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Classic Fried Chicken

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4
Classic Fried Chicken

Source: Everyday Food, July/August 2011


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup cornstarch
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • 1 chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds), cut into 10 pieces, or 10 skin-on legs or thighs
  • 3 cups vegetable oil


  1. In a wide, shallow dish or pie plate, whisk together flour, cornstarch, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Transfer 1 1/4 cups flour mixture to an airtight container; set aside. In a large glass bowl, whisk together buttermilk, 2 tablespoons salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Dredge chicken in flour mixture, then submerge in buttermilk mixture. Cover and refrigerate 3 hours (or up to overnight).

  2. Place a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towels. In a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet, heat oil to 350 degrees over medium (a small cube of bread should brown in less than 1 minute). Transfer reserved flour mixture to a wide, shallow dish. In batches, lift chicken from buttermilk, letting excess drip off, and dredge in flour mixture.

  3. Fry chicken until golden brown and cooked through, 16 to 20 minutes per batch, flipping once (adjust heat if browning too quickly). With tongs, transfer chicken to rack to drain, 5 minutes, then serve.


There are endless ways to customize fried chicken. Try one of these options:
Smoked Paprika
In Step 1, add 1/4 cup tomato paste, 1 tablespoon smoked paprika, and 1 teaspoon ground oregano in buttermilk mixture.
Spiced Mustard
In Step 1, add 1 tablespoon ground mustard, 4 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning, and 2 to 3 teaspoons hot sauce, such as Tabasco, to buttermilk mixture.
Lemon-Pepper Garlic
In Step 1, add 1 teaspoon ground pepper, 3 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest (from 3 lemons), and 4 garlic cloves, finely grated, to buttermilk mixture.


Reviews (4)

  • JoyousNadine 24 May, 2012

    Love every video of Sarah's everyday food!!!!
    Will try this for tomorow menu..

  • ElleBella1 22 May, 2012

    Sarah, this is going to be my daughters favorite chicken for sure. I love to cook and you just put fried chicken back on my menu!!

    Thank you

  • snash 22 May, 2012

    Great demonstration video! I doubt I'll try this as I've never succeeded in deep frying. Plus, I can imagine the splatter factor. If I were in someone else's commercial kitchen, however....

  • CarmenORiordan 22 May, 2012

    Thank you Sara! Speaking as a fellow admirer of fried chicken creation, I think that your video is great. Can't wait to try your version. Your recipe saves me a step. My way brined and then floured, dipped in egg/baking soda mixture, floured again. Love the cornstarch added to the flour. I shared it to my always asking friends on facebook. I do think the Old Bay and hot sauce is a must!!

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