Classic Southern Fried Chicken

Classic Southern Fried Chicken
The Spruce
  • 70 mins
  • Prep: 25 mins,
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Yield: 4 Servings
Ratings (74)

Fried chicken is probably the first dish one thinks of when asked to name Southern dishes. It ranks right up there with cornbread, greens, and grits.

This is a basic Southern fried chicken recipe, and it is easy and delicious. Serve this crispy fried chicken with mashed potatoes and coleslaw, along with steamed broccoli or another favorite side dish. Use bone-in chicken pieces in this recipe. For boneless chicken breasts or cutlets, take a look at this recipe.

What You'll Need

  • 4 pounds chicken pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 3 cups vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt

How to Make It

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 F and place a rack in a large baking pan.
  2. Combine milk and eggs in a bowl; whisk to blend well.
  3. In a large heavy-duty resealable plastic food storage bag, combine the flour, salt, and pepper.
  4. Dip a chicken piece in the milk mixture; let excess drip off into the bowl.
  5. Put a few chicken pieces in the food storage bag and shake lightly to coat thoroughly.
  6. Remove to a plate and repeat with remaining chicken pieces.
  1. Heat oil in a deep, heavy skillet to 350 F.
  2. Fry the chicken, a few pieces at a time, for about 10 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and thoroughly cooked. 
  3. Chicken breasts will take a little less time than other pieces.
  4. Pierce with a fork to see if juices run clear to check for doneness, or use an instant-read thermometer. The minimum safe temperature for chicken is 165 F (74 C).
  5. With a slotted spoon, move to paper towels to drain; sprinkle with salt.
  6. Transfer the drained chicken to the prepared pan with rack. Move the chicken to the oven to keep warm while frying subsequent batches.

Tips and Variations

How to Reheat Fried Chicken

  • Take the chicken out of the refrigerator and bring it to room temperature. Heat the oven to 400 F. Place a rack on a baking sheet. Put the chicken pieces on the rack and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes. 

Reader Comments and Suggestions

  • "I had never made fried chicken before and followed this recipe and it was very easy and was so delicious. I did add a little more seasoning like garlic powder, paprika and a chicken based salt seasoning and it was perfect. Anyone who is not that experienced in the kitchen should definitely follow this recipe." L.M.
  • "Very easy, I used evaporated milk instead of regular milk. I bet if you used buttermilk it would be fabulous. Thanks for making this quick and easy recipe available." J.J.
  • "I checked quite a few recipes for Southern fried chicken before deciding this was “basically” the one for us. I did change it a little; I omitted the salt and pepper and added 1 heaping tablespoon of Old Bay seasoning plus half a cup of fine bread crumbs to the flour mixture and then just followed the rest of the recipe. It was yummy, and best of all it was easy. I will definitely be making this one again and again and again." Jude
    Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
    Calories 2768
    Total Fat 238 g
    Saturated Fat 32 g
    Unsaturated Fat 148 g
    Cholesterol 615 mg
    Sodium 4,397 mg
    Carbohydrates 21 g
    Dietary Fiber 2 g
    Protein 132 g
    (The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)