Help me make fried chicken.

I just replied to a thread . I want to make fried chicken. It’s never turned out light and crispy. Just a wad of overcooked coating . I’ve searched deep into the web of recipes. Any advice would be fabulous. I just don’t have the touch . I do not own a air fryer. I have a nice cast iron chicken fryer #8 .Thanks

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I’ve tried to make fried chicken over the years. Soaking in buttermilk with a touch of hot sauce. Then breading in seasoned flour. Frying in a cast iron pan like you see on cooking shows. I just finally gave up. Deep fried takeout chicken is so much better than anything that will ever come out of my kitchen. That’s for sure.


Thank you for starting this thread. Fried chicken is my unicorn as well. I’ve tried A LOT of recipes and techniques. Simple ones , and more elaborate recipes like Thomas Keller’s and Kenji Alt Lopez’s…I’m about to try to sous vide the chicken first. Like Emglow, I end up with overcooked coating…anything less and I have raw interiors. I consider myself a serious hobbiest cook, I go to church, I love my mother, and even drive the speed limit…but God forbid I cant make a decent fried chicken. Kudos to the member who can bring me to the alter of godly fried chicken!

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Absolutely. I can’t make a decent fried chicken. Even close . we’re here to learn.

Brine your chicken (use alot of salt, salt is good when doing this)

Add vodka to your batter. Save a shot for yourself, if you like.

Double fry your chicken. Fry, let it rest for about 30 mins, then fry again.


I have been doing fried chicken Japanese-style, or kara age, for the last several years, and have never gone back. I start with about 3 lbs of chicken thighs that I skin, bone, and cut into pieces that are about two bites big, so each thigh gets cut into about six chunks. Grate some ginger and put the chicken and ginger in a bowl, and pour about a quarter cup of soy sauce into it, and mix it up well. Add about a half a cup of AP flour, and mix it. You want it to be sticky and kind of gooey. Put it in the fridge to marinate for a couple of hours. When you’re ready to fry, bring several cups of oil to temperature (about 350F) in a dutch oven. Dredge the chicken pieces in some more flour, shaking off the excess, and fry for 5-6 minutes, stirring gently every now and then to keep the pieces from sticking together, until light golden brown. Remove chicken to a draining rig, and continue frying the chicken in batches (3 lbs of chicken in my dutch oven takes about three batches). Skim the chunkies from the oil between batches. Once all the chicken has been fried once, it’s time for another oil bath. Return the chicken pieces to the oil for a second round of frying. Since the crust has already set, you can add more to the oil this time, so if you fried in three batches for the initial fry, you can probably manage with two batches. Fry for another 5-6 minutes, until golden brown and delicious.

Serve with your favorite dipping sauces. One of mine is sambal and mayo, 50/50. Mrs. ricepad likes a squeeze of lemon.


I don’t think I’ve ever tried deep frying chicken.
Got some oil that I used for emping and krupuk, so I think I’ll give it a try.
I normally put chicken in the smoker, or on the charcoal grill. With the latter, I got a very nice crispy outside when using ground rice.
Anyone ever tried that for deep frying?

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It’s at Popeyes!


Here is my method making fried chicken in my lidded, cast-iron chicken fryer:

  1. Use a smaller chicken - a 3 lb. fryer is about perfect, cut into 10 pieces (4 breast, 2 thighs, 2 legs, 2 wings). Dry brine in the fridge (salt and pepper) for a day or two in advance, and chicken should be at room temperature when cooking.

  2. Don’t over crowd the pan (maybe 3 pieces max. at a time), and don’t fill it too full of oil - oil should come half-way up the sides of the chicken pieces once they are in the pan.

  3. Don’t overheat the oil - oil should be just gently bubbling around the pieces. Just gently. Maybe 300 degrees (once oil has come back up to temp after adding chicken).

  4. Use a mix of oil and shortening for frying. A little scoop of bacon fat also doesn’t hurt here.

  5. I like Thomas Keller’s batter mix. I dredge in this flour mixture, dunk (for at least 30 seconds) in a buttermilk-hot sauce mixture, and then coat again in the flour mixture.

To fry:

Place battered chicken pieces skin-side down in the hot oil making sure the pieces don’t touch. Fry the chicken, uncovered, until golden on one side – about 5-6 minutes. Move pieces, if needed, to prevent dark spots. Oil should be just gently bubbling.

Flip the chicken and reduce heat to low so shortening bubbles gently around each piece. Cover and cook until golden brown on all sides. Move or rotate pieces about half way through to prevent dark spots - total covered cooking time another 5-6 minutes.

Remove lid, increase heat and cook an additional 1- 2 minutes on each side. Drain and serve.


I fry a decent amount of chicken, but truth be told when it comes to southern-style fried chicken I don’t usually bother. I make chicken-fried chicken in that case, which is boneless.
I’ll make Korean fried chicken (typically with only wings), Taiwanese salt and pepper chicken, karaage, and any number of other versions. Recently I did Chinese-takeout style wings and they were great. And before that I did some Thai fried chicken and that sticky rice flour coating was amazing.
I can make southern-style fried chicken, but it does take longer to fry and feels like so much more work than other styles that I never felt like bothering when I could just go to Popeyes. Of course, you could simply settle on doing only wings and then it becomes much faster a process that way and would eliminate your issues with uneven cooking. It might be worth a try just so you can cut out some of the issues that come with using a whole chicken and get your frying method consistent.
Even now when I can’t go to Popeyes it’s rare I get a craving for that specific type of fried chicken vs others.

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Maybe you just have high expectation.

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Chicken thighs are my fav. I buy boneless/skinless thighs, cut them into bite size pieces and marinate in egg white, cornstarch, and EVOO with a bit of salt. After an hour or so I’ll coat with cornstarch, flour, or corn meal, or a variety of two or all three. Then shallow fry them up 'till golden brown.

While that is happening I’ll throw together a sauce starting with EVOO, aromatics (shallots, onions, ginger, garlic), and after a minute or three add some sauces (ketchup, BBQ sauce, soy, hot/pepper sauce, mustard, vinegar, citrus, agave, honey, salsa etc.).

As soon as I reduce the sauce a bit, I’ll throw the chicken in it and quickly toss, following up with some fresh herbs (cilantro, parsley, thyme, mint, scallions, etc.), usually served over rice/noodles or steamed chopped veggies or a salad of some sort.

Obviously, what coating you use, and ingredients you choose for your sauce depends on the flavors your looking for (taste as you are throwing it all together), but the end result has always been tender, juicy, crispy, slightly sticky bytes of chicken that are packed with flavor.

Hope this helps… but as far as KFC or Popeye’s style fried chicken is concerned, I am clueless!


Austrian-style backhendl

Buttermilk=magic. I use CI, but it is flippin’ messy. Fried chicken is a messy process…at least for me. I soke in buttermilk for a week before I drain lay it in the seasoned flour/cornmeal. It isn’t as good as Popeye’s or some of the others, but it turns out. My local IGA makes a good fried chicken for when I’m lazy…

100% Agree… I tried but just never mastered homemade fried chicken. My kitchen always got destroyed during my previous attempts.
Sunshine loves fried chicken… So when she starts bugging me for Homemade Fried Chicken, I pick up a box of Banquet Fried Chicken. It can stay in the freezer until she wants some, then I heat it up.

the topic is really a two part issue.

first minus one:
soak in (take your pick…) milk/buttermilk/whey

the coating
I do a double dip. soak, drain, coat/bread, rack dry 30-60 minutes, re-dip/coat and rack dry 15-30 minutes . . .
your cooking tolerances may vary . . . .

the fry technique

setting aside the home “deep fryer” approach . . .
a cast iron skillet with oil to ~half the depth of the chicken pieces
medium heat - aka 'pan fried chicken . . . ’

  • too high=burnt stuff
  • too low=soggy stuff
    flip in the mid point…
    methinks the biggest home-cook screw-up to too high heat . . . coating looks nicely browned, chicken not cooked thru . . .

That is why the method MunchkinRedux posted above works. It is much like the way my Mom does/did it (she makes the best) and the way I have seen in older cookbooks like Joy of cooking. I think it was Joy where I saw it could have been old CIA encyclopedia cookbook. Cooking one side to slightly brown on one side then lower temp, flip to other side, cook until done , then a quick re-crisp at the end on both sides at high heat.

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You posted a photo of a nice looking chicken cutlet recently with macaroni and cheese/mixed veggies as I recall. How did you cook that? It looked really good!

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Yes… that was a boneless, skinless chicken breast. I pounded it thin, dredged it in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs with garlic powder and cayenne pepper. I lightly fried one side in my cast iron skillet, flipped it and let it finish in the oven (400 [F] with cover on it).


Let me get this straight. You soak raw chicken in buttermilk for 7 days before you dredge and fry? That’s a new one on me.