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Real Southern Fried Chicken

As a Yankee originally from Vermont, I didn't know one fried chicken from another. They all seemed pretty much the same to me. Tasting the Southern version opened my eyes! A side of hot biscuits served with butter and honey is practically mandatory. —Lily Julow, Lawrenceville, Georgia
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. + marinating Cook: 30 min.
  • Makes
    6 servings


  • 3 cups buttermilk, divided
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper, divided
  • 1 broiler/fryer chicken (3 to 4 pounds), cut up
  • Oil for deep-fat frying
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika


  • In a shallow bowl, whisk 2 cups buttermilk, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Add chicken; turn to coat. Refrigerate, covered, overnight.
  • In an electric skillet or deep fryer, heat oil to 375°. Meanwhile, place remaining buttermilk in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, whisk flour, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika and remaining salt and pepper. Place half of flour mixture in another shallow bowl (for a second coat of breading). Drain chicken, discarding marinade; pat chicken dry. Dip in flour mixture to coat both sides; shake off excess. Dip in buttermilk, allowing excess to drain off. For the second coat of breading, dip chicken in remaining flour mixture, patting to help coating adhere.
  • Fry chicken, a few pieces at a time, 4-5 minutes on each side or until browned and juices run clear. Drain on paper towels.
Nutrition Facts
1 serving: 580 calories, 39g fat (7g saturated fat), 106mg cholesterol, 628mg sodium, 19g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 1g fiber), 37g protein.

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  • Bebe
    Apr 3, 2020

    No comment left

  • Cindy
    Dec 3, 2019

    I've been making fried chicken for well over 50 years, and never once have I used a deep fryer or an electric skillet. Any G.R.I.T.S. (Girl raised in the South) knows the key is a cast iron skillet, and the older the better. I agree with Shelby on the double dipping, and I do brine mine for a couple of hours in a saltwater/brown sugar mixture. For seasoning in the egg/milk mix I use salt, fresh ground pepper, a smidge of onion, and garlic powder and the same in my flour. Of course I'm of the opinion that seasoning is an individual person's preference, and I have been known to even throw in a little chipotle pepper from time to time.

  • Shelby
    Dec 16, 2018

    Usually I can count on Taste of Home to provide good quality recipes. Speaking as a true Southerner, this is not "Real Southern Fried Chicken". I did half a batch in a deep fryer and the other half on the stove. There was not a good crunch to the chicken, the spices are almost non-existent and the time recommended on each side is inaccurate. Any southerner knows it takes a minimum of 15 minutes to cook an average chicken. I am not sure if anyone tried this before posting, but it really is not a good recipe (I'm sorry for being brutally honest, but just don't want anyone to try it as is). I usually double dip mine in milk, so thought I'd try the buttermilk. I used peanut oil, which makes the best chicken.