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Southern fried chicken on a white platter

Southern Fried Chicken

Course: Entree
Cuisine: American Southern
Keyword: Fried Chicken
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 496kcal
This Southern Fried Chicken is the real deal. Serve hot or at room temp. So classic. So perfect. So yummy.  Follow these steps and instructions, and you'll have perfectly fried chicken every time!  Enjoy!
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  • 1 3 to 4 lb chicken cut into 10 pieces (cut the breast in half)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 tsp garlic powder divided
  • 6 dashes hot sauce Crystals or Tobasco is good
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 3 cups lard, or shortening
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour


  • Place the chicken pieces in a mixing bowl and sprinkle on: 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp cayenne, 1 tsp garlic powder, and hot sauce. Toss to coat evenly.
  • Cover with plastic wrap, place in the refrigerator, and marinate for at least one hour, or up to 24 hours (the longer the better!)
  • Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir the eggs into the buttermilk. 
  • Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and take off the plastic wrap.  Pour the buttermilk/egg mixture of the chicken and gently toss the chicken to ensure chicken is fully coated. 
  • Heat the lard (or shortening, or oil) in a large cast iron skillet to 350° F.  A candy thermometer is best.  Otherwise, toss a little flour in once hot, and when it sizzles, it's ready.  Don't let oil get too hot.  (If smoking, turn down the heat!). 
  • Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the flour with 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, and 2 tsp garlic powder. 
  • Remove the chicken from the buttermilk, allowing the excess liquid to drip off, and place in a new, large bowl.  Add the flour over the chicken and then toss to completely coat the pieces. 
  • When the oil is ready, add a few pieces of chicken, making sure to not overcrowd the skillet.  You'll be cooking the chicken in batches.  Always cook pieces that are similar in size, per batch. 
  • Large pieces cook for about 9 minutes per side, 16 to 18 minutes total. Smaller pieces will take 12 to 15 minutes, total. Keep an eye on them, use a pair of tongs to see the bottom side, if getting too dark, then flip, and adjust the heat on the stove. Gently increase the oil temperature back to 350°F.
  • Remove the chicken pieces once they reach the desired golden, crunchy skin exterior.  Place on a plate lined with paper towels.  Check internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer.  If not at 160°F, then place in an oven that has been pre-heated to 300°F on a baking sheet and baking rack. This will finish cooking the chicken as you prepare the remaining pieces.  Finish with the wings last, since they will cook through in the hot oil, and most likely won't need to finish cooking in the oven. 
  • Remove cooked chicken and let rest for at least 5 minutes, to cool and let the juices settle in the meat.



Calories: 496kcal