The Best Southern Fried Chicken


  • 1 whole chicken, cut up (or 8 pieces of your favorite cuts of chicken)
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided use
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika optional
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • peanut oil for frying


  • Place the chicken in a large bowl. Sprinkle on top of the chicken: 2 teaspoon salt, garlic powder, and onion powder then toss to coat the chicken in the spices.
  • Add the buttermilk and hot sauce to bowl, stir until everything is combined. Cover with plastic wrap and let marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours, but it’s best if you can let it sit overnight.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, 2 teaspoon salt, paprika and black pepper. Set aside.
  • Fill up a deep fryer (deep cast iron skillet or dutch oven) with peanut oil (or neutral frying oil of your choice) and preheat to 350°F.
  • Taking the chicken pieces one at a time, let the excess buttermilk drip off. Coat in the flour mixture, make sure the chicken is well coated. Shake off any excess. Set the chicken aside and let it sit for a few minutes until the coating starts to look a little pasty.
  • Carefully add the piece of chicken to the deep fryer and continue with the next piece. Don’t add more than three or four pieces at at time. You will need to fry in batches so you do not overcrowd the fryer. Fry until golden brown, turning every few minutes.
  • Chicken is done when golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Depending on the size of the chicken, dark meat can take about 12-14 minutes and white meat takes 8-10 minutes (these are estimates – use a meat thermometer for accurate doneness)
  • When the chicken is done frying, place it on a paper towel lined sheet tray and immediately sprinkle a little flaked salt on top. Continue with the rest of the chicken pieces.


  • You can let this soak for a minimum of 2 hours but the key to the best flavor is letting it soak overnight.
  • The mixture of the cornstarch and flour helps give it that extra crunchy exterior. Don’t like it crunchy? Just leave out the cornstarch.
  • If you want a bigger kick of flavor to the crust, add more garlic & onion powder to the flour coating mixture. Also, Kentucky Kernel seasoned flour (in the box) is a delicious substitute!
  • We love sprinkling extra salt after the chicken has been fried, it gives it extra flavor, this is optional.
  • We used a whole cut up chicken, you can buy it that way or break down your own.
  • Peanut oil is the best for frying this recipe but canola or vegetable work as well.
  • I deep fry my chicken in a deep fryer but you can also do this in a large cast iron pan as well.
  • Buttermilk is absolutely necessary for this to turn out moist. If you cannot find buttermilk you can make your own by mixing 1 cup of regular milk with 1 tablespoon of vinegar and let it sit for 5-10 minutes, then stir.

KFC COPYCAT SEASONING:Substitute the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt and pepper in this recipe for the following seasonings: (skip seasoning the individual chicken pieces and then you will stir these seasonings in with the flour mixture)

  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ tablespoon dried thyme
  • ½ tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • ½ tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon mustard powder
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons garlic salt
  • 1 tablespoon powdered ginger
  • 1 tablespoon pepper (use white pepper if you have it)


Calories: 727kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 156mg | Sodium: 1598mg | Potassium: 593mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 481IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 172mg | Iron: 4mg

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