25 Best-Ever Fried Chicken Recipes
To put it in simple terms: Fried chicken is a crunchy, crispy, heavenly delight. Southerners are practically born knowing fried chicken and how it should look, taste, and smell—and we also know there's more than one way to make it taste just as good as Mama's. At least 25 ways, by our measure. These favorite fried chicken recipes are to be made over and over again, from our most simple recipes to the ones with all the bells and whistles.
For a truly Southern take on fried chicken, fry up a batch of Mama’s Fried Chicken—simply seasoned with salt and pepper and soaked in buttermilk. It's the definition of "Don't mess with a good thing." From there, renditions are endless and equally crispy—from a batch that's brined with sweet tea to one that's covered in pepper gravy. Too busy to deep-fry? Try one of our oven-fried chicken recipes that get all of the texture of deep-frying with half the hassle (and oil!). We even included a few surprises, like chicken biscuits, chicken and waffles, and crunchy chicken salad. These aren't just like your mama's, but they come with a flair all their own. However you sizzle it, these fried chicken recipes will have you savoring every golden, extra crispy bite of this classic Southern food.
How To Make Mama's Fried Chicken
Recipe: Mama's Fried Chicken
Our most shared fried chicken recipe of all time, this Southern classic is perfectly crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. This recipe will take you back to the days when your mother used to fry her famous chicken. Soak your chicken in buttermilk at least two hours before frying. We promise – it'll be nothing short of finger-lickin'-good, sheer Southern comfort.
Enjoying a heaping helping of Mama’s Fried Chicken will be reminiscent of your childhood when Mama would tell you to play in the yard with your siblings after Sunday church while she prepared the meal. No doubt, it would be complete with mashed potatoes, collard greens, and mac & cheese. There isn’t any other dish as quintessentially Southern.
Are you curious about the secret to this decadent recipe? It’s the buttermilk. Soaking the chicken in buttermilk for at least two hour before frying will insure the dish is perfectly golden on the outside and tender on the inside. Of course, don’t forget to make chicken and waffles with the leftovers on Monday morning!
Buttermilk-Soaked, Bacon-Fried Chicken in Gravy
Fried chicken doesn't get much more indulgent than this gravy-laden dish.
Lighter Pan-Fried Chicken with Green Beans and Tomatoes
Meet your new everyday fried chicken. This crispy, golden chicken is done with a quick pan-fry rather than a deep fry, making it slightly less heavy than the traditional fried stuff.
Pam Lolley's Crispy Chicken with Rice and Pan Gravy
You won't find a tastier weeknight chicken dinner than this recipe. (And you can quote us on that.)
Sweet Tea-Brined Fried Chicken
Fried Chicken Biscuits with Rosemary Hot Honey
We don't put this lightly: These chicken biscuits will make you fall in love. The rosemary-infused hot honey is Cupid's final blow.
Buttermilk Chicken Tenders with Roasted Potatoes and Green Beans
One thing we know for sure: Buttermilk makes everything taste better. Biscuits, pancakes, and fried chicken...the list goes on.
"Man Catching” Fried Chicken with Honey-Pecan Glaze
From the kitchen of Leah Stacey, Montgomery, Alabama: "I borrowed the recipe name from a former First Lady of Alabama who claimed her fried chicken had such powers."
Oven-Fried Chicken Salad with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
This might be the only salad we want to eat as a dinner main. Ever. The chicken tenders taste like fried chicken—but with much less grease and mess.
Crispy Oven-Fried Chicken Cutlets with Roasted Broccoli
A mixture of melted butter and Dijon mustard makes a flavorful dredging base before your chicken gets coated in crushed cornflakes and panko for maximum crunch.
Fried Chicken Thighs & Biscuits
Recipe: Fried Chicken Thighs & Biscuits
Two Southern icons make the ultimate sandwich, generously topped with pickled green tomatoes and local honey.
Crispy Oven-fried Drumsticks
Recipe: Crispy Oven-Fried Drumsticks
We'd like two buckets, please. In this recipe, you'll find a satisfyingly crunchy texture.
Buttermilk Chicken and Waffles
Recipe: Buttermilk Chicken and Waffles
This bite-size recipe is perfect for a party, at any time of the day. Bonus: It makes it so easy for a big crowd to serve themselves.
Hot Sauce Fried Chicken with Pickled Okra Slaw
If your mouth isn't already watering, an extra drizzle of hot sauce might do the trick.
Oven-Fried Chicken with Spring Salad
This oven-frying method is simple enough to make fried chicken a reality even on the busiest weeknight.
Fried Chicken Bites
Recipe: Fried Chicken Bites
These fried chicken nuggets with a slightly spicy kick are great dipped in honey mustard or ranch dressing.
Pecan-Crusted Chicken and Tortellini with Herbed Butter Sauce
You'll love every nutty, buttery bite of this chicken dinner—and that's a guarantee. Grab a few packages of cheese tortellini, and you're set in half an hour.
Crunchy Chicken-Peanut Chopped Salad
Crispy Chicken Cutlets with Blistered Tomatoes
We'll make this modern twist on chicken piccata any day. It has the traditional sauce made from butter, lemon juice, capers, and white wine, but gets a burst of summery flavor from blistered tomatoes.
Pan-Fried Chicken-and-Ham Parmesan
Chicken Fried Chicken
Recipe: Peppery Chicken Fried Chicken
Serve this ultimate Southern dish at your next dinner party, and you’ll be sure to get plenty of compliments.
Pecan-Crusted Chicken Tenders
Recipe: Pecan-Crusted Chicken Tenders
Saltines and pecans give the ultimate crunch. The whole family will love these chicken tenders.
Pimiento Cheese-Stuffed Fried Chicken
This award-winning recipe takes ordinary fried chicken up a notch by melting pimiento cheese inside the chicken breasts.
Spicy Curried Fried Chicken
Recipe: Spicy Curried Fried Chicken
Adding just a hint of the popular Indian spice gives your fried chicken a flavorful kick.
Fried Chicken Wings
Recipe: Fried Chicken Wings
Soak chicken twice in the egg-milk mixture and double-dredge in the highly seasoned flour for a superior crust. When serving, brighten up fried wings with lemon slices and parsley leaves. Voilá!