Comfort Food Cooking: 6 Fried Chicken Recipes

Don’t put a bucket of KFC on the table for dinner tonight. Instead, pile a plate high with crunchy, crispy homemade fried chicken using one of these six recipes. Most of the recipes call for a candy thermometer. This fairly inexpensive kitchen tool is definitely worth picking up, since it will allow you to test the heat of the oil not only for your chicken, but any other dish you want to fry in oil. Plus, like the name implies, you can use it when making candy. But before you settle your sweet tooth, be sure to dig into a plate of hot chicken. Sides of mashed potatoes and biscuits are highly encouraged.

1. Mama’s Fried Chicken

Fried chicken on a plate

This classic fried chicken recipe is delicious and easy to make | iStock.com

For a basic, delicious, easy fried chicken, try Southern Living‘s recipe for fried chicken. As is common with fried chicken recipes, you let the chicken marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight in the fridge for maximum flavor. It will yield 4 to 6 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken (3 to 4 pounds), cut into pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • Self-rising flour
  • Vegetable oil

Head to My Recipes for the full recipe by Southern Living. 

2. Oven Fried Buttermilk Chicken

Fried chicken in a basket

This oven fried chicken is less greasy than the classic | iStock.com

Chowhound has taken the frying out of fried chicken, but baking in the oven doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice any crispiness. Using Kellogg’s boxed cornflake crumbs is recommended, but a generic crushed cereal will work too. It yields about 4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, peeled and lightly crushed
  • 3 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed
  • 4 bone-in chicken drumsticks, skin removed
  • 5 cups finely ground cornflake cereal
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (½ stick), melted

Head to Chowhound for the full recipe. 

3. Bacon-Fried Chicken With Gravy

Chicken frying in a skillet

What could be better than fried chicken with bacon? | iStock.com

If you want to make bacon without wasting the bacon fat, Saveur has the fried chicken recipe for you. The bacon fat will add a smokiness to your crisp chicken, and this recipe was adapted from James Beard’s American Cookery. It yields 4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 8 strips bacon
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 1 (3-4 pound) chicken, cut into 8–10 pieces, rinsed and patted dry with paper towels
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons bacon grease
  • 1½ cups light cream
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 1-2 dashes hot sauce

Head to Saveur for the full recipe. 

4. Fried Yard Bird With Gravy

Fried chicken

This awesome recipe has worldly roots | iStock.com

Marcus Samuelsson’s fried chicken, or yard bird, stays true to his roots, paying homage to his Swedish grandmother and African heritage. Fine Cooking adapted his recipe to be more home-chef friendly. Berbere is an Ethiopian chile spice blend and can be purchased online if you want to include it in your fried chicken. This recipe yields 6 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken drumsticks
  • 1 (16 ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 cup buttermilk, well stirred
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice (from 2 limes)
  • 1 tablespoon berbere (optional)
  • 5-6 cups peanut oil for frying
  • 1 large sprig of rosemary
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • Kosher salt

Gravy

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground mace
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Head to Fine Cooking for the full recipe. 

5. Fried Chicken Nuggets

Fried chicken tenders

You don’t need to fry a whole bird for amazing fried chicken nuggets | iStock.com

Take your fried chicken on a smaller scale with these fried chicken nuggets from Allrecipes. Give the whole meal a fast food from home theme by serving the chicken nuggets with homemade fries and a variety of dipping sauces. It yields 8 servings.

Ingredients:

  • Vegetable oil
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons garlic salt
  • 3 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves cut into small chunks

Head to Allrecipes for the full recipe. 

6. Nashville-Style Hot Chicken

chicken frying in a pot

If you love spice, you’ll obsess over this chicken | iStock.com

In Nashville, chicken from Hattie B’s is hot — really hot. To get this style of spiced chicken at home, try this recipe from Bon Appétit. Take the cayenne pepper down a notch or two if you want a milder chicken, reducing it to 2 tablespoons. It serves 8.

Ingredients:

  • 2 (3½-4 pound) chickens, each cut into 10 pieces (breasts halved)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons plus 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk or whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar-based hot sauce (such as Tabasco or Texas Pete)
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil (for frying; about 10 cups)
  • 6 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • White bread and sliced pickles (for serving)

Head to Bon Appétit for the full recipe.