Summer Vittles - Southern Fried Chicken + Sides

This is the last installment of Summer Vittles, and I have one of the best summer dishes around prepared for you. Southern Fried Chicken is a staple in the South.  I feel like it is a right of passage; once you are married and on your own you must perfect the fry to "make it" as a good cook.  I'm still trying recipes, but I don't know that they get much better than this. I found this one in an old issue of Cook's Country Magazine. Diane Unger spent loads of time, burnt batches, and science to perfect the brine, batter, and frying technique. I followed her direction and it came out as perfection!

Aside from this classic main dish, I've included a few perfect sides and a dessert to finish off the best Labor Day Party menu.  All summer you have been perfecting these; this fried chicken is the last step!

Side note: If you are looking for a great food magazine subscription, Cook's Country is an amazing option.


Brine -
- 1 Quart Cold Water
- 1/4 Cup Salt
- 1/4 Cup Sugar
- 4 Lbs bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces

Batter -
- 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Cup Cornstarch
- 5 Teaspoons Pepper
- 1 Teaspoon Paprika
- 1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
- 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 3/4 Cup Cold Water
- 3 Quarts Peanut or Vegetable Oil


1. Make Brine: Whisk water, salt, and sugar in large bowl until sugar and salt dissolve. Add chicken and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.

2.Make Batter: Whisk flour, corn-starch, pepper, paprika, cayenne, baking powder, salt, and water in large bowl until smooth. Refrigerate batter while chicken is brining.
3. Fry Chicken: Heat oil in large Dutch Oven over medium-high heat to 350 degrees. We used a small fry daddy; it worked fine, but I know the dutch oven would have worked MUCH better!
Remove chicken from refrigerator, pour off brine, and pat dry with paper towels. Rewhisk batter. Transfer half of chicken to batter. One piece at a time, remove chicken from batter (allowing excess to drip back into bowl) and transfer to oil. Fry chicken, adjusting burner as necessary to maintain oil temperature between 300 and 325 degrees, until deep golden brown and white meat registers 160-175 degrees(if dark meat). This should take 12-15 minutes. Drain chicken on wire rack set inside rimmed baking sheet. Bring oil back to 350 degrees and repeat with remaining chicken.
Your Sides...

So invite people over, or just plan a feast for yourself; this menu won't disappoint!  

Cheers to the last bits of Summer!


  1. I LOVE fried chicken!! I'm going to try to get better at cooking when we settle in in OK and I will definitely give this a try:)

  2. I have never made fried chicken but yours looks and sounds amazing!

    Sparkles and Shoes

  3. I had to use the stove top to boil my oil and cook the chicken. Don't think it worked properly. The skin came out really crunchy and it took forever for the drumsticks to cook through thoroughly. :/

  4. Thank you for posting the photos. Being able to see the end result before I try Diane Unger's recipe myself was really beneficial! I hope that it is okay that I have added a link to this page on my blog. Regards, Jay Francis (www.thefriedchickenblog.blogspot.com)


Thank you so much for following along and sharing your thoughts! I read each one; they mean the world to me!

Pin It button on image hover