Southern Fried Chicken Thighs

Southern fried chicken thighs
The Spruce
  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: Serves 10

A low-fat Southern fried chicken? Yes! And that's compared to other fried chicken recipes, not celery sticks! By using skinless chicken thighs, a low-fat buttermilk coating, and frying quickly in hot oil, this Southern fried chicken is significantly lower in fat than the traditional fried chicken recipes.


  • 10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 cups low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 4 teaspoons black pepper
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour (for dredging)
  • Canola or​ peanut oil (for frying)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Fried Chicken Thighs Recipe ingredients
     The Spruce
  2. In a mixing bowl combine the chicken, buttermilk, paprika, cayenne, and half the salt and black pepper. Mix well and refrigerate for 2 hours to marinate.

    Fried Chicken Thighs Recipe
     The Spruce
  3. Add the flour, and remaining salt and black pepper, to a baking dish. Using tongs, remove the chicken, 2 to 3 pieces at a time and coat well in the seasoned flour. Be sure to press the flour into the meat cover completely. Shake off excess and reserve on a baking sheet.

    Fried Chicken Thighs Recipe
     The Spruce
  4. When all the pieces of chicken are dredged in the flour, add about an inch of oil to a heavy frying pan. Over medium-high flame, heat the oil to 375 F.

  5. Test the oil, then add the chicken and cook for 7 to 8 minutes per side, until the outside is browned and the meat is cooked through.

    Fried Chicken Thighs Recipe
     The Spruce
  6. Serve immediately, or hold in a warm oven if doing in batches.

    Fried Chicken Thighs Recipe
     The Spruce
  7. Enjoy!


  • To test if the oil is hot enough, drop a small piece of​ the coating from the chicken into the oil. The coating will bubble and begin to fry. This is the perfect temperature to fry in.