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Cooking + Entertaining

Fried chicken: the quick recipe for making the famous American dish at home

Fried chicken: the quick recipe for making the famous American dish at home

He fried chickenwhich in the southern United States is also known as “Southern fried chicken”, is one of the most famous dishes of the american kitchenA workhorse of a well-known fast food chain, he is frequently enjoyed by characters in Made in USA movies and TV series. Contrary to the chicken recipes to which we are accustomed, in that of american fried chicken meat – usually fins and thighs – is made marinate for a few hours before being floured and pan-fried in plenty of oil. The result is crispy, flavorful fried chicken that reveals a soft, non-dry interior perfect for serving with ketchup, mayonnaise, barbecue sauce, yogurt sauce, or your favorite sauce.

Inspired by the original American fried chicken recipe, we marinated the chicken thighs in buttermilk, a milk derivative widely used in overseas cooking, seasoned with salt, pepper and hot sauce, which you can omit if you don’t like it. The breading is instead made with flour, cornstarch and a spice mixin our case paprika, pepper, chilli, dried oregano and garlic and onion powder: after being marinated in buttermilk for 4 hours, the chicken thighs are dipped twice in flour, so as to obtain a double breading which makes them super crunchy, and finally fried in lots of seed oil until golden brown.

The procedure is really simple, but you have to be careful with the cooking: unlike red meats, white meats such as chicken are not eaten undercooked, so you will have to brown the thighs for at least 15 minutesturning them often. To obtain even cooking, our advice is to choose pieces of meat that are small enough but above all of the same size, so that they cook at the same time.

Find out now how to prepare a juicy fried chicken with our quick and easy recipe: serve it with chips or fries and enjoy it hot when freshly prepared, because if stored it loses its characteristic crunch.

If you liked this recipe, also try fried chicken wings, chicken nuggets or savory variations such as the Italian version of Tuscan Fried Chickenin which the chicken is marinated in an emulsion of oil, chopped parsley, salt and lemon, and the tasty tori no karaage of Japanese origin.

How to make fried chicken

Start preparing the fried chicken by placing the chicken thighs in a large bowl. Then pour in the buttermilk and add the salt, pepper and hot sauce 1.

Stir to marinate evenly and make sure the thighs are fully submerged, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap 2 and let stand in the refrigerator for 4 hours.

At this point, prepare the breading mix: combine the flour, cornstarch, onion and garlic powder, oregano, pepper, paprika and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Using tongs, remove the thighs from the marinade, shake them lightly to remove the excess, then dredge them in the flour 3. Repeat this step a second time: the double breading will make the chicken crispy. Then put the thighs in the freezer for 5 minutes to compact everything well and prevent the breadcrumbs from coming off during cooking.

Meanwhile, heat a large quantity of seed oil in a high-sided saucepan, measuring the temperature with a cooking thermometer: for perfect, non-greasy cooking, it should be 180°C. Cook only one pair of thighs at a time 4 so as not to lower the temperature of the oil: this will take about 15 minutes. Remember to turn the meat every two minutes or so, so that it is cooked on all sides.

When the chicken is perfectly browned on the outside, drain it and let it dry on absorbent paper. 5, so as to eliminate the excess oil. To make sure that the meat is cooked, you can measure its internal temperature, which should be around 75°C.

Your fried chicken is ready 6: enjoy it still hot with your favorite sauces.


Instead of buttermilk, you can use Greek yogurt or make a classic breading by first dipping the chicken in egg, then in flour and finally in breadcrumbs: this way the recipe will also be lactose-free. For a gluten-free version, simply replace the 00 flour with an equal amount of cornstarch.

The spices can vary according to your tastes: you can for example add sage and bay leaf, or, for an oriental touch, curry.

To bread the chicken faster, you can put it in a freezer bag with the flour and shake well to distribute it. For an even crispier result you can instead double coat or add crumbled corn flakes to the flour.

History and origins

Today considered one of the emblematic dishes of American cuisine, fried chicken has a fairly old history: indeed, it seems that the recipe was born from the meeting between Scottish and African traditions, and in particular their ways respectively to fry the chicken. If the Scots used to fry it in butter, the Africans preferred seed oil, and once cooked they flavored it with spices.

For a long time, however, the dish remained semi-unknown to Americans: the first written recipe for fried chicken is contained in a 1700 book written by Hannah Glasse, but the dish’s success is closely tied to the fact that African slaves were n allowed only leftover chicken, which was made tasty by frying it according to the tradition of the native land. Realizing the goodness of the dish, masters began forcing slaves to cook it for them, moving them from cultivated fields to the kitchens of noble residences. It wasn’t until after the end of the Civil War, however, that fried chicken became one of America’s most beloved dishes, thanks in this case to the spread of cast iron skillets suitable for frying and the necessity to consume nutritious and inexpensive meals.

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