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As if you needed an excuse for making fried chicken, National Fried Chicken Day (July 6th) is a holiday worth celebrating. Check out these recipes for fried chicken that will make your mouth water and are a perfect dish to serve for a simple summer supper with a salad or cole slaw. Cold leftovers the next day will also be a welcome surprise. Most of the recipes involve brining, then coating the chicken in a liquid mixture (egg, buttermilk, even yogurt), and then dredging the chicken in a spiced flour combination to create crispiness. Follow the instructions and you can’t go wrong.
1. Edna’s Fried Chicken
In this recipe (made famous by Scott Peacock), spicy pieces of fried chicken cooked up in a cast iron skillet are crispy and decadent. Use Cajun seasoning (such as Slap Yo’ Mama) and don’t skimp on the oil. Get the recipe here.
2. Buttermilk Fried Chicken
The chicken brine is what differentiates this moist fried chicken – start with a gallon of water and add lemons, thyme, parsley, garlic, honey, pepper and salt. Be sure to brine for at least 10-12 hours for the best results. Get the recipe here.
3. Northern Fried Chicken
Matzo meal and flour are combined for an extra crispy coating on this fried chicken recipe from Bromberg Brothers: Blue Ribbon Cookbook. Garlic, onion powder, dried parsley, dried basil, thyme, paprika, and cayenne add a kick. Get the recipe here.
4. Best Southern Fried Chicken
This recipe for fried chicken has a tea-spiked brine with an onion, lemon, salt, garlic, pepper, and two ice cubes, to keep it extra cold. Self-rising white cornmeal mix is added to self-rising flour and seasoned with salt, black, and red pepper for a crunch coating. Get the recipe here.
5. Classic Fried Chicken
The double dip is what makes the crispy chicken skin on this batch so irresistible. The chicken is coated in a dry rub with salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne, garlic, and onion powder and then let it sit in the fridge overnight to develop the flavor. Get the recipe here.
6. Yogurt Brined Fried Chicken
The yogurt in this recipe is seasoned with spices, then the chicken is mixed with it and refrigerated in the marinade for at least 24 hours. After you dredge it in the flour mix, it will be moist, tangy, and tastier than any commercial fried chicken you’ve ever ordered. Get the recipe here.
7. Crunchy Oven-Fried Cornflake Chicken
The crunchy breading is made from crushed cornflakes, Japanese panko breadcrumbs, and a number of spices that you can easily customize or substitute with your own favorites. Get the recipe here.
8. Vietnamese Fried Chicken Thighs with Garlic-Chile Glaze
Marinating the chicken in soy sauce adds extra flavor and pairs beautifully with garlic-chile glaze. Fish sauce, hot chile paste, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and shallots are combined for a tangy topping. Get the recipe here.
9. Honey Fried Chicken
A full cup of honey makes this a chewy instead of crispy coating that’s flavored with red raspberry vinegar. Thyme, sage, nutmeg, salt, and pepper are combined with a mixture of whole wheat and all-purpose flour and then water to make a smooth batter. Get the recipe here.
Caitlin M. O'Shaughnessy is a New York City–based food writer and editor at Penguin who has worked on and recipe-tested several cookbooks. She is currently in search of NYC's best ramen, and is one of the few people who admit to disliking brunch.