Favorite Southern Fried Chicken Batter

Favorite Southern Fried Chicken Batter Recipe

Fried chicken is comfort food at its finest. When done right, it delivers the perfect crunch on the outside with tender, juicy meat on the inside. After years of tweaking and perfecting, I’ve landed on a foolproof southern fried chicken batter that ensures crispy chicken heaven every time.

What makes this battered fried chicken recipe so special to me is that it produces chicken with superb flavor and texture. The buttermilk marinade keeps the chicken incredibly moist, while the flavorful seasoned flour coating fried to a gorgeous golden crisp. It’s the chicken of my dreams – and I can’t wait to share all the details with you.

Why I Love This Southern Fried Chicken Recipe

Most people don’t realize that the key to great fried chicken is letting it soak in buttermilk first. The buttermilk tenderizes the chicken and adds a tasty tang that comes through even after frying. My batter recipe takes this flavor boost even further by having you marinate the raw chicken in a mixture of buttermilk, dill pickle juice, and water overnight.

Southern Fried Chicken Batter

The briny pickle juice ramps up the flavor, while the buttermilk makes the meat ridiculously tender and moist. Just be sure to thoroughly pat the chicken dry before dredging and frying. Too much marinade left on the chicken can cause splatter issues.

Of course, a good batter is key as well. By using a mixture of flour, Creole seasoning, and black pepper, you end up with a crispy, seasoned coating that looks beautiful and tastes even better. It comes out so golden brown and crunchy you’ll think it came from a restaurant kitchen.

Put it all together, and this is fried chicken the way it was meant to be – juicy, well-seasoned, and with just the right amount of crispy crunch. Once you try it, no other fried chicken recipe will do!

How To Make Southern Fried Chicken Batter

Now lets make delicious and crispy fried chicken like southern right in our own home kitchen.

Kitchen Tools Needed

Frying chicken at home is easier than you may think – you just need a few basic supplies:

  • Cast-Iron Skillet – The thick bottom helps the oil maintain an even temperature for crispy chicken.
  • Deep-Frying Thermometer – This helps monitor oil temp, which should be 350-360°F.
  • Tongs & Slotted Spoon – Essential for safely lowering chicken into hot oil and flipping/removing it.
  • Baking Sheet & Cooling Rack – Let cooked chicken drain here before serving.
  • Mixing Bowls – For the buttermilk marinade, seasoned flour, etc.
  • Whisk – To blend the flour and seasonings together smoothly.

As long as you have these kitchen tools on hand, you’ll turn out amazing fried chicken every time you make it.

Fried Chicken Batter Ingredients

The star ingredients that go into this flawless fried chicken batter recipe include:

  • Boneless Chicken Pieces – Go with 4 skinless, boneless breasts or thighs here. Skinless is lower fat.
  • Buttermilk – Tangy buttermilk marinates the chicken for tenderness and flavor. About 2 cups needed.
  • Dill Pickle Juice – The briny pickle juice amps up flavor in the marinade stage. Use about 1⁄4 cup.
  • All-Purpose Flour – You’ll need 1 heaping cup for dredging the chicken pieces. Go with unbleached if possible.
  • Creole Seasoning – This blend adds incredible depth and spice to the crispy flour coating (use about 2-3 tablespoons).
  • Black Pepper – Fresh cracked peppercorns add heat to balance the sweetness (about 1⁄2 teaspoon or to taste).
  • Salt – Just 1⁄4 teaspoon to lightly season since the Creole seasoning contains salt already.
  • Vegetable Oil – Fill cast-iron skillet with 1-2 inches oil for frying (peanut oil is best for frying).

Step-By-Step Fried Chicken Batter Recipe

Now that you understand the secrets behind southern fried chicken recipe, let’s walk through exactly how to make it:

Step 1 – Buttermilk Marinade

  • Place rinsed and dried chicken pieces into a gallon bag
  • Whisk together the buttermilk, pickle juice, pepper, and a pinch of salt
  • Pour marinade over the chicken
  • Seal the bag, removing excess air
  • Refrigerate for 6-12 hours (or up to 24 hours)

Step 2 – Seasoned Flour

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, Creole seasoning, salt, and pepper
  • Set aside flour mixture for dredging

Step 3 – Coat Chicken

  • Remove chicken from buttermilk marinade
  • Let excess drip off, then coat thoroughly in seasoned flour
  • Shake off any excess flour mixture
  • Return floured chicken pieces to plate

Step 4 – Heat Oil

  • Pour 1-2 inches high quality vegetable oil into cast iron skillet
  • Heat to 350-360°F on a deep fry thermometer

Step 5 – Fry Chicken

  • Once oil is hot enough, carefully add floured chicken pieces
  • Fry for 5-7 minutes per side, flipping halfway through
  • Fry chicken in batches to maintain oil temperature

Step 6 – Drain and Serve

  • Remove golden brown fried chicken from oil and let drain on a cooling rack
  • Check internal temp of thickest piece (165°F minimum)
  • Let rest ~5 minutes before serving

Dig into this crispy, juice-dripping, golden brown piece of fried chicken perfection! The flavorful seasoned batter seals in all the juices while frying up gorgeously crunchy.

Make This Southern Fried Chicken Your Own

Part of the fun of fried chicken is tweaking that coating and seasoning to suit your tastes. Play around with these tasty variations:

  • Add 1 tablespoon smoked paprika or chili powder to the flour for extra flavor
  • Use cornflake crumbs or panko breadcrumbs instead of flour
  • Experiment with spicy seasonings like cayenne, garlic powder, or onion powder
  • For Nashville-style hot chicken, bloom the chicken in cayenne-spiked oil after frying

The possibilities are endless when it comes to jazzing up fried chicken batters and coatings. And this recipe’s buttermilk brining ensures your experiments will result in moist, tender chicken every time.

Serving Suggestions for My Favorite Fried Chicken

Of course this crispy fried chicken is delicious eaten hot and fresh on its own. But here are some tantalizing ways to serve it:

  • Make fried chicken sandwiches on brioche buns with creamy slaw
  • Chop it up and toss it with pasta in a spicy Cajun alfredo
  • Layer it over buttery mashed potatoes with sawmill gravy
  • Pile it high on a plate with maple glazed carrots, cornbread, and greens

However you decide to serve it up, this is five-star comfort food guaranteed to please a crowd!

Storing and Reheating Leftover Fried Chicken

Somehow, fried chicken almost tastes even better as leftovers! Here’s how to store and reheat it:

  • Allow fried chicken to cool completely before packing up leftovers
  • Store in airtight container(s) in the fridge for 3-4 days max
  • Reheat in a 400°F oven on a sheet pan until warmed through (or enjoy it cold!)

The leftover seasoned batter stays so crispy and delicious thanks to that buttermilk-brined chicken locking in moisture and flavor. Just be sure not to let it sit too long before enjoying seconds!

Common Questions About Southern Fried Chicken Recipe

If you’re new to frying at home, chances are you have a few questions about how to nail this recipe. Here are some typical FAQs:

Is peanut oil best for frying chicken?

Yes! Refined peanut oil withstands high heat beautifully, lending itself perfectly to fried chicken. Vegetable and canola oil work too.

Can I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts?

Absolutely! Boneless breasts and thighs both turn out juicy and delicious. Go skinless to cut down on fat.

What temperature should oil be for frying chicken?

Aim for 350-360°F on a deep fry thermometer. This temperature crisps the exterior while cooking the interior safely.

How long does it take to fry chicken?

Expect 5-7 minutes per side. Frying in small batches helps maintain oil temperature best.

What if the chicken isn’t done after frying?

No problem! Just pop it back into a 400°F oven for a few minutes until the internal temperature reads 165°F.

Still have questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m always happy to help fellow fried chicken fanatics!

Favorite Southern Fried Chicken Batter

Southern Fried Chicken Batter

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Marination Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Enjoy the ease of making your own Southern fried chicken! Our simple recipe will always make your food crispy. Step up your cooking game today—try it out and enjoy the magic of the flavors!


  • 4 chicken pieces (washed and pat-dried)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Creole seasoning (use about half the quantity for 1 cup of flour)
  • Dill pickle juice
  • Water
  • Buttermilk (approximately half a bag)
  • Salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Vegetable oil for frying


  • Marinate the Chicken:
  1. Place the washed and dried chicken in a large plastic bag.
  2. Pour buttermilk, dill pickle juice, and water into the bag to coat the chicken.
  3. Seal the bag and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (up to overnight).
  • Prepare the Seasoned Flour:
  1. In a bowl, mix the all-purpose flour with Creole seasoning, salt, and fresh ground pepper.
  2. Whisk the mixture until well combined. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  • Coat the Chicken:
  1. Take each marinated chicken piece, letting excess liquid drip off.
  2. Coat the chicken in the seasoned flour mixture, ensuring an even covering.
  3. Press the flour onto the chicken to help it adhere.
  • Heat the Oil:
  1. Heat vegetable oil in a cast-iron skillet to around 350-360 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Fry the Chicken:
  1. Carefully place the coated chicken into the hot oil, working away from yourself.
  2. Fry until the bottom side is golden brown, then flip and cook the other side.
  3. Check the internal temperature; the chicken is done when it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Serve:
  1. Once fully cooked and golden brown, remove the chicken from the oil and let it rest on a baking sheet.
  • Enjoy:
  1. Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before serving.
  2. Enjoy your delicious Southern Fried Chicken!


Remember, cooking times may vary, so use the color and internal temperature as a guide. Adjust seasoning and measurements to suit your taste preferences.


If you love fried chicken like I do, you need this buttermilk brined southern fried chicken recipe in your back pocket. The seasoned flour seals in luscious moisture, frying up gorgeously crispy and full of flavor.

What I love most about this recipe is knowing that I can whip up restaurant-quality fried chicken from my own kitchen. So gather your ingredients, heat up that oil, and get ready for the best fried chicken ever to emerge golden brown from your skillet. Just be prepared for demands for seconds!


Hey there! I'm Emma, the nostalgic home cook behind YummyRecipes.com. When I'm not busy cooking up childhood classics in my Portland kitchen, you can find this 80s-music loving thrift shopper spending time with my family and hunting for vintage treasures.

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