When it comes to southern fried chicken, my mom is a legend. Over the years, I’ve seen family members scarf down up to seven pieces of her southern fried chicken. I pinkie swear!
Yes, it’s that good. The first time my husband tasted my mom’s southern fried chicken, he was hooked – on me and my mom’s cooking!
Over the years, I’ve watched mom fry chicken for 75+ people and never blink an eye. After all, she was in the zone when it came to frying chicken. Of course, mom doesn’t have a recipe. I mean, what southern cook goes by a recipe? However, I’ve watched her so many times over the years, I think I’ve got it down pat.
How to Make Mom’s Southern Fried Chicken
To Brine or Not to Brine
Brine simply means to soak in salty water. It makes the chicken more tender. Some southern cooks soak their chicken in buttermilk. Mom did not. After cutting up her Claxton chickens (the only brand she used and yes, she cut up her own chicken), mom would place them in a brine (salty water) and let them sit overnight in the fridge.
The Smaller, the Better
I’ve heard mom say a million times to always use small chickens when you’re making fried chicken. The smaller the bird, the more tender the chicken. These chickens are often referred to as broilers/fryers.
I’m about to give you the secret to mom’s amazing southern fried chicken! Her coating is really simple. There’s no dipping station needed. There are no eggs or buttermilk.
It’s just self-rising flour, salt, and pepper. That’s it. We don’t like a thick coating and mom’s chicken is always tender and delicious.
The Oil for Frying
Peanut oil is the only oil I use when it comes to frying chicken. Peanut oil has a high smoke point and neutral taste. It’s perfect for frying foods. It’s also low in saturated fat and high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.
Heat Oil to 350º F. When you place the chicken into the hot oil, it will drop to 325º F, the perfect temperature for frying chicken.
Deep-Fry Method: If you’re frying the chicken in a deep fryer, cook dark meat for 15-17 minutes or until golden brown. Chicken breasts cook faster, about 10-12 minutes. Place on a towel-lined platter to drain.
To cook chicken in a skillet: Heat 1/2″ oil over medium-high heat. Cook chicken skin side down for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Turn and cook for another 15 minutes or until the chicken is golden brown.
Mom’s Southern Fried Chicken
- 2 small broiler/fryer chickens, cut up
- Peanut oil for frying
- Brine (4 cups water, 4 Tablespoons salt)
- Self Rising Flour
- Salt, Pepper to taste
- Soak chicken overnight in the salt water brine.
- Before frying, remove chicken and rinse. Pat dry.
- Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.
- Heat oil to 350º F.
- While oil is heating, dip chicken pieces in self-rising flour to coat.
- Deep Fryer: Cook dark meat for 15-17 minutes or until golden brown. Chicken breasts cook faster, about 10-12 minutes. Place on a towel-lined platter to drain.
- Pan Fry: Heat 1/2" oil over medium-high heat. Cook chicken skin side down for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Turn and cook for another 15 minutes or until chicken is golden brown.
- Drain on a paper-towel lined platter.
When I was a little girl, I remember mom frying chicken in a cast-iron skillet on her gas stove. As I grew up, they took it outside with a huge deep fryer.
Mom prepared the chicken and dad fried it and all was right with my world.
My mom would give her southern fried chicken recipe up at the drop of a hat. My uncle always said his chicken never came out quite like my mom’s. I say it’s because of the love my mom put into everything she cooked.
Helpful Hint: Click here to find an excellent article on healthy cooking oils for deep frying!
I do hope you try my mom’s recipe and let me know what you think!
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Mmmm, southern fried chicken is the best. I have to try your recipe because it sounds amazing. Love me some fried chicken.
Thank you for this! I just LOVE fried chicken but have never dared to make it before. I might have to try it out. It doesn’t seem too difficult.
I can taste it right now. I sure miss moms fried chicken.
Hubby loves fried chicken, it’s one of his favorite foods. He loves a nice and crunchy, seasoned coating on his chicken.
I have not had fried chicken in decades. When I was a kid we would eat it every once in a while and I always loved it. I should make it again just for the fun of it. This looks delicious.
I have to admit I’ve never tried making my own southern fried chicken but what a great idea. I bet it tastes absolutely delicious as well.
You can never ever go wrong with some southern fried chicken. It’s been one of my favorite dishes since I was little.
If it is moms recipe well it must be amazing. Getting that time of year where fried chicken sound delicious.
When i saw that picture of the fried chicken i started drooling for sure! hahaha! Now i have to eat some fried chicken!
I will try your mom’s tip of brining the chicken overnight. I will also get broiler chicken. I remember my mom saying that they are more tender too. Thanks for sharing this recipe. We’ll be having this for dinner tomorrow. Yum.
Fried chicken is one of my favorite guilty pleasures. The truth is that I don’t have a foolproof recipe so I will definitely try yours. It sounds fabulous.
Good fried chicken is what I grew up on. My family fries it in a cast iron pan. These days I fry mine in the deep fryer.
I love this! I typically brine my chicken in buttermilk, but I tried a water brine and found the chicken to be moist and delicious. And I love that you only used salt and pepper! It reminds me of the chicken my grandma made when I was little.
That looks like perfectly fried chicken. I never got the hang of frying chicken until I got a deep fryer. It makes sure it comes out great every time.
I’m not used to frying with oil so this is helpful! The breading on this fried chicken is simple and sounds tasty.
I didn’t know people soak chicken in salt water before frying that’s really interesting tip.
Your mum’s southern fried looks absolutely delicious
I LOVE making homemade fried chicken! I am going to have to try out this recipe. I love finding new ones to try!
We just had fried chicken yesterday and it was so good. Thank you for sharing this recipe, I love southern fried chicken.
Looks nice and crispy. I’ve never made fried chicken and this sounds like a great recipe. I love remaking my mom’s recipes, takes me back to my childhood.
Always amazed how, take any culture, cuisine, or country, nothing can beat a Mother’s cooking and here recipes.
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Love it! I just try to make this type of fried chicken and that’s why I have searched on google for the best tips then i get the post. These really good tips and helpful. Thank you for this nice tips.
I can never get enough of these fried chicken <3
Thanks for sharing it Alli
This is an awesome fried chicken recipe. It looks so good and delicious. Thank you for sharing this. I will definitely try this one.
This was stunning! There’s nothing like a mother home cooked meal! My whole family loved it! Thank you so much for taking the time to share!