Crispy Lemon-Fried Chicken Recipe
Crispy Lemon-Fried Chicken Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Crispy Lemon-Fried Chicken Recipe

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"THIS IS my husband's favorite chicken dish. He loves it done very crispy and well browned. The steps of soaking the chicken pieces in salted lemony water and re-crisping are the secrets to this recipe."
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. + marinating Cook: 50 min.
MAKES:6-8 servings
Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. + marinating Cook: 50 min.
MAKES: 6-8 servings


  • 2 broiler/fryer chickens (2 to 3 pounds each), cut up or 16 pieces of chicken
  • 3-1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • Oil for deep-fat frying
  • 2 tablespoons hot water


  1. Place chicken pieces in a large bowl; add 3 teaspoons salt, lemon juice and enough water to cover chicken. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Drain thoroughly. In a resealable plastic bag, combine the flour, paprika, pepper and remaining salt. Add chicken pieces; seal bag and toss to coat.
  3. In a large skillet, heat 1/2 in. of oil to 375°. Add chicken; brown on all sides, about 20 minutes. Reduce heat. Carefully add water; cover and cook for 20 minutes or until juices run clear. Uncover; cook 10 minutes longer or until chicken is crisp. Yield: 6-8 servings.
Originally published as Crispy Lemon-Fried Chicken in Reminisce Extra August 1993, p47

Full-Bodied White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied white wine such as Chardonnay or Viognier.

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Reviewed Feb. 23, 2014

"This is a recipe we like. Even better the next day"

Reviewed Jan. 5, 2012

"Very good , i shared it ( or e.mailed ) to my bachlor sons to make. My son in Virginia loves chicken, and i knew he'd love this one. Plus it's easy to make."

Reviewed Mar. 20, 2011

"I followed the instructions EXACTLY and I had crispy chicken alright - crispy and burnt to a crisp. The cooking times are WAY to long. Just not worth experimenting with every again. I have chicken recipes far superior to this one and"

Reviewed Aug. 22, 2009

"This is hands-down the best fried chicken recipe EVER!"

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