Fried Chicken

Fried Chicken is so delicious when it's prepared properly, and to do that, you just need a few tips. Grab your cast iron Dutch oven and let's get started.

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Basic Fried Chicken

  • Prep Time: 10 m
  • Cook Time: 20 m
  • Total Time: 30 m
  • Servings:


  • 4 pound whole chicken cut into 8 pieces
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • hot sauce optional
  • cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 pound shortening


  1. Cut the chicken into 8 pieces and then submerge them in the buttermilk (with a little hot sauce if desired). A zipper sealable plastic bag works well for this.
  2. Let the chicken soak in the buttermilk in the refrigerator for at least one hour, or even overnight.
  3. Mix the flour, salt and spices in another zipper sealable bag.
  4. Put four chicken pieces in the bag and shake around to coat. Remove from the bag, shaking off any excess flour, and let it rest on a cooling rack at room temperature. Repeat with the remaining four pieces of chicken.
  5. Heat the shortening in a 12-inch heavy bottomed sauté pan. Bring the shortening to about 350 ̊F. You can use a deep-frying or candy thermometer for this. Otherwise, just dip a part of one piece of chicken in the oil when you think it is ready-it should bubble rapidly around the chicken.
  6. Place the chicken pieces in the oil and cover with a lid. Reduce the heat slightly and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Then, remove the lid and flip the chicken pieces over. Cook for another 10 minutes uncovered. When the chicken is done, drain the chicken on a clean cooling rack and serve.
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Comments (7)Post a Reply

    1. Hi Kate. You can definitely use oil instead. The reason I like to use shortening is because shortening is solid at room temperature and is therefore much easier to store or discard at the end. ML

  1. Do you have any tips for air frying fried chicken? I bought jalapeno infused olive oil & I think it would compliment fried chicken.

    1. Hi Michelle,
      Using a flavor olive oil does sound interesting. When air frying you do need to make sure you evenly coat the flour with oil to make sure it browns in the air fryer, so just make sure you don’t make it too spicy. Air fry at 370°F for about 20 minutes, turning over halfway through. Flip the chicken gently so you don’t knock off the breading. If you are air frying your chicken in batches, I like to load it all up in the end and air fry at 340°F for 5-7 minutes to make sure all the chicken is nice and warm before serving.

    1. Hi Jim. Yes you can use this coating in the air fryer, but be sure to evenly spritz the chicken with oil to cover the flour coating. If you need to flip over the chicken, do it gently so the coating doesn’t come off.

  2. Hello Meredith,

    My family loves this recipe! The chicken is moist and tender, and the flour coating adds the perfect flavorful touch. Instead of air frying or sautéing in oil, I “fry” the chicken in a 375 degree oven. The trick is to place the chicken on an elevated rack that is set into a larger pan to catch the drippings. Since the chicken sits high above the pan, it is surrounded by the heat and “air fries” this way. There is no need for any oil at all if you prepare the recipe this way and use your regular oven. I altered the recipe because I do not own an air fryer and also because I wanted to avoid frying in oil. Perhaps the technique I use is actually a make-shift rotisserie! I could tell from your ingredients that this recipe was a Winner – and it IS! Thank you for your fabulous recipes, Meredith!

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