Fried chicken is an unsurpassable takeaway choice that always hits the spot. Whether you like yours in a burger with fries on the side or crunchy wings (our cut of choice as it means more batter per portion), it’s possible to achieve that authentic fried chicken flavour in your own kitchen.
Here, we share some of our favourite ways to serve fried chicken, from the classic buttermilk-drenched, spicy coating-covered SFC that we know and love, to traditional dishes like kiev and schnitzel. Get your secret spice mix blended and your oil generously glugging – it’s time to create DIY fried delights to rival your local chicken shop.
If the idea of cooking using extra-hot oil is daunting to you, be sure to read our guide on how to deep fry safely. Or, if you’re truly devoted to this oleaginous cooking method, read our review of the best deep fat fryers.
The best fried chicken recipes
Classic Southern fried chicken
Want a highly effective and very easy way to achieve textbook fried chicken using only a handful of everyday storecupboard ingredients? Behold our homemade SFC recipe. It uses standard milk rather than buttermilk, self-raising flour for crunch and our very own not-so-secret three-spice mix. The chicken is initially fried in groundnut oil then finished in the oven for added crunch.
Next level fried chicken
Our next level cookery series takes a forensic approach to classic dishes, taking them back to basics to develop our ultimate recipe. Our next level fried chicken was designed to create the crunchiest coating possible. The chicken is left to soak in a buttermilk bath overnight before being turned in a spice mix and fried to an exacting method for optimum crunch. The recipe also uses chicken thighs for extra juiciness.
Buttermilk fried chicken
If you fancy whiling away a few hours on a more challenging cooking project, our buttermilk fried chicken will fit the bill. Tenderise the chicken overnight in a dry brine before dipping it in buttermilk and a spiced flour coating. This is fried chicken in its truest form – the recipe requires 1-2 litres of oil for achieving that true takeaway finish.
Korean fried chicken
If you like your fried chicken saucy, Korean-style is the way to go. Use chicken wings coated in cornflour for your base, then top with a sweet-spicy-salty sauce of brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger and gochujang chilli. Top with chopped spring onions and a scattering of sesame seeds – don’t forget the tall pile of napkins.
Polenta coated chicken
Storecupboard polenta adds a point of difference to this versatile fried chicken recipe. The recipe lists buttermilk but regular milk can be used instead. You’ll just need a touch of paprika and cayenne spice for flavouring and the bonus cornbread on the side makes this a celebration of Southern US cuisine.
If you want the essence of fried chicken but don’t have the time or inclination to deep fat fry, a shallow-fried schnitzel will hit the spot with considerably less labour expenditure. This classic flattened chicken breast in breadcrumbs is a versatile, crowd-pleasing midweek dinner. Serve with coleslaw, in a bun, coated in caper butter or on a bed of tomato spaghetti.
Homemade chicken kiev
An iconic dish that will never go out of style, is there a better way to serve chicken than stuffed with garlic butter and finished in a bath of hot oil? It’s a notoriously tricky recipe to get right (we have so many sad memories of leaked butter when making frozen ready-made kievs) but our detailed recipe gives a triple-tested, straightforward technique to make it as easy as possible.
Crispy honey buffalo wings
We love American-style hot sauce with its piquant, vinegary tang. Our easy buffalo wing recipe uses the traditional technique of coating the chicken in flavoured flour and deep frying before tossing it in buttery hot sauce. The genius coleslaw features blue cheese and soured cream for a classic flavour combination that demands a large, cold beer on the side.
Korean fried chicken burgers
Crispy fried chicken – check. Lashings of chilli sauce – check. Kimchi slaw – check. And served in a soft bun? Yes please. This uber burger, like many fried chicken dishes, is a labour of love but one that’s so very worth it. The chicken thighs are fried twice over to ensure the crunchiest coating. And because we are that dedicated to the art of deep fried poultry.
Chicken katsu curry
What you serve with fried chicken is a matter of personal preference. If you’ve not tried katsu sauce, however, we strongly implore that you do. This Japanese mild curry sauce is given deep umami notes from earthy miso, but is fruity and mellow enough for kids to enjoy too. Use it to coat fried chicken breasts covered in breadcrumbs and shichimi togarashi, a Japanese 7-spice blend of ground chillies, plus a variety of other ingredients like sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and citrus peel.
Healthier crispy ‘fried’ chicken
We know, we know – this isn’t fried chicken in the traditional sense. But if you’re after a healthier, midweek take that has all the flavour of SFC without the litres of oil, this smart recipe ticks all the right boxes. Try to find Japanese panko breadcrumbs for the coating – they really are the gold standard when it comes to achieving superlative crispiness.
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What’s your favourite way to make fried chicken? Share your tips with us in the comments below.