5 from 18 votes
Southern Fried Chicken ready to serve for a BBQ
Crispy Southern Fried Chicken
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Brining time (min)
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 35 mins
 

Southern Fried Chicken is crispy on the outside, juicy and flavorful on the inside.  Spices flavor this chicken for easy BBQ or picnic food

Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: crispy southern fried chicken
Servings: 8 pieces
Calories: 438 kcal
Author: Michele Hall
Ingredients
Brine
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
Chicken
  • 3 lbs Whole Chicken cut to pieces
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons Oregano, thyme, any green herb
  • 1 tablespoon Lawry's seasoned salt (cajun, Lawrys,)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups whole Milk
  • 2 cups oil (measure to just above 1/2 of chicken width) crisco, vegetable or canola oil
Instructions
Brining Chicken
  1. In separate bowl combine water, 1/2 cup milk and salt for brine mixture.
  2. Stir until salt and sugar is dissolved.

  3. Rinse chicken and place in bowl.

  4. Put chicken in brine mixture and soak for at least an hour, can be done the night before as well.
Frying Chicken
  1. Mix flour, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper (both) until blended on large platter or baking dish.

  2. Pour milk in medium bowl.
  3. Remove chicken from Brine Mixture, rinse and return to same bowl.

  4. Set up a dipping station (see notes) chicken, milk then flour.
  5. Using one hand only dip chicken in milk, then flour mixture, then repeat milk then flour.
  6. Dip all pieces in the flour and milk mixture. Allow to rest for a minimum 10 minutes to allow the flour mixture to fully set to chicken.

  7. Put oil in your frying pan. You want a shallow amount so it will come up to about 3/4 the way up the chicken. (I estimate 2 cups, but it will depend on the size of your frying pan. 

  8. Heat oil to 375°.  Or use the test method below if you do not have a thermometer.  

  9. Once oil is hot drop a test piece of flour/milk piece to test temperature. Oil is ready if when you drop the flour mixture in it immediately rises to the top.
  10. Place chicken into skillet/pan.  Do no over crowd.  Allow 1-2" between pieces for even cooking.

  11. As you are adding the chicken be sure to add it in going away from you so if there is any oil splashes it splashes away from you.

  12. Once all chicken is in the skillet reduce heat to medium-high, just a little bit. You want to cook on a lower setting so that the chicken has plenty of time to cook. If you fry it at too high a temp, the coating will brown and could burn before the chicken is cooked.

  13. Fry turning at about every 10-15 minutes.  Chicken with the bones in them take longer to cook.  The chicken is done when the chicken is solid white and no pink remains, the juices run clear and there is no pink cast to them.    I always test a piece by cutting into to it with a fork  to make sure the chicken in completely cooked before removing all chicken from the skillet.

  14. Remove chicken to wire rack over a cookie sheet with paper towels under the rack for oil to drip down to.

    .

  15. Fry as many batches as you have chicken.
  16. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.  Chicken can be served at room temperature or cold too if you wish to make it early in the day and save it in the fridge.  

Recipe Video

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Recipe Notes

DIPPING STATION
Set up an assembly line of the order you will be dipping your chicken. In this recipe The chicken is set up farthest from the skillet, then the milk, then the flour mixture. The goal is to work your way to the skillet that it is going into with as little area to spill as possible.

FRY TEMP
It is really important to not put chicken into oil that is not hot enough. If you do this, it gets very oily. If you make sure to test the oil with flour pieces ahead of time you will avoid greasy chicken. Once all pieces are added to pan, leave at high until you can see the rolling bubbles of the oil before turning it to medium heat. This is also the reason for frying in small batches, if you overcrowd the pan, the oil temp will be too low and leave you with greasy chicken.

WHOLE PIECES OF CHICKEN
If you want to use bone in chicken the only thing you need to do is cook them longer. When cooking whole pieces, the breast takes the longest to cook, the thigh and the leg a little less and a wing the shortest. When Im cooking chicken pieces with bones in them I usually cook the breasts in once batch, the legs and thighs together and then finally the wings. By like pieces in batches it is easier to make sure that the pieces are cooked perfectly.