Crispy Fried Chicken


I experimented with lots of recipes over the years to find the best crispy fried chicken. This is it! It's bits and pieces of hints I have heard over the years. It's more a matter of preparation and cooking method!

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
35 mins
Additional Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 20 mins

This is the only crispy fried chicken recipe you'll ever need. Why? It combines all the tried-and-true tricks to ensure the juiciest, most flavorful, crispiest chicken every time.

high angle looking at a plate of golden brown, crispy fried chicken
Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

What Makes This Fried Chicken So Crispy?

There are a few reasons this crispy fried chicken works so well:

· Allowing the buttermilk-flour mixture to come to a paste-like consistency is key to a crispiness on the outside and juiciness on the inside.
· Most fried chicken is cooked at a high temperature throughout the frying process. This one, however, only starts at a very high heat — after browning, the heat is reduced for about 30 minutes. You'll turn up the temperature again at the end, locking in that crispy texture.
· Paprika adds smoky flavor and has a low smoke point, which helps with browning the chicken.

Crispy Fried Chicken Ingredients

Here's what you'll need to make the best, crispiest fried chicken of your life:

Cut a four-pound whole chicken into pieces or purchase four pounds of breasts, drumsticks, wings, legs, and/or thighs at the grocery store.

Acidic buttermilk tenderizes the chicken without making it too tough. Also, it helps the flour mixture stick to the chicken.

All-purpose flour gives the buttermilk and seasonings something to stick to, while ensuring a wonderfully crispy crust.

This crispy fried chicken recipe calls for paprika (which helps with browning), salt, and pepper. You can add more spices and seasonings to taste.

Vegetable oil is perfect for frying chicken because it has a high smoke point.

How to Make Crispy Fried Chicken

Crispy Fried Chicken

You'll find the step-by-step recipe below, but here's a brief overview of what you can expect when you make this crispy fried chicken:

Make the Breading

Combine the flour, paprika, salt, and pepper in a zip-top bag. Seal the bag and shake until well-combined.

Dredge the Chicken

Pour buttermilk into a shallow bowl, then dip the chicken (on both sides) until it's completely soaked in buttermilk. Place the soaked chicken in the bag with flour mixture, seal, and shake well to coat. Transfer the coated chicken to a baking sheet, and cover. Allow the flour coating to become a paste-like consistency.

Fry the Chicken

Pour the oil in a skillet and bring it to high heat. Brown the chicken on both sides, then reduce the heat, cover the skillet, and cook for about 30 minutes. Remove the cover, return the heat to high, and fry until extra crispy. Drain the chicken on paper towels.

What to Serve With Fried Chicken

Looking for delicious inspiration for fried chicken sides? We've got you covered with our collection of 15 Classic Side Dishes for Fried Chicken. Here's a preview of what you'll find:

Yellow Squash Casserole
Mom's Favorite Baked Mac and Cheese
Al's Sufferin' Succotash

How to Store Fried Chicken

Let the fried chicken cool before storage to prevent bacteria growth. Place it in a shallow airtight container or wrap it tightly in aluminum foil, then refrigerate for up to four days. Reheat in the microwave or in the oven.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"Great recipe and great technique," raves Ebcook. "Had no idea letting batter become paste like and then covering while frying would make such a difference! Definitely a keeper."

"[This recipe makes] crisp and juicy chicken every time," according to Nicole. "Made it twice now, both times turned out great. I marinate the chicken first for more flavor, but the actual frying technique works like a charm."

"This is now my favorite fried chicken recipe," says Renee Ann Galvan. "The only thing I did differently was add garlic powder and crushed red pepper to give it a little heat."

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams


  • 1 (4 pound) chicken, cut into pieces

  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour for coating

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 2 quarts vegetable oil for frying


  1. Take your cut up chicken pieces and skin them if you prefer. Put the flour in a large plastic bag (let the amount of chicken you are cooking dictate the amount of flour you use). Season the flour with paprika, salt and pepper to taste (paprika helps to brown the chicken).

  2. Dip chicken pieces in buttermilk then, a few at a time, put them in the bag with the flour, seal the bag and shake to coat well. Place the coated chicken on a cookie sheet or tray, and cover with a clean dish towel or waxed paper. LET SIT UNTIL THE FLOUR IS OF A PASTE-LIKE CONSISTENCY. THIS IS CRUCIAL!

  3. Fill a large skillet (cast iron is best) about 1/3 to 1/2 full with vegetable oil. Heat until VERY hot. Put in as many chicken pieces as the skillet can hold. Brown the chicken in HOT oil on both sides. When browned, reduce heat and cover skillet; let cook for 30 minutes (the chicken will be cooked through but not crispy). Remove cover, raise heat again and continue to fry until crispy.

  4. Drain the fried chicken on paper towels. Depending on how much chicken you have, you may have to fry in a few shifts. Keep the finished chicken in a slightly warm oven while preparing the rest.

    high angle looking at a plate of golden brown, crispy fried chicken
    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

Editor's Note:

We have determined the nutritional value of oil for frying based on a retention value of 10% after cooking. The exact amount may vary depending on cook time and temperature, ingredient density, and the specific type of oil used.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

489 Calories
22g Fat
30g Carbs
41g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 489
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 22g 28%
Saturated Fat 6g 29%
Cholesterol 116mg 39%
Sodium 140mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 30g 11%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 41g
Vitamin C 1mg 3%
Calcium 62mg 5%
Iron 3mg 18%
Potassium 385mg 8%

* 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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