It’s a dish that’s been around since the mid-1800s and still remains a firm favourite in households today: fried chicken. There’s just something about it: tender and juicy on the inside, crispy and fragrant on the outside. To whip up restaurant-quality fried chicken at home is a tricky task, yet one that the self-proclaimed home chef will take up with extreme enthusiasm. To help you out, here are our seven essential tips on how to make perfect fried chicken at home.

Ingredients Needed

The first step towards making perfect fried chicken is gathering the right ingredients. To make things easier, these can all be found at your local grocery or supermarket. You’ll need the following:

  1. Chicken thighs or drumsticks – personally, we recommend thighs as they’re juicier
  2. Buttermilk – this is what helps to keep the chicken juicy
  3. All-purpose flour
  4. Spices – for that extra zing, spices like paprika, oregano, garlic, and onion powder work well
  5. Vegetable oil – to cook the chicken, you’ll need a high-smoke point oil such as vegetable, peanut, or canola

Marinating the Chicken

The marination process is where the real flavour comes in. To get the best results, the chicken needs to be left to marinade overnight. Here’s how to go about it:

  1. Place your chicken pieces in a bowl.
  2. Pour in the buttermilk and mix in all the spices.
  3. Cover the bowl and leave in the refrigerator to marinate overnight.

Breading and Frying the Chicken

This is where the magic happens! To make sure your fried chicken is extra crispy, follow these steps:

  1. Take the marinated chicken pieces out of the refrigerator.
  2. Spread some all-purpose flour onto a plate.
  3. Gently press the chicken into the flour until it’s lightly coated, then shake off the excess flour.
  4. In a large pot or heavy-bottomed skillet, heat the vegetable oil.
  5. Once the oil is hot enough, carefully lay the chicken in the pan and fry for about 8-10 minutes for chicken thighs or 5-7 minutes for chicken drumsticks.
  6. Flip the chicken after the allotted time and cook until cooked through and golden brown.
  7. Remove from heat and drain the excess oil on a plate or pan lined with paper towels.

Serving the Perfect Fried Chicken

Fried chicken is great served as part of a big family gathering, or as an individual meal. Here are five fun and easy ways to serve the perfect fried chicken:

  1. As part of a barbecue – pair your fried chicken with coleslaw, potato salad, and baked beans.
  2. With a side of mashed potatoes and vegetables – classic comfort food at its best.
  3. As a delicious sandwich – try serving the perfect fried chicken in toasted buns with pickles and/or coleslaw.
  4. As an appetizer or canapé – pair it with a smoky BBQ or chilli-infused dip.
  5. With a classic wedge salad or in a burrito – a creative and delicious way to enjoy your fried chicken!

Tips for Leftover Fried Chicken

No need to worry if you have leftover fried chicken – with a few adjustments, you can still enjoy an incredible meal. Here are five great ideas on how to use up that leftover fried chicken:

  1. Add to a classic chicken and waffle sandwich.
  2. Serve on top of a crunchy Caesar salad.
  3. Dice it up and use in a mac n’ cheese.
  4. Add to a hearty soup or stew.
  5. Turn into a crispy, flavourful wrap.

Fried chicken is an old-fashioned classic that’s never lost its appeal. With the right ingredients, careful preparation, and some of our tips, you can easily whip up restaurant-quality fried chicken at home in no time. And if you have any leftovers, there are plenty of creative ways to enjoy them too! So why not get started and treat yourself and your family to some Finger-Licking Good fried chicken, right in your own kitchen.