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Best Fried Chicken

Best Fried Chicken

What's a picnic without fried chicken?  After experimenting with a number of different recipes, this is the favorite! Marinating the chicken in buttermilk for up to 24 hours is the secret.

Prep Time Total: 10 - 24 hours; Active: 1.5 hours

Yield: 4 Servings


  • 1 Fryer chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 2 Cups buttermilk
  • 2-3 Drops Tabasco (optional, but recommended)
  • 3 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 Tablespoon seasoned salt, such as Lawry's
  • 2 Teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 Teaspoon paprika
  • 1 Teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon ground dried thyme
  • 1/2 Teaspoon cayenne pepper (more if you want more heat)
  • Canola or vegetable oil for frying

Cut whole chicken into 8 pieces. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry. In a large bowl or resealable plastic bag, add chicken, buttermilk and Tabasco. Refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours.

Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to cooking to remove the chill and make it easier to work with.

In a large bowl or plastic bag, combine the flour, baking powder, seasoned salt, garlic powder, paprika, black and cayenne pepper and thyme.  Mix well.
Take one piece of chicken at a time from the marinade and thoroughly coat completely in the flour mixture. Place on a rack and continue with the remaining chicken.

Heat 1 - 2 inches of vegetable oil in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat until a deep fry thermometer registers between 350°F and 375°F.  Fry chicken a few pieces at a time.  This will help the oil to not cool down.  Turn chicken to brown evenly and monitor the oil temperature to ensure that the chicken doesn't burn.  Remove when golden and cooked through. Chicken is done when meat thermometer inserted in center reaches 170°F. Drain on wire rack to keep chicken crispy.

  • Wings should take 10 to 15 minutes
  • Drumsticks 15 to 20 minutes
  • Breasts and thighs 20 to 25 minutes
    Chicken can be served hot or at room temperature.  Leftovers (if any) can be placed in a sealed container and refrigerated to enjoy the next day.

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    • Jenny Campbell