Easy Fried Chicken

by Sarah on January 28, 2010

I should really tell you that while no fried chicken is really EASY, this one is the easiest.  It’s really all kind of a pain in the ass.

Buy a whole chicken and cut it up, or buy a “best of fryer”–it doesn’t come with the neck, back or guts, since you’re not using those parts for fried chicken anyway.  If you like to make stock, you can use the neck and back for stock.
Pat the chicken parts dry, then season them with salt and pepper.  Next, we’ll make a flour mixture to dunk the chicken in.   Flour, seasoned salt, dry mustard, black pepper and cayenne.
Roll the chicken around in it, making sure they are completely coated.  Then tap off the excess.  TAP IT OFF!  I know, it’s tempting to leave it on, with the misguided thought that you’ll get more of the crunchy stuff.  You won’t.  You’ll just muck up your cooking oil.  So get the excess flour off.
Heat a good 1/2″ of vegetable oil or shortening in a cast iron pan (or some other HEAVY fry pan) that has a lid until the oil is hot, about 350*.  I toss in a small pinch of flour and if the oil bubbles up quickly, the oil is ready.  It should sizzle when you put it in.  If it doesn’t sizzle and bubble when you put a corner in, don’t put the chicken in yet, it’s not hot enough.  Of course, you could always use a thermometer.
Flip it over when it’s good and browned.  Then put a lid on it for about 15 or 20 minutes.  Then it should be brown on both sides and done in the middle.  You can check it with a thermometer if you’re unsure.  It should be 160*.  I like to drain it on a rack, not on paper.
Of course, I made some greens to go with.

Easy Fried Chicken


  • 1 whole chicken, cut up, or a "Best of Fryer"--cut breast pieces in half crossways
  • 1-2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp seasoned salt, such as Lawry's
  • 1 tsp dry mustard, such as Colman's
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne, or to taste
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • vegetable oil or shortening
  • salt and pepper


  • Heat oil or shortening in heavy cast iron or other frying pan to 350*.
  • Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Mix together the flour and seasonings. Roll chicken pieces in flour mixture and tap to remove excess flour. Place on rack.
  • Place chicken pieces in frying pan--do not crowd. For a 10" pan, only 3 bigger pieces will fit. Fry until browned. Turn over and cover the pan and let continue to cook covered for 15 to 20 minutes. The internal temperature should be 160*. Let cool on a rack and continue until all the chicken is cooked.
  • Serve hot, room temperature or cold.

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