Best Southern Fried Chicken Batter

Best Southern Fried Chicken Batter

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Serving: 4 servings

Intensity: Intermediate


For the Chicken:

  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken drumsticks
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil for frying

For the Buttermilk Marinade:

  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce (such as Tabasco)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

For the Flour Coating:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, for extra heat)


  1. Marinate the Chicken:
    • Season the chicken thighs and drumsticks with salt and pepper.
    • In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, hot sauce, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper to create the marinade.
    • Place the seasoned chicken pieces in the buttermilk marinade, ensuring they are fully submerged. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or preferably overnight.
  2. Prepare the Flour Coating:
    • In a shallow dish or large bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, cornstarch, baking powder, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper (if using). Mix well to evenly distribute the spices.
  3. Fry the Chicken:
    • In a large, heavy-bottomed skillet or Dutch oven, heat enough vegetable oil to submerge the chicken pieces to a temperature of 350°F (175°C).
    • While the oil is heating, remove the chicken from the buttermilk marinade, allowing any excess marinade to drip off.
    • Dredge each chicken piece in the seasoned flour mixture, coating thoroughly and shaking off any excess flour.
    • Carefully place the coated chicken pieces into the hot oil, skin-side down, making sure not to overcrowd the skillet. Fry in batches if necessary.
    • Fry the chicken for about 10-12 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through, with an internal temperature of 165°F (75°C).
    • Use tongs to carefully turn the chicken pieces halfway through the cooking time to ensure even browning.
    • Once cooked, transfer the fried chicken to a wire rack or paper towels to drain excess oil.
  4. Serve:
    • Serve the Best Southern Fried Chicken hot, with your favorite sides such as mashed potatoes, coleslaw, biscuits, or cornbread.
    • Enjoy the crispy, flavorful goodness of homemade Southern fried chicken!

Nutrition Information (per serving, based on 4 servings):

  • Calories: 550 kcal
  • Fat: 28g
  • Saturated Fat: 7g
  • Cholesterol: 145mg
  • Sodium: 1300mg
  • Carbohydrates: 39g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugars: 3g
  • Protein: 33g


  • Leftover fried chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven to maintain crispiness.

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