Perfect Crispy Fried Chicken


This cornmeal fried chicken was created from various recipes after I searched high and low for one that was tasty and crispy. The secret is in the cornmeal-flour mixture as well as the cast iron skillet.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
30 mins
Additional Time:
12 hrs 20 mins
Total Time:
13 hrs 10 mins


  • 3 chicken leg quarters, cut into thighs and drumsticks

  • 2 cups buttermilk, or as needed to cover

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour

  • ¼ cup cornmeal

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion

  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic

  • 1 teaspoon ground thyme

  • ½ teaspoon paprika

  • ¼ teaspoon monosodium glutamate (MSG) (Optional)

  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder

  • teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 4 large egg whites, beaten until foamy

  • 4 cups vegetable oil for frying, or as needed


  1. Place chicken thighs and drumsticks in a bowl and pour enough buttermilk over chicken to cover. Cover and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.

  2. Combine flour, cornmeal, salt, granulated onion, granulated garlic, thyme, paprika, monosodium glutamate, baking powder, and cayenne pepper in a large, wide bowl.

  3. Remove chicken from buttermilk and shake off excess; discard buttermilk. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Dip chicken in beaten egg whites, then press in flour mixture to coat. Allow coated chicken to rest on a wire rack for 20 to 30 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, fill a cast iron skillet or deep fryer to about 1/3 full of oil and heat to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C).

  5. Fry chicken in hot oil in batches until golden brown, no longer pink in the center, and the juices run clear, 8 to 10 minutes per side. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of chicken near the bone should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C). Transfer fried chicken to a wire rack or a paper towel-lined tray to drain. Keep fried chicken warm in the preheated oven while frying remaining pieces.


Thighs may take longer to fry than drumsticks.

Editor's Notes:

The nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of the breading ingredients. The actual amount of the breading consumed will vary. We have determined the nutritional value of oil for frying based on a retention value of 10% after cooking. The exact amount will vary depending on cooking time and temperature, ingredient density, and the specific type of oil used.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

767 Calories
39g Fat
47g Carbs
55g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 3
Calories 767
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 39g 50%
Saturated Fat 9g 44%
Cholesterol 149mg 50%
Sodium 2789mg 121%
Total Carbohydrate 47g 17%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 55g
Vitamin C 3mg 13%
Calcium 254mg 20%
Iron 5mg 28%
Potassium 759mg 16%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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