Best-Ever Fried Chicken

Total Time

Prep: 15 min. Cook: 20 min.


4 servings

Updated: Sep. 14, 2023
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


  • 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 2% milk
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 broiler/fryer chicken (3 to 4 pounds), cut up
  • Oil for deep-fat frying


  1. 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.
  2. In an electric skillet or deep fryer, heat oil to 375°. Fry chicken, a few pieces at a time, until skin is golden brown and juices run clear, 6-10 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels.

Best-Ever Fried Chicken Tips

What is the secret to good fried chicken?

There are a few secrets to good fried chicken, but most important is type of oil, oil temperature and cooking vessel. Use oil for deep-fat frying (such as canola, vegetable or peanut oil) and make sure it’s heated properly (around 375°). Also, use an appropriate-sized pan, so the pieces are not overcrowded. If you don’t have an electric skillet or deep-fat fryer, a cast-iron skillet does the trick, too. Bookmark our guide to cooking oils, then check out these other fried chicken dishes.

How do you get crispy skin on fried chicken?

To get crispy skin on fried chicken, it’s important to remove extra moisture from the chicken before dredging. Refrigerating the dredged chicken before cooking can also help.

Is buttermilk necessary for fried chicken?

No, buttermilk is not necessary for fried chicken. This recipe omits it and still yields crispy, flavorful chicken! Have buttermilk on hand? Check out our uses for buttermilk. Get more deep-fryer recipes! Research contributed by Rashanda Cobbins, Taste of Home Food Editor

Nutrition Facts

1 serving: 811 calories, 57g fat (9g saturated fat), 176mg cholesterol, 725mg sodium, 26g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 2g fiber), 47g protein.