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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:
  • 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

  • aprilsusan
    Apr 23, 2019

    I liked it but not a lot of flavor. Tended to get over cooked and scalded a bit. I will keep looking for that perfect recipe

  • barkle
    Apr 15, 2019

    This is a long way from "Best-Ever". I made it as written although after reading some comments, I rounded my measuring spoons of spices. Even that was not enough. Very bland. The next day made some cream gravy for the leftover re-heated chicken and it was much better. Next time I'll wait 'till I have buttermilk in the house.

  • shannondobos
    Mar 31, 2019

    I made the recipe with the ingredients as stated, but fried it in a bit less oil just until crispy and browned on the outside, and then finished it off at 400 in the oven, uncovered with a roasting rack and pan. Everyone in my family loved it, and I will definitely make it again!

  • Brandon J.
    Dec 1, 2018

    I was skeptical at first due to the lack of a nice bath in buttermilk to get the party started but the lemon juice added at least a bit of the otherwise missing tang from the usual marinade process. Best Ever ??? Nope but darn tasty and comforting that is soooooo much better than a certain Infernal Kentucky Colonel's restaurant version.

  • redbonez51
    Nov 14, 2018

    I added more seasonings to this. I love the idea of lemon juice haven't tasted it yet, but it's looking amazing. I have no doubts this is going to be Epic Fried Chicken lol;-)

  • Arleen
    Apr 28, 2018

    I stuck to the recipe except for bumping up more of the seasonings and it came out not only looking gorgeous but very delicious! I used a deep fryer and fried chicken thighs without the skin/bone (more of a chicken fajita) and the breading "stayed" with the chicken. The hint of lemon was delicious! I'm not a home fried chicken person but this recipe has sold me on it.