Crunchy, crispy, golden-brown bites of fried chicken. Does it get any better than that? Every culture has their own version of the iconic dish: pounded flat, boiled before frying, or seasoned with 11 secret herbs and spices (yes, I'm talking about KFC). I like to think of fried chicken as less of a recipe, and more of a blank canvas—a way to pass down trade secrets through generations of cooks. And no matter how you fry it, you'll always end up with a story to tell.
So, grab your passport and take a trip with Simply Recipes as we explore the world of fried chicken. Book an extended layover in Korea for a bite of Dakgangjeong, a double-fried chicken tossed in a sweet gochujang glaze; Hop on a red eye to Nigeria to learn why tougher birds are preferred; and plan a weekend trip down South to hear how author Rebecca Lang cooked over 200 pounds of chicken for her fried chicken cookbook.
This is just a taste of what's out there, but we think it's a pretty juicy place to start. — Ariel Knutson, Associate Editorial Director
Su-Jit Lin reflects on the fried chicken her grandmother used to make when she was a kid. "Chinese without being Chinese, Southern-style and American without truly being either, her fried chicken was a crossroads of cultures sealed together under a gloriously crackling brown exterior, craggy with crunch."
Read the story: My Grandma's Fried Chicken Is Lost, But Not Forgotten
Want to make the lightest, crispiest fried chicken ever? Look no further than Hat Yai chicken, a popular street food from Southern Thailand, which calls for rice flour. "The rice flour creates a crispy crust that doesn’t taste greasy or feel weighty like some fried chicken skin can," explains Alison Spiegel. "That’s because rice flour doesn’t absorb as much oil as wheat flour."
When Adedoyin Adeniji moved to the United States for college from Nigeria, the first thing she wanted to make when she had her own kitchen was fried chicken. But when she did it tasted...off. The reason? She was missing a tougher bird. "This toughness, which may be off-putting to some, fits perfectly into Nigerian cuisine."
Alison Spiegel asked Paris-based food writer and stylist Rebekah Peppler for her best tips for making fried chicken, the French way. "As Peppler explains, putting a French touch on fried chicken isn’t just about how you make it, but how you enjoy it, too." Spoiler: Bust out the mustard!
Read the story: 3 French Tips for the Best Fried Chicken Ever
Virginia Willis talked to Rebecca Lang about her cookbook, “Fried Chicken: Recipes for the Crispy, Crunchy, Comfort-Food Classic," where she spilled some of her best tips. "All over the world at any time in history where there has been birds and grease, there has been fried chicken."
Say “goodbye” to dredged fingers with the help of one simple tool: a spider strainer. Meghan Splawn writes: "The combination of a thin, even coating and less excess oil on each piece, makes the spider strainer an essential tool for making the best fried chicken at home."
Read the story: The One Tool You Need for Perfect Fried Chicken at Home
Grab your oil of choice and a Dutch oven (or skillet) and fry up one of these recipes.
- Oven-Fried Hot Honey Chicken: This crispy oven-fried chicken is slathered with a jalapeño and cayenne pepper-infused honey. Save the extra hot honey because you’ll be double-dipping.
- Dakgangjeong (Sweet and Spicy Korean Fried Chicken): Dakgangjeong is crispy double-fried chicken tossed in a sweet gochujang glaze. You’re in for a sweet, spicy, and crunchy treat!
- Pollo Campero-Style Air Fryer Fried Chicken: This copycat recipe of Pollo Campero's popular fried chicken is made in the air fryer and uses a blend of citrus and spices to create a savory, herbaceous, and acidic dish.
- Chicken Milanese: This classic Italian Chicken Milanese is surprisingly easy and fast to make at home. Serve it with a side salad for a delicious weeknight meal.
- Chicken Schnitzel: Serve this perfectly fried chicken schnitzel with your favorite potato salad and you’ll be reigning over weeknight dinner!
- Piri Piri Fried Chicken: This crispy South African-inspired fried chicken recipe is made with a dry seasoning blend of bird’s eye chili peppers, paprika, salt, lemon peels, oregano, and garlic.
- Sweet Tea Fried Chicken: Two traditional foods of the South come together here—the sweet tea works as a brine to make this fried chicken extra juicy and extra flavorful.
- Spicy Fried Chicken: Ready for some seriously spicy fried chicken? Hot sauce in the buttermilk marinade and cayenne in the breading means you're headed toward seriously spicy bliss.
- Buttermilk Fried Chicken: In search of a juicy buttermilk fried chicken recipe to wow your friends or family? This recipe is just the ticket!