Crispy Southern Fried Chicken

I always seem to be a little too late and this is just one more example.  Let me explain:

For years, my husband has been begging me to make fried chicken.

For years, I’ve made excuses.  Mostly, “It’s really unhealthy, and I don’t make stuff like that.”  Um, yeah right.  Did you catch this post? (Ps. Next month is National Ice Cream Month…can you tell what’s coming?)

The main reason I haven’t made fried chicken before is because I’ve always been afraid of the oil splattering everywhere!  The hubby and I once fried some sandwiches or something, I don’t even remember what it was now, and I just remember hot grease everywhere.

I didn’t want to relive that.  So I’ve avoided fried chicken all this time.

Until now.

I decided that I would make them for the hubby for his first Father’s Day.  I’d been planning this surprise for a while and couldn’t wait to see his face when he realized what I’d made him.  It seemed perfect.

That is, until about 2 weeks ago, after the hubby got back from his canoeing trip, and he made a big announcement.  “I’m going to start eating healthier,” he said.  I took it all in stride.  After all, he’s said the same thing plenty of times before and changed his mind after about 48 hours.

However, this time, he didn’t change his mind.  His resolution actually stuck.   Aaaand I had planned to make him a big, greasy, fried, Father’s Day meal.  Just in time.


He humored me and ate this (and by the way, was quite impressed with me) and enjoyed it as well.  As much as he enjoyed it, I felt a little bad that my timing was so off.  If only I had made this a year or two ago.  (Hey, that means this year I could have made him something all healthy with quinoa and black beans and he would have actually eagerly eaten it!!)

Anyway, fried chicken was not the oil splattering nightmare that I always imagined it would be.  It was actually pretty easy, and I didn’t even get one drop of grease anywhere on me.  (Not even one drop!!)

The chicken turned out a beautiful brown color, perfectly crispy, and incredibly juicy.  Just right.

Don’t skip the marinating, it won’t turn out the same.

Crispy Southern Fried Chicken

Adapted from: Brown Eyed Baker
Yield: 4-5 servings

2 to 2 1/2 pounds chicken drumsticks
For the marinade:
3 lemons, halved
2 Tablespoons crushed bay leaves (or use 12 bay leaves)
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 Tablespoon dried thyme
1/4 cup honey
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
2 Tablespoons black peppercorns
3/4 cup kosher salt
1 gallon water
For the coating:
3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
2 Tablespoons garlic powder, divided
2 Tablespoons onion powder, divided
2 teaspoons paprika, divided
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper, divided
2 cups + 3 Tablespoons buttermilk, divided
For frying:
1 quart + canola oil
1. Combine all the ingredients for the marinade in a large pot.  Bring to a boil and continue to stir and boil for about 1 minute, or until salt dissolves. Remove from heat and chill the marinade before adding chicken pieces (you don’t want to cook your chicken already!).  After marinade is chilled, add chicken drumsticks and let sit, refrigerated, for at least 4 hours (don’t let it sit over 12 hours, otherwise it will get too salty).  Take chicken out of marinade, rinse under cold water, and pat dry.  Let sit for 1 1/2 hours, or until it comes to room temperature.
2. Take out 2 medium sized shallow bowls.  Pour 1 1/2 cups of flour in each, and divide the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper equally between the two bowls. (If using regular table salt, use less.)  Add 3 Tablespoons of buttermilk to one of the bowls and mix til it is crumbly.  In a separate bowl, pour the remaining 2 cups of buttermilk.
3. Set up your bowls with the dry bowl first, then the buttermilk bowl, then the crumbly mix bowl.  Place a parchment lined baking sheet or pan next to the last bowl.  Pour oil in a large pot (you want it several inches deep), and using a thermometer, bring the oil to a temperature of 320°.  Place a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet for the cooked chicken to drain.
4. Coat each drumstick with the dry mixture, then dip in the buttermilk and let the excess drip off.  Then, roll the drumstick in the crumbly mixture and place on the parchment covered baking sheet.  Repeat with remaining drumsticks.
5. Once the oil is heated, carefully lower drumsticks into hot oil (I used mitts and tongs, although I definitely could have skipped that, since the oil wasn’t splattering.) and fry for 8-10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.  Remove chicken from hot oil using tongs and place on prepared cooling rack.  Repeat until all chicken is fried.  Let cool 10 minutes before serving.  (If you need to keep the chicken warm, you can place it in a 400° oven for several minutes.)

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  1. Fancy Nancy says

    While I am sure the chicken was great you made it way too complicated dahlin’ …Southern Fried Chicken is a very simple process and has been being served in Southern families for many, many years for breakfast, dinner and supper…not to mention all the picnics of the spring, summer and fall. You only need chicken pieces, buttermilk, an egg, a little salt and pepper, flour and oil to cook it on. A deep chicken fryer skillet is recommended and Calphalon, Food Network, etc. have some great ones. Pour enough buttermilk in a large mixing bowl to cover you chicken, beat an egg into the buttermilk and put your chicken in this after washing to soak for about 10 to 15 minutes while you sift your flour in a shallow baking pan or you might prefer to put it in a large zipper storage bag with your salt and pepper. Take the chicken gently out of the buttermilk mixture and place it on the flour. Make sure you have rolled it sufficiently to totally cover it in flour. Place the battered chicken in the skillet in hot oil. Test your skillet with just a tiny pinch of the flour to insure it’s hot enough, but not so hot it burns the flour. I always heat the oil on medium high while preparing the chicken and then as soon as it’s hot I turn it to medium heat. Fry those beautiful pieces of chicken until they are a golden brown and a wooden skewer will go to the bone and you see an opaque liquid rise to the crust. Simple as that dahlin’ and you have a magnificent plate of Southern Fried Chicken.

    • Fancy Nancy says

      PS: Please excuse the typos…this iPad likes to take my words and change them sometimes. I didn’t catch it this time. I noticed you also used all purpose flour. My grandmother told me with the invention of self rising flour that there was never a need anymore to use all purpose except to bake cakes, bread and rolls. Now my daddy and mother owned a restaurant all my life that was famous for my daddy’s Fried Chicken and he did what we called a “Double Dipped Batter”. He would leave it in the buttermilk for a few minutes and then lightly roll it int he flour then dip it in the buttermilk again and then REALLY roll it in the flour before dropping it int he deep fryer. He served around 300 lbs of chicken on any given week and the weekends were the most. Some weeks it would go above that amount.

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