Crispy Fried Chicken made with a buttermilk brine and cornstarch-flour breading is the easiest and most delicious homemade fried chicken recipe you’ll find.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together buttermilk, hot sauce (optional, for added flavor), salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl. Add in chicken pieces.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 4 hours.
When ready to cook, pour the vegetable oil in a skillet until it is about 3/4 inch deep. Heat to 350°F.Prepare the breading by combining the flour, cornstarch, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, basil, white pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, and salt in a gallon sized resealable plastic bag or shallow dish. Mix it thoroughly.
Working one at a time, remove chicken pieces from buttermilk mixture. Shake it gently to remove the excess. Place it in the breading mix and coat thoroughly. Tap off the excess.
Place the breaded chicken into the 350 degree oil. Fry 3 or 4 pieces at a time. The chicken will drop the temperature of the oil so keep it as close to 350 degrees as possible. Fry each piece for 14 minutes, turning each piece over about every 2 minutes, until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
Remove from the oil and place on paper towels.
Let them rest for at least 10 minutes before serving the crispy fried chicken, adding some sauces to the side.
This recipe uses chicken drumsticks and thighs. They’re both dark meat cuts of chicken that are more flavorful and tender than chicken breasts. Plus, they’re larger and meatier than the wings, so you have more to sink your teeth into.
Yes, you can replace all of the flour with cornstarch in this recipe for a gluten-free option.
If you’re frying up your carefully breaded chicken and notice that the brading is coming off into your frying oil, there are a few things you can do to prevent this. First, be sure to shake off any excess buttermilk brine from your chicken pieces before dredging them in the breading.
Likewise, you want to shake off any excess breading by tapping the breaded chicken after you’ve dredged it.
In addition, only fry as many chicken pieces as fit comfortably into your pan. Overcrowd the pan, and your chicken will not get as crispy. The moisture from the other pieces of chicken can cause your breading to fall off as well.
Finally, move your chicken as little as possible. The more you poke and prod the pieces, the more likely the breading is to fall off.
When you’re frying at home, you want to use an oil with a high smoke point. Vegetable oil is the most common option because it’s inexpensive and doesn't have a strong flavor. This means that you’ll taste all of the delicious breading you added to the chicken, rather than oil.
When you’re frying chicken, it can be difficult to know when the meat is cooked through. The best way to be sure is to use an instant-read meat thermometer. Chicken should surpass 165°F when it’s fully cooked.
Because it’s so crispy, fried chicken is best enjoyed as soon as it’s cool enough to handle. However, if you end up with leftovers, you can pack up the chicken and store it for up to three days in the fridge.
It won't be as crispy, but you can reheat the chicken in a 350°F oven for 15-20 minutes, until heated through. Avoid the microwave, which is guaranteed to kill any crispiness.
Fried chicken is such a classic warm weather meal. So serve it with your other favorite summery side dishes. A fresh salad with crunchy veggies and a punchy vinaigrette dressing is a nice counterpoint to the richness of the chicken. Other classic sides to pair with your crispy chicken include corn bread, potato salad, grilled corn on the cob and other grilled veggies.
For dessert, stick with the summer theme and serve fresh fruit, ice cream or strawberry shortcake.