Our Top 22 Fried Chicken Recipes

Classic Southern Fried Chicken

The Spruce

Whether for a picnic, everyday family meal, or special dinner, fried chicken is an excellent choice. The typical skillet-fried chicken is made with a cut-up broiler-fryer chicken, but feel free to use your favorite parts—chicken drumsticks, whole legs, thighs, or chicken breasts.

Here are some of our favorite preparations, including classic Southern fried chicken, lighter oven-fried versions, fried boneless chicken breasts or cutlets, and fried chicken sandwiches.

Whether you serve your fried chicken with mashed potatoes, French fries, macaroni and cheese, potato salad, a tossed salad, or steamed vegetables and biscuits, this dish makes for a fabulous family meal. You can't go wrong with fried chicken.

  • 01 of 22

    Southern Fried Chicken With Cream Gravy

    fried chicken and gravy

    StockFood / Noel Barnhurst / Riser / Getty Images

    This old-fashioned favorite includes a creamy milk gravy made with the drippings. The chicken pieces are perfectly fried with a simple coating of seasoned flour.​

  • 02 of 22

    Fried Chicken Sandwiches With Sriracha Mayo

    Fried Chicken Sandwich

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Crispy fried chicken with spicy Sriracha mayo makes incredibly delicious sandwiches. Just serve the chicken on soft buns with lettuce, tomato slice, red onion, and dill pickle slices.

  • 03 of 22

    Crispy Oven Fried Chicken Thighs or Legs

    Oven-Fried Chicken Thighs

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    These oven-fried chicken thighs start in the skillet. The chicken is fried in a small amount of oil until browned, and then it's baked to golden perfection.

  • 04 of 22

    Simple Fried Chicken Breast Cutlets

    Simple Fried Chicken

    The Spruce

    Hot sauce and Cajun seasoning flavor these fried chicken cutlets. If you can't find chicken cutlets, slice chicken breasts (average size) horizontally to make the thin cutlets, and then pound them gently to an even thickness.

    Continue to 5 of 22 below.
  • 05 of 22

    Classic Southern Fried Chicken

    Classic southern fried chicken recipe

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

    The coating for this fried chicken includes a batter of milk and eggs, and then the chicken is dredged in seasoned flour. Fry the chicken in a cast-iron skillet or heavy Dutch oven.

  • 06 of 22

    Crispy Fried Chicken

    Classic fried chicken recipe

    ​The Spruce Eats / Nita West

    These chicken pieces take a dip in milk before tossing with some seasoned flour. Add some bacon drippings to the oil for extra flavor.

  • 07 of 22

    Honey Marinated Buttermilk Fried Chicken

    Close-Up Of Fried Chicken Served On Table
    Emily Chen / EyeEm / Getty Images

    A sweet and sour honey marinade flavors the chicken pieces in this recipe. The chicken is marinated and then dipped in buttermilk and a crumb mixture. It's a deliciously different alternative.

  • 08 of 22

    Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

    Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney 

    Air fryer chicken tenders are an excellent choice for boneless chicken breasts. The air fryer offers the same crispy breaded taste, but without the grease of traditional frying. This recipe also uses a pickle juice marinade and gently spiced breadcrumb batter for enhanced flavor.

    Continue to 9 of 22 below.
  • 09 of 22

    Air Fryer Fried Chicken


     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

    Chicken pieces cook up quickly in an air fryer, which creates a crispy crust while keeping the meat juicy on the inside. And air fryer fried chicken leaves little mess to clean up, making it the perfect addition to your mid-week menu, especially when everyone in the family likes a different part. Just add a salad and a favorite side dish.

  • 10 of 22

    Oven Fried Parmesan Garlic Chicken

    Easy Italian-Style Baked Chicken

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

    You don't have to use a deep fryer to make delicious crispy chicken. Baking reduces the fat content while the Parmesan cheese, butter, and garlic keep it juicy and flavorful.

  • 11 of 22

    Fried Chicken for Two

    Fried Chicken Breasts for Two
    Iain Bagwell

    Buttermilk marinated bone-in chicken breasts are dredged in flour and deep-fried to crispy perfection. Add French fries or mashed potatoes for a fabulous meal for two.

  • 12 of 22

    Nashville Hot Chicken

    Nashville hot chicken with pickles, bread, and beer.
    Diana Rattray

    Nashville hot chicken might be considered a "trend" in some parts of the country, but those in the know realize it's been around for nearly a half century now. Born in Nashville, Tennessee, this famous recipe is inspired by Prince's Hot Chicken, a now-legendary institution that first served up the deep-fried, spicy bird in the '70s. Nashville hot chicken is characterized by its spicy, deep-red glaze, traditionally made with cayenne pepper. Although the level of spiciness varies, it's almost always served on top of white bread—plain white bread, the cheaper and sweeter the better—with some pickles on top. If you haven't made this at home yet, it's well worth the effort. Just double or triple the batch. It'll go quick.

    Continue to 13 of 22 below.
  • 13 of 22

    Potato Chip Chicken

    potato chip chicken

    Leah Maroney

    Change up your oven-fried chicken recipe by using crushed potato chips instead of breadcrumbs. Barbecue kettle-cooked chips are best, adding a nice hint of flavor and a great crunch.

  • 14 of 22

    Fried Chicken Breasts

    Simple Fried Chicken Breasts

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

    These fried boneless chicken breasts can't be beaten. The chicken breasts or cutlets take far less time to cook, and they come out crispy and flavorful. Serve them as an entree or slice the fried chicken and serve atop a Caesar salad.

  • 15 of 22

    Spicy Fried Chicken Tenders

    Fried Chicken Tenders

    Diana Rattray

    A buttermilk marinade with Creole seasoning flavors these deep-fried chicken tenders. Serve them with fries, in sandwiches, or on waffles.

  • 16 of 22

    Oven Fried Chicken Thighs With Panko Crumb Coating

    Oven fried chicken thighs recipe

    The Spruce

    Panko breadcrumbs are made using a special process. The crumbs absorb less oil than other types of breadcrumbs, and they maintain their crispiness when cooked. The coating for these juicy, baked chicken thighs includes some butter and spicy mustard along with a combination of plain Panko crumbs, Parmesan cheese, 

    Continue to 17 of 22 below.
  • 17 of 22

    Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwiches

    buttermilk fried chicken sandwiches

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Serve these tender, buttermilk fried boneless chicken breasts on lettuce-lined baguettes or hoagie rolls. 

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    Southern Fried Chicken Thighs

    Southern Fried Chicken Thighs

    The Spruce

    These juicy chicken thighs are marinated in buttermilk and then coated with spicy seasoned flour.

  • 19 of 22

    Spicy Fried Chicken Strips

    Spicy fried chicken

    The Spruce Eats/Nita West

    A buttermilk and hot sauce marinade flavors these yummy chicken breast strips. The marinated chicken is coated with a spicy seasoned flour mixture and deep-fried to perfection. Serve them with your favorite dips.

  • 20 of 22

    Spicy Sriracha Panko Chicken Fingers

    Spicy Sriracha Panko Chicken Fingers

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Spicy Asian Sriracha sauce teams up with honey and soy sauce to flavor these Panko-coated chicken fingers. Serve them with an Asian-style dipping sauce.

    Continue to 21 of 22 below.
  • 21 of 22

    Crispy Fried Chicken Drumsticks

    Crispy Fried Drumsticks

    The Spruce

    These drumsticks are perfect for a picnic. Add them to your cooler along with potato salad, slaw, and some fresh veggies. 

  • 22 of 22

    Mississippi Oven Fried Chicken

    oven fried chicken

    Thomas Firak / Getty Images

    A cut up chicken is coated with some vegetable oil and seasoned fine dry bread crumbs. Baking the chicken keeps it light without sacrificing flavor.​