Southern Fried Chicken Recipe

1 / 8
Make a well-seasoned mix for dredging the chicken.
2 / 8
Buttermilk and coconut milk are combined in this version of Southern fried chicken.
3 / 8
Soak the seasoned chicken in a bowl of milk for at least 30 minutes before dredging it in the dry mixture.
4 / 8
Dredge each piece of chicken well in the seasoned dry mix.
5 / 8
Bring the oil to 350 degrees F before dropping the first pieces of chicken into it.
6 / 8
Transfer cooked pieces to a cooling rack to keep the skin crispy.
7 / 8
A heaping plate of perfectly fried chicken will be irresistible to one and all.
8 / 8
“The Up South Cookbook” by Nicole A. Taylor is full of creative recipes combining the rich flavor of Brooklyn with the comfort and tradition of Southern cooking.
45 min COOK TIME
1 hr 15 min PREP TIME
8 servings SERVINGS


  • 1 (3 – 4 pound) fryer chicken, cut up
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons coarse salt, divided
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 cups coconut milk, unsweetened, or 1 (13-1/2-ounce) container
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 4 cups peanut oil or lard
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)


  • Rinse the chicken and rub it with half a lemon (I do this to sanitize chicken). Pat dry, season with 2 tablespoons of the salt, 1 teaspoon of the pepper, and cinnamon. Place the chicken in a large bowl, cover it, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • In a separate large bowl, combine the coconut milk, buttermilk, and chicken. Cover the chicken and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes.
  • In a shallow dish combine flour, cornstarch, red pepper flakes, thyme, garlic powder, and onion powder. Dredge the chicken in the dry mix.
  • Add oil to a 12-inch cast-iron skillet on high heat. Let the oil reach 350 degrees F, using an instant-read thermometer.
  • Work in batches. Temperature should hover around 350 degrees F.
  • Cook wings for about 15 minutes (turn at each 5-minute mark).
  • Breast, thighs, and legs cook in about 25 minutes (turn at each 5-minute mark).
  • Chicken should look like it’s almost floating.
  • Transfer to jelly roll pan with cooling rack on top. This keeps the skin crispy. For easy cleaning, line with pieces of brown paper bags or paper towels.
  • Garnish with parsley, if desired.
  • More from The Up South Cookbook: