HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


I need the best ever recipe for Fried Chicken for dinner tonight!

I have all my pieces of chicken marinating in a blend of milk and lemon juice as I had no buttermilk, pure chipotle powder and Lawry's seasoning salt. This has been marinating for about three hours. I am now in a quandry as to the batter. We tried a wet batter last week but some of the crust was a bit chewy. This time around I am thinking maybe a dry batter? What is your best ever fried chicken coating? I am re-using my oil from last week, which has been quadruple strained and stored in the regrigerator and I will be using a pot to fry in, not a fryer machine. Thanking you in advance for your responses! I am new here to Chowhound!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I didn't need a recipe after all. I had promised my son a fried chicken dinner after work. When he got here I told him that big vat of oil was scaring me so he found a recipe and truely did make the best ever fried chicken we have ever eaten!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Axlsgoddess

      Oil was scaring you? It's real easy to make great fried chicken even if you never do it the same way twice. The late great Edna Lewis has a "best ever" recipe that's labor intensive and has to be begun 2 days in advance. One method is to simply rinse the chicken, dip it in seasoned flour and fry it. You can also set up a breading station ( flour, egg wash, seasoned flour) then allow it to sit on a rack, refrigerated, for a spell so the breading won't fall off into the pan, then fry it. How much work and cleanup you're willing to do should decide what type of fried chicken you want to make.Sometimes the simplest is the "best ever"! Welcome!

    2. You can try mixing the chicken with bread crumb ( the ones that come in a can). After frying, it comes out looking delicious and crispy.

      1. That is exactly what my son did! His recipe did not call for breadcrumbs but he saw them in my cupboard and threw them in. I balked at that addition but I do believe that is what made it the best ever!

        Update: I just had a taste of the now refrigerated chicken - now the best ever cold fried chicken!

        1. The best coating I've ever used was matzo meal. Very crisp and not greasy at all. Now I won't use anything else.

          1. Flour seasoned with Lawry's, thyme, a ton of pepper, a dash of Old Bay, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne and lemon peel. Double dip and you should get a generous coating that will crisp up phenomenally in the pan. For added flavor, trying frying Mexican chorizo in your cooking oil before using it for the fried chicken.

            1 Reply
            1. re: JungMann

              Double dip, yes indeed. I've always used a big spoonful of bacon grease or slice of country ham in my oil before frying the bird. Chorizo sounds fantastic! I can't wait to try that. Thank you! I am so making that my own.

            2. After working on my fried chicken for years, I'm now of the school of thought that the best effect is a very light dredging where it's mostly the skin that crisps up - I don't want a thick coating that can be unpleasantly [over]crunchy or chewy and usually just winds up tasting too much like the frying oil. I want a light crispiness and to be able to taste a bit of the tang from the buttermilk and, especially, the taste of the chicken.

              So your goal is to thoroughly shake the excess moisture off the chicken before you dredge it in flour, and make sure that no more of that flour sticks than a thin coating. Give it a few little shakes after dredging to get rid of any excess. You should still be able to see the pebbled texture of the skin beneath the light flour coating.

              For the flour, here's is a rough ratio for you:
              1 cup AP flour
              2 tsp salt
              1-2 tsp paprika
              1/2 tsp dried powdered thyme
              1/2 tsp dried powdered marjoram
              1/4 tsp garlic powder

              7 Replies
              1. re: cowboyardee

                CBAD: Do you marinate the chicken in buttermilk(or anything else) before you dredge it in the flour mix,or would that defeat the purpose?

                1. re: petek

                  I do - in buttermilk overnight. Tenderizes and flavors the chicken in ways that I like. The trick is to shake off the buttermilk so the chicken just has the thinnest slick of it on its surface before dredging in flour. Too much buttermilk still on the chicken = too thick of a crust

                  1. re: cowboyardee

                    Oh man..now I have the worst craving for fried chicken. :D

                    1. re: petek

                      At any given moment of my waking life, there is a voice in the back of my head saying, 'hey Rob - howsa bout some fried chicken?' I believe it may be a mild form of schizophrenia. I've learned to live with it.

                      1. re: cowboyardee

                        " I believe it may be a mild form of schizophrenia. I've learned to live with it."

                        I think it's more of an addiction than a psychosis.Maybe there's a 12 step program out there to help all of us who are afflicted by this terrible blight...
                        And one more question,if you don't mind,do you add anything to the buttermilk,like cayenne or Franks Red Hot?

                        1. re: petek

                          I've done so in the past, but I've become ever more of a fried chicken purist nowadays. Tried hot sauce. Also tried seasoning like that I put in the flour dredge. But now it's typically just plain buttermilk for me. You'll note that my flour dredge isn't strongly seasoned either, though it's got a few things going on. I just like tasting the chicken, the buttermilk, and a mildly flavorful but nice-and-golden-brown thin crust.

                          I've also tried a lemon-flavored brine a la Thomas Keller, and that is delicious. But I like basic well made fried chicken so much that I generally don't bother.

                          But as always taste is subjective - so whatever floats your boat.

                        2. re: cowboyardee

                          Hey Rob, I have 2 voices in my head......one says fried chicken with Mama's recipe, ......and the other says SUSHI, any kind anywhere, all the time!!
                          Guess My Schizophrenia is worse than yours.....and more expensive. Ya do the best with whatcha got on any given day!!

                2. I've tried many fried chicken recipes - batters, dredges using different starches, bread crumbs and no coating.

                  As you found, batters look good but tend to lose it's crunch ending up a slightly chewy over time.

                  I found that seasoned self-rising flour (I actually learned something from Paula Deen!) worked the best in terms of a crispy crust. With that said, seasoned AP flour works well too.

                  The marinating is the key to infusing the chicken with flavor. Chipotle powder is a new one for me. I'll have to give that a try. I usually just add the powder to ranch dressing or a mayo based salad.

                  1. I used Sonofagun's recipe (including brining) the other night and it was fantastic, It was not exactly like KFC, IMO, but it was awfully good!

                    1. I finally found the GREATEST chicken I ever had. Invented it myself.

                      Take a mixing bowl and put in 1/3 cup of Shore Lunch Beer Batter for fish.
                      1/3 cup Dakota Made Unbleached Flour
                      1/8 cup Shore Lunch Classic Fried Chicken coating
                      1/8 cup Frying Magic coating
                      A splash of Kemps Buttermilk
                      and Just enough milk or water to make a thick batter.

                      Turn on fryer with Canola Oil in it to 375º

                      Now, I cut my potatoes into wedgies and will coat those too in the batter, toss in first in the fryer. Coat the chicken pieces and take some grabbers, hold each piece in the oil for 8 seconds before you let go.

                      Do NOT put on cover right away !!! Put cover on cockeyed at first. Turn the temperature down to 325º and cook for (depending on how many pieces) 15 to 20 minutes. I have mine in closer to 20 minutes.

                      I don't use a basket anymore. The chicken get's TOO stuck to it. They will weld themselves into one large clump, and I take my super wide Veggie spoons, 2 of them, (you know, the kind with the slots going all the way across) and hoist the whole clump out and on a grating that is over a plate. Let drain for 10 minutes. Take a fork and gently stab where each piece is stuck to each other to seperate. Don't pull apart.

                      You will end up with the Crispiest Chicken that you ever had. Well, at home anyway