Crispy Fried Chicken Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 15 min. Cook: 15 min./batch
This crispy fried chicken recipe uses a batter instead of a flour coating. That helps the flour adhere to the chicken so it won’t fall off after cooking!

Updated: Apr. 18, 2024

Fried chicken wasn’t a staple on my family’s dinner table growing up, but I vividly remember my first encounter with this crispy-coated dish. Someone brought an iconic red-and-white bucket of fast-food chicken to a Fourth of July block party. I was apprehensive as I stood on tippy toes, peering over the edge of the bucket to peek inside.

As a picky eater, I generally avoided messy, hard-to-eat food like greasy chicken on the bone, but all the other kids were doing it. So, I held the drumstick with the edges of my fingers and sunk my teeth into the crunchy exterior. My unease disappeared, and I couldn’t help but smile as the coating shattered to reveal tender chicken within.

I’ve had a lot of fried chicken since then, from chicken soaked in buttermilk for 48 hours to cornmeal oven-fried chicken and cornstarch-coated karaage chicken (aka Japanese fried chicken). What makes this fried chicken recipe unique is the batter, an egg and flour mixture that helps the crispy coating stick to the chicken. And while buttermilk is really common in fried chicken recipes, I’m glad we skip it here. Because, honestly, how many of us actually keep buttermilk in the fridge?

Fried Chicken Ingredients

  • Chicken: We use the whole bird instead of buying individual chicken pieces. Cutting up a whole chicken creates a nice assortment of white and dark meat while also ensuring all the pieces are cut into even sizes.
  • The batter: We tackle the chicken coating in two steps. First, there’s a batter of flour, eggs and water. This evenly coats the chicken and prevents the breading from falling off. Next, we dip the chicken in seasoned flour, which helps the chicken become as crispy as possible when it hits the hot oil.
  • The seasonings: We use a flavorful mixture of garlic salt, paprika, black pepper and poultry seasoning. This blend includes dried sage, thyme, rosemary, marjoram and nutmeg. If you don’t have garlic salt on hand, mix your own by combining one part garlic powder with three parts salt (i.e., one teaspoon garlic powder and three teaspoons salt).
  • Oil: The best oils for frying are neutral oils, like canola and safflower oil. Their higher smoke points make them ideal for frying chicken and other foods.


Step 1: Dredge the chicken

Mixing Dry Ingredients in a Glass Rectangular Bowl to make Crispy Fried ChickenTMB Studio

In a large shallow dish, combine 2-2/3 cups of the flour with the garlic salt, paprika, 2-1/2 teaspoons of the pepper and the poultry seasoning. In a separate shallow dish, briefly beat the eggs with the water before adding the salt, remaining 1-1/3 cups flour and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Dip each piece of chicken into the egg mixture and then into the flour mixture. Turn each piece until it is fully coated.

Coating Chicken with Egg Mix and Flour to Make Crispy Fried ChickenTMB Studio (2)

Step 2: Fry the chicken

Chicken Ready to Fry Picked with Cooking Tong and Boiling Oil in a PotTMB Studio

Heat the oil to 375°F in an electric skillet or deep-fat fryer. Fry the chicken a few pieces at a time, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Cook until the chicken is golden brown and the juices run clear, about seven to eight minutes per side. Drain the chicken on a paper towel-lined plate or wire rack.

Editor’s Tip: Hold the chicken warm in a 250° oven while you cook the remaining pieces. Keeping the chicken elevated will keep it crispy, so we like to line a baking sheet with an ovenproof cooling rack.

Crispy Fried Chicken Picked with Cooking TongTMB Studio

Fried Chicken Recipe Variations

  • Marinate in buttermilk: Buttermilk is a solid option for marinating chicken because the acid helps break down the protein, creating tender, moist and juicy meat. Don’t marinate chicken for longer than 48 hours, as the meat can become mushy with extended exposure. You can also marinate chicken in milk acidified with lemon juice or yogurt. The lactic acid in yogurt penetrates deeply into the meat without breaking down muscle fibers.
  • Make spice substitutions: Adjust the spices to your liking. Add hot sauce to the egg mixture or cayenne pepper to the flour coating if you like a bolder, spicier flavor. If you want the dish to taste more like KFC’s fried chicken recipe, add oregano to the mix (and consider adding MSG because monosodium glutamate is listed on the company’s ingredients list).
  • Fry in a Dutch oven: Don’t have an electric skillet? Don’t fret! A large stockpot or Dutch oven works just as well.
  • Vary how you serve it: Fried chicken tastes fantastic with country-style side dishes like mashed potatoes, coleslaw and mac and cheese. To change things up, try serving fried chicken with cream gravy or an array of chicken wing dipping sauces. We also love serving fried chicken recipes with maple syrup as chicken and waffles.

How to Store Fried Chicken

Store leftover fried chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for four to five days. Allow the chicken to cool before covering the container, as the chicken retains a crispier coating when the steam isn’t trapped inside.

Reheat fried chicken in a 350° oven for about 15 minutes before bumping it to 400° to crisp the skin. To use an air fryer, preheat the unit to 350°, spray each side of the chicken with cooking spray, and cook, flipping every three minutes until each piece reaches an internal temperature of 165°.

Fried Chicken Tips

Can you use cornstarch instead of flour for fried chicken?

Traditional country fried chicken recipes use flour, but it’s not uncommon to find cornstarch amongst modern ingredient lists. Cornstarch helps the chicken crisp up, so feel free to replace up to a quarter of the flour with cornstarch if you like. We use half flour and half cornstarch when making sweet and sour chicken and 100% cornstarch for Korean fried chicken.

Is fried chicken better with batter or flour?

Fried chicken tastes fantastic with a batter or a flour coating. It’s simply a matter of preference. Flour coatings like the one used in this fried chicken recipe combine flour with spices, and they sometimes add cornstarch or baking powder to the mix. When fried chicken is coated in a wet coating—like the egg, water and flour mixture made in this recipe—it’s referred to as a batter.

How do you keep the breading from falling off on fried chicken?

The best way to get the batter to stick to chicken is by patting the chicken skin dry with a paper towel. You can also let the chicken sit uncovered in the refrigerator overnight. The flour just adheres better when the skin is dry, making it less likely to fall off after it’s fried. You’ll also want to fully coat each piece of chicken in the batter and press down firmly when transferring the chicken to the flour mixture.

How long does chicken take to fry?

In most fried chicken recipes, chicken should be fried for about seven to eight minutes per side. However, keep in mind that pieces can vary in size and thickness. The chicken is fully cooked when the thickest part of the meat registers at 165°. For visual indicators, look for crispy, golden-brown skin.

Watch how to Make Crispy Fried Chicken

Crispy Fried Chicken

Prep Time 15 min
Cook Time 15 min
Yield 12 servings.


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 tablespoons garlic salt
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 3 teaspoons pepper, divided
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 broiler/fryer chickens (3-1/2 to 4 pounds each), cut up
  • Oil for deep-fat frying


  1. In a large shallow dish, combine 2-2/3 cups flour, garlic salt, paprika, 2-1/2 teaspoons pepper and poultry seasoning. In another shallow dish, beat eggs and 1-1/2 cups water; add salt and the remaining 1-1/3 cups flour and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Dip chicken in egg mixture, then place in flour mixture, a few pieces at a time. Turn to coat.
  2. In a deep-fat fryer, heat oil to 375°. Fry chicken, several pieces at a time, until chicken is golden brown and juices run clear, 7-8 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels.

Nutrition Facts

5 ounces cooked chicken: 543 calories, 33g fat (7g saturated fat), 137mg cholesterol, 798mg sodium, 17g carbohydrate (0 sugars, 1g fiber), 41g protein.

If you've wanted to learn how to make crispy fried chicken, this is the recipe for you. Always a picnic favorite, this deep-fried chicken recipe is delicious either hot or cold. Kids call it my Kentucky Fried Chicken! —Jeanne Schnitzler, Lima, Montana