This Easy Southern Fried Chicken Recipe starts with a flavorful brine and a short pan frying time, then finishes with a stint in the oven. Less mess and outrageously delicious!

Easy Southern Fried Chicken on a white plate with a red handle fork

Easy Southern Fried Chicken

Years ago, I spotted a recipe for an “easier” fried chicken in Cook’s Illustrated. Fried chicken was always one of those daunting recipes as it’s typically deep-fried and creates a huge greasy mess!

This easy southern fried chicken is shallow fried, eliminating the big vat of oil and quite a bit of the mess. I use a splatter screen over my frying pan to also help contain any flying grease! The chicken is fried just long enough to get some lovely golden color on the crust, before being fully cooked on a rack in the oven.

Easy Southern Fried Chicken Recipe on a plate with colelsaw


Tips for Perfect Fried Chicken

  • I draped my cooktop in aluminum foil and got out my screen splatter guard, but clearly this process was not nearly as messy as other deep-fried chicken recipes I’ve made.
  • To start, the chicken was brined overnight in a flavorful buttermilk mixture which helped infuse moisture into the meat. Don’t be dissuaded by the large amount of salt in the brine as it is necessary for flavorful, tender meat.
  • As I was prepping the chicken, I remembered a tip to help keep the crust adhered to the chicken. After the flour coating is applied, place the chicken on a wire rack over a baking sheet and refrigerate uncovered for a couple of hours. It’s worth a try if you’re not pressed for time.
  • The chicken pieces were fried in only about an inch and a half of oil, thus avoiding a massive amount of oil to deal with afterward.  Always a bonus.
    The crust was crispy and flavorful and the meat was moist and tender. This was PERFECT buttermilk fried chicken! I could not stop sampling bits of the delectable crust. I’d call this a home run dinner!!!
Easy Southern Fried Chicken Recipe on a white ceramic plate with a bowl of coleslaw
Easy Southern Fried Chicken Recipe | Brined, breaded, shallow fried and baked for a fabulous picnic or game day dinner!

Easy Southern Fried Chicken

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Yield 4 servings

This Easy Southern Fried Chicken Recipe starts with a flavorful brine and a short pan frying time, then finishes with a stint in the oven. 


  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk, divided
  • 4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • Dash hot sauce
  • 3 teaspoons ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder, divided
  • 1 teaspoon paprika, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, divided
  • 3 1/2 pounds bone-in, skin on chicken parts
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 3/4 cups vegetable oil


  1. In a large Ziploc bag, combine 1 cup of the  buttermilk, 3 teaspoons salt, the hot sauce, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon paprika and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
  2. Add cut up chicken to the bag and turn chicken pieces to coat them.
  3. Place in fridge for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  4. When ready to fry, preheat oven to 400º.
  5. In another large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder,1 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons black pepper, 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 3/4 teaspoon paprika and remaining cayenne pepper. Add ¼ cup of buttermilk to mixture and mix with your fingers until the buttermilk forms small clumps.
  6. Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour mixture. Press the flour coating onto the chicken and place chicken on a plate skin side up. *See note for extra step if you have time.
  7. In a large saute pan, heat oil over medium heat until it reaches 375º. Add chicken pieces, skin side down, to the pan of hot oil. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, until they are golden brown. Carefully flip the chicken and continue to cook until they are golden brown on the other side, about 2 to 4 minutes more.
  8. Remove the chicken pieces from the pan and place on a wire rackset over a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes (leave the larger pieces in a bit longer). Allow chicken to cool slightly before serving.


Total time does not include brining time.
Calorie count isn't accurate due to the oil used for cooking.
*After breading the chicken, I like to put it on a rack over a baking sheet and refrigerate it for a couple hours. This helps the coating adhere better during the frying process.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1360Total Fat: 112gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 94gCholesterol: 110mgSodium: 2591mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 37g


Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Perfect Fried Chicken photos and text collage