Classic Southern Fried Chicken


Fried chicken aficionados know that the best bird is a symphony of savory, crackling skin giving way to meltingly juicy meat—and the real ones know that what gets you there is Crisco. Though some recipes are batter-based, that's just a matter of preference. In this, a dredge in flour and seasoned salt and pepper (shoutout to Lawry's) delivers a subtle zing, while the vegetable shortening delivers the perfect crisp without scorching. More Fried Chicken Recipes

Classic Southern Fried Chicken
Photo: © Con Poulos
Total Time:
45 mins


  • One 4-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1/2 cup whole milk

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon seasoned salt, such as Lawry's

  • 1 teaspoon seasoned pepper, such as Lawry's

  • 24 ounces solid vegetable shortening, such as Crisco


  1. Pat the chicken pieces dry and line a baking sheet with wax paper. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk. Add the chicken. In another bowl, whisk the flour with the seasoned salt and seasoned pepper. Dredge the chicken in the seasoned flour and transfer to the baking sheet.

  2. In a 12-inch, cast-iron skillet, heat the vegetable shortening to 365°. Add all of the chicken and fry over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until deeply golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted nearest the bone registers 170°, 20 to 24 minutes. Drain the chicken on paper towels and serve right away.

Suggested Pairing

Lighter dry rosés, which have the minerality of white wines and the berry-fruit flavors of red wines, are terrific with fried foods like this crispy chicken.

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