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Looking for the best fried chicken? Make it at home! 🍗

Looking for the best fried chicken? Make it at home! 🍗

I recently came across a recipe which claimed that it was the best southern fried chicken recipe, so obviously, I had to try it out. I recreated the Southern Fried Chicken Recipe from The Food Lab, and since I get so excited about all things food, I couldn’t not share this one with you guys. 🤩

Shopping for ingredients

You’ll need ingredients for the seasoning, the marinade, the flour mixture, chicken (obviously) and oil for frying. This is the whole list: ✔️

Main items:

  • One whole chicken (about 1.8kgs) cut into 10 pieces or approx.1.5kgs bone-in, skin-on breasts, legs, drumsticks and/or wings
  • 4 cups vegetable shortening or peanut oil

For the seasoning:

  • 2 tbs paprika
  • 2 tbs freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper

For the marinade:

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbs salt

For the flour mixture:

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder

ingredients used to make the crispy, fried chicken

Some of the ingredients needed to recreate the perfect fried chicken.

The list of ingredients is not the shortest around, but I did manage to find almost everything from Lidl and The Convenience Shop. The only things I didn’t find were peanut oil and buttermilk (you might be able to find them at one of the larger supermarkets). I went for a homemade substitute for the buttermilk, which is 1 cup milk + 1 tablespoon white vinegar. For the chicken, I used drumsticks and legs from Lidl and as for the oil, I used rapeseed oil (I heard it’s a healthier version so I tried to trick myself into thinking I was making healthier fried chicken). 😂 

Preparing the marinade

The first thing that you need to know about this recipe is that the chicken requires a minimum of four hours of marinating time. Silly me planned to make them for lunch and I went to buy my things at around 11am, so I had to change my lunch plans and make them for dinner instead. 🙄

First, I prepared the seasoning mix, so I mixed the paprika, black pepper, garlic powder, oregano and cayenne. Later on that week, I was in a mini-market and I found a small bag of seasoning named “Southern Fried”, and it had the exact same ingredients (including some others), so you can even go for that if you like. 🤷

I prepared the buttermilk by adding a tablespoon of white vinegar to a cup of milk and let it set for 10-15 minutes. You’ll notice some curds forming - that’s what’s supposed to happen, don’t worry. I mixed the buttermilk, egg, salt and 2 tablespoons of the seasoning mixture in a large bowl and added the chicken to the mix. I tossed them around to coat the chicken well, sealed with cling film and refrigerated for 4-5 hours. ⏲️

Ready to fry

After marinating time was over, I mixed the flour, cornstarch, salt, baking powder and the remaining spice mix in a large bowl. I added 3 tablespoons of the marinade and incorporated it with my fingers. I preheated the oven to 175 degrees Celsius and heated the oil to around 220 degrees Celsius. Next, I lifted the chicken pieces one by one and let any excess marinade drip off, I then transferred it to the flour mixture. I coated each piece generously with the flour mixture, pressing with my hands to make sure that the flour sticks. 🙌

Coated chicken ready to be fried.

Coated and waiting to take a dive into the hot oil!

Once the oil reached the right temperature, I lifted the chicken out of the flour mix, dusted off any excess flour, and placed it in the oil, skin side down. If you’re using a shallow pot for frying, you might not need to turn them, but if you’re using a pan, you will need to turn the chicken after 6 minutes and continue frying for another 4 minutes. I didn’t need to turn them, so I fried them for around 10 minutes, until they reached a beautiful golden brown colour. 😋

Fried chicken ready to be finished off in the oven

Post-fry, pre-bake - boy, we can't wait!

Oven time

I took them out of the oil and placed them on the oven wire rack itself, with a dish underneath the rack so that I would be able to transfer them to the oven together (in the hopes of minimising the mess). After around 5 to 10 minutes in the oven, I took them out and placed them on a plate covered with paper towels for a couple of minutes, so that some of the oil is absorbed. I seasoned with salt, and bit into the crunchy fried chicken! 🍗

Fried chicken ready to be eaten

Crispy, golden brown and beautiful.

Final thoughts

What did I (and my taste testers) think? Well, I absolutely loved them. Apart from that, my partner is the ultimate fried chicken lover. I’ve never met anyone who loves fried chicken more than he does, so obviously, after helping me make them, he got to try them out. He said that they are probably the best he’s ever tasted and that we should always make fried chicken at home from now on… walked straight into that one, didn’t I? 👀

Are you a fried chicken lover?

I think that settles it, right? The title of the recipe is not wrong. The buttermilk marinade makes the chicken meat SUPER tender and the spice blend is perfect. The flour mixture incorporated with just a bit of the marinade creates a wonderful crunchy exterior. The only way for you to find out how great they taste is by making them yourself! Try them out and share your photos on Instagram - don’t forget to tag us using!

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