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Best-Ever Fried Chicken

Crispy, juicy and perfectly seasoned, this really is the best fried chicken recipe, ever. Summer reunions and neighborly gatherings will never be the same. When I was growing up, my parents had a farm, and every year, Dad would hire teenage boys to help by haying time. They looked forward to coming because they knew they would be treated to some of Mom's deep fryer recipes, including this delicious fried chicken. —Lola Clifton, Vinton, Virginia
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. Cook: 20 min.
  • Makes
    4 servings


  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 broiler/fryer chicken (3 to 4 pounds), cut up
  • Oil for deep-fat frying


  • In a shallow bowl, mix the first 6 ingredients. In a separate shallow bowl, whisk egg, milk and lemon juice until blended. Dip chicken in flour mixture to coat all sides; shake off excess. Dip in egg mixture, then again in flour mixture.
  • In an electric skillet or deep fryer, heat oil to 375°. Fry chicken, a few pieces at a time, 6-10 minutes on each side or until golden brown and chicken juices run clear. Drain on paper towels.
Nutrition Facts
1 serving: 811 calories, 57g fat (9g saturated fat), 176mg cholesterol, 725mg sodium, 26g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 2g fiber), 47g protein.


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Average Rating:
  • Laurel
    Feb 25, 2021

    Cooked this up with my daughter tonight, after finding your post about using a dutch oven for stovetop deep frying. (Genius, by the way! The weight of it keeps it securely in place on the burner and there's even less chance of knocking it askew and splashing grease because it lacks the long handle of most cookware!) This recipe was super easy and the chicken came out nice and crispy - I'm not a great cook (it's not my favourite pastime), but this was super simple, and amazingly flavourful for having so few ingredients. Definitely a new go-to recipe for us - thanks!

  • Bob
    Aug 21, 2020

    Have done this twice in one week .. Very good .. I did use buttermilk in place of milk & Johnny's seasoning in place of salt .. First time I have cooked chicken this way & the wife & I loved it .. It was VERY GOOD ..

  • Sharlene
    Aug 15, 2020

    Didn't turn out light brown, I think to much paprika in flour mixture. I will not use this recipe again.

  • Luedeman
    Aug 15, 2020

    No comment left

  • Brian
    Aug 15, 2020

    Great taste not fatty but crisp and juicy

  • Richard
    Aug 15, 2020

    Did not make this yet, but every time I use buttermilk, which some here suggest, the chicken crust burns. I have no idea why, but it does.

  • MsB2
    Jun 16, 2020

    I did not rate this recipe because my son made a "copy cat" KFC chicken that was a great match. First thing, go the extra step and use real buttermilk. The enzymes in the milk help to make chicken tender. This is the reason the chicken is is soaked .overnight. in the buttermilk. His recipe also had, literally, 11 herbs and spices. I'm not going to give his source because I don't want to do a plug for anyone. I don't know what this recipe tastes like. But the one my son used was spot on.

  • candysmom101
    Jun 14, 2020

    I recall Colonel Sanders saying how many spices (12?) were in his secret recipe. For many years, I just added a spice packet from the Italian dressing. You know, the one you measure with salad oil, vinegar, water and shake well. Then continued on with the rest of the recipe. I still enjoy this method. Good luck to all!

  • Debbie
    Jun 14, 2020

    I've been making this for years it's so delicious

  • Carslee
    May 30, 2020

    The dried thyme is overpowering. Other than that it's a pretty good recipe. Maybe 1/2 tsp of thyme