You never need an excuse for making fried chicken, but today is National Greasy Food Day. Check out these 9 great fried chicken recipes that will make your mouth water (and in some cases, burn).
Any cold leftovers will be an added bonus the next day.
There are air fryer and oven-baked versions of the classically deep-fried bird below, but most of these recipes involve the traditional steps of brining, then coating the chicken in a liquid mixture, and finally, dredging it in a spiced flour combination to ensure proper crispiness before slipping the meat into the hot oil.
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This will be a huge help when frying.
See our Beginner’s Guide to Deep Frying for more pointers.
Unless, of course, you decide to use an air fryer.
There’s a classic Edna Lewis fried chicken recipe that involves a 12 hour brine, a 12 hour soak in buttermilk, and a 30 minute drying time after flouring and seasoning before finally frying in a cast iron skillet of melted lard with butter and salty country ham. It’s undoubtedly fantastic, but our buttermilk-brined fried chicken gets on the table a lot faster and is still crunchy, juicy, and delicious. Get our Buttermilk Fried Chicken recipe.
This recipe also employs a buttermilk brine for tender, juicy chicken, but it’s flavored with garlic and oregano, and the flour dredge is seasoned with cumin and chili powder, plus baking powder for extra crunch. Serve with hot sauce and fresh limes. Get our Mexican Fried Chicken recipe.
This is your best bet if you’re seeking an oil-free fried chicken—or looking to get dinner done in the least amount of time. There’s no brining required, just a dip in beaten egg, a dredge in flour seasoned with Old Bay, and about 25 minutes in the air fryer. It comes out juicy, crispy, delicious, and not too bad for you either. Get the Air Fryer Fried Chicken recipe.
This is another relatively quick option (at least if you buy jarred pickled peppers, since that part of this recipe does take some time). You’ll slice your chicken breast and pound it into thin pieces, dip them in buttermilk and seasoned flour, and fry them up to juicy, crisp perfection. You can serve them any way you like, but in a sandwich with mayo, shredded lettuce, and peppers is pretty perfect. Get our Chicken-Fried Chicken Sandwich recipe. (Then again, our Fried Chicken Biscuit Sandwiches, shown at the top of this page, are also fantastic.)
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Add some sweet, spicy heat to your sandwich.
This Japanese-style fried chicken from chef Susan Feniger has you bake the chicken first to ensure it’s cooked through. Then you batter it in a light combo of rice four, all-purpose flour, furikake, and sparkling water, and briefly fry in hot oil just to crisp up the coating. You can bake it ahead of time and finish the frying step just before you want to eat. The citrusy, spicy yuzu mayo is a perfect dipping sauce, so it’s definitely worth seeking out the yuzu kosho and yuzu juice—but as an alternative, you can flavor your mayo with a mixture of lime juice and orange juice, plus some hot chile paste or chili oil. Get Susan Feniger’s Tatsutage Fried Chicken recipe.
This spicy chicken from New Orleans chef Marcus Jacobs is packed with flavor, thanks to an overnight brine in a crawfish boil liquid spiked with Asian ingredients like soy sauce, fish sauce, and chiles. The Creole-seasoned dredge is a mix of all-purpose flour, corn flour, cornstarch, and rice flour for a shattering crunch. And once it’s ready to eat, it’s sprinkled with a punchy seasoning mix and drizzled with cane syrup for a sweet contrast to the salty, spicy, savory flavors. Simple, cooling accompaniments like white rice and quick pickles are perfect on the side. Get the Spicy Fried Chicken with Cane Syrup recipe.
If you don’t want to deep-fry and don’t have an air fryer either, this oven-fried chicken is a great choice (but it does need to marinate overnight). Cornflakes make for a crisp coating with an extra depth of flavor compared to the usual panko breadcrumbs. Get our Oven-Fried Buttermilk Chicken recipe.
You could make the crisp-fried buffalo chicken in this recipe on its own (well, still best to serve it with blue cheese sauce), but inside a gooey grilled cheese sandwich on fluffy, crispy challah, it’s even better. Get our Buffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese recipe.
Another spicy take on fried chicken, this version of Nashville hot chicken from Amber Wilson is pan-fried in a skillet before being transferred to the oven to finish cooking all the way through while staying tender. Serve it with white bread and sweet bread-and-butter pickles for the full experience (and to help soothe the burn). Get the Nashville Hot Chicken recipe.
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