spices, and crowded spice bottles next to the stove, these are her first memories of soul food cooking.
- Memories of Southern soul food with Mama Mary
- The evolution of fried chicken appliances
- The unveiling of Mama’s fried chicken recipe!
- Southern cooks’ flavors and techniques
- The secret to crispy fried chicken
- Old-school cooking with Mama: self-rising flour tips
- The buttermilk secret to perfect fried chicken
- Discover the secrets to perfect Southern fried chicken
- Soul food vs. Southern food
- Where to get Mama Mary’s iconic fried chicken recipe
Mama’s fried chicken FAQs
What is Mama’s fried chicken recipe, and where can listeners find it?
Mama’s Fried Chicken Recipe is being shared for the first time ever, exclusively in episode 4 of The Soul Food Pod!
Listeners can find step-by-step instructions in the recipe card in this post.
Who was donned with the title “Queen Of Fried Chicken?”
In Shaunda’s home state of Virginia, her family and friends have titled Mama Mary the “Queen Of Fried Chicken” because of her delicious soul food Southern fried chicken recipe.
What is Mama’s background in cooking?
Mama Mary tells how she grew up in North Carolina, began cooking at age 9, and learned how to cook fried chicken from her mother (Shaunda’s grandmother).
What are some different methods for cooking fried chicken?
The Queen Of Fried Chicken, Mama Mary, explains how she started cooking fried chicken in a skillet, then switched to a pot and later a deep fryer. Today, she prefers to use an air fryer to make her famous fried chicken.
What are some common questions the podcast receives about making Southern fried chicken?
Shaunda Necole reveals her readers’ and listeners’ frequently asked questions about how to make Southern fried chicken and that on The Soul Food Pot, she created recipe guides with answers about fried chicken seasoning, batter, etc., including the following:
This recipe card in this post will explain authentic Southern fried chicken ingredients and deliver a detailed list of instructions for how to fry chicken using hot oil, a deep fryer, or a pan skillet.
Why is Southern fried chicken so good?
The secret to good fried chicken lies in the following:
These three components will make perfectly crunchy and flavorful chicken on the outside with juicy, seasoned, tender meat inside!
Southern fried chicken is prepared with a generous amount of soul food seasoning before it’s fried.
Always season both the chicken and the flour!
- Rub the seasoning mixture all over each piece of chicken.
After seasoning the chicken, it goes through a 3-step dredging process to batter it with seasoned flour.
- First, place the chicken in a Zip-lock 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 a prepared buttermilk mixture.
- Third, transfer the chicken to the last bag (or bowl) of flour and shake or toss until it’s well coated.
- Then place the coated chicken into the pre-heated oil to fry, skin-side down.
Why do you put baking soda in fried chicken?
Some cooks add baking soda to their fried chicken batter for extra crispiness. It’s similar to adding cornstarch to the flour batter.
In this episode, Mama reveals her secret to crispy fried chicken is self-rising flour!
Another common thing to pay attention to for crispy fried chicken is the oil it’s fried in.
The oil should be maintained at 350 degrees F to avoid anyone asking, “Why isn’t your fried chicken crispy?”
Buttermilk is the secret ingredient to making soft and tender chicken!
The buttermilk’s acidity helps break down protein structures in the chicken.
Anyone can fry chicken.
But will it be flavorful?
When the chicken and the flour are perfectly seasoned and fried, it becomes Southern fried chicken!
Where to listen to the podcast:
Links & resources mentioned in the episode:
Mama’s Fried Chicken episode transcript:
- 6-8 pieces chicken 6-8 pieces of chicken, or one 3-pound chicken cut into pieces
- 48 oz vegetable oil
- 2 cups self-rising flour divided
- 1 ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¾ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 egg
- ½ cup milk
- Mix the salt and black pepper in a small bowl.
- Rub the seasoning mixture on each piece of chicken and set the chicken aside for 15 minutes to soak in the spices.
- Pour the 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 waiting for the oil to heat up, place 1 cup of the divided flour, garlic powder, paprika, and cayenne 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.
- In another medium-sized bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg, and set that mixture aside too.
- 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.
- To avoid overcrowding, you can fry a second batch. Just make sure the hot oil remains at 350 degrees F.
- Cook the chicken pieces for 10 to 12 minutes, occasionally turning (if you're not using a deep fryer) to prevent excessive browning.
- As the chicken batter turns golden brown, 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 Mama's Southern fried chicken right away, and enjoy!