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About Me:

Hi y'all! My name is Elizabeth Knicely, but I go by Liz. I am a 35 year old wife and mother of 3 wonderful children. I am also a pet owner of a cat, dog and turtle. I am an avid home chef, ambitious artist and amateur comedian. I'm just a small town girl trying to leave a mark on this world. Welcome to my blog!

Knicely Made

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Ultimate Southern Fried Chicken

You guys, get ready for some serious indulgence. The ULTIMATE Southern Fried Chicken here. This is simply the best fried chicken you'll ever eat! I always have to double this recipe because it's just that good!

PREP TIME: 12 hours 30 minutes

COOK TIME: 21 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 12 hours 51 minutes

SERVINGS: 8 pieces


4 Chicken Drum Sticks with skin on

4 Chicken Thighs with skin on

3 cups Buttermilk

Vegetable Oil for deep frying


3 tablespoon Peppercorns

2-4 sprig Fresh Thyme

4 Bay Leaves

4 Garlic Cloves, crushed

2 teaspoons Salt

1/4 cup Brown Sugar, packed

2 cups Boiling Hot Water

2 cups Room Temperature Water


2 cups All-Purpose Flour

1 teaspoon Baking Powder

1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika

1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

1 teaspoon Onion Powder

1/2 teaspoon Salt

1 1/2 teaspoon Pepper


Kosher Salt - Sprinkle over top

Fresh Thyme Leaves - Sprinkle over top

Lemon Wedges - To serve



1. Into a large stainless steel pan, add crushed garlic, black pepper corns, bay leaves, fresh thyme, brown sugar, and kosher salt. Add 2 cups of boiling hot water into the pan and stir until salt and sugar is dissolved. (If salt does not dissolve easily, you can place the pan on the stove and heat it until the salt is dissolved completely.)

2. After the salt is dissolved, add 2 cups more room temperature water. Keep it aside until it cools completely.

3. Score the chicken pieces down to the bones. Place chicken pieces in brine. Cover the top with grease proof paper or cling wrap film.

4. Place it in the fridge for 6-8 hours.


1. After brining the chicken should be hydrated and looking plumper. Remove chicken from the brine, shake off liquids and put it into a zip lock bag.

2. Pour buttermilk into the zip lock bags. Coat all chicken pieces well in buttermilk. The acidity in buttermilk will help tenderize the chicken, and help with the flavors. Push air out of the bag and seal the chicken inside the zip lock bag.

3. Place the buttermilk and chicken in the fridge for another 8 hours.


1. The secret spice mix is a mix of plain flour, baking powder, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix everything together well.

2. Remove chicken from buttermilk. Shake off excess liquids and dip it directly in flour mixture. Get your fingers in and coat the slit open areas and all around the chicken pieces.


1. Heat about 3 inches of vegetable oil in a deep bottomed pan to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Place chicken in the hot oil without overcrowding (fry them in batches) the pan. Toss and cook until golden brown on all sides. It will take 3-4 minutes per side.

3. Remove it to a baking tray. Arrange all fried chicken on the baking tray in one layer. Grab a few thyme leaves; dip in excess oil in the tray and sprinkle all over the chicken for one final aromatic flavor hit.

4. Place the tray in a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until the center of your thickest thigh is cooked through to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

5. Remove chicken from baking tray onto a wire mesh to drain excess oil for about 4 minutes. Serve immediately with your favorite sides. I serve mine with potato salad and roasted carrots.

6. It's best served as soon as it's fried. The longer Southern Fried Chicken sits, it will turn soggy and loose it's crispiness.


1. DON'T skip any steps mentioned in the recipe. Bringing, buttermilk and coating with flour - each step add to making the BEST fried chicken with perfect crispy outer crust and the juiciest moist chicken inside!

2. Score chicken pieces to ensure the flavor is added both inside and out.

3. I recommend you use vegetable oil or other flavorless oil like canola oil or peanut oil for deep frying. I always use vegetable oil.

4. Wait until the oil is heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit before you start frying the chicken.

5. Do not crowd the pan while deep frying the chicken.

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