Southern style fried chicken Southern style fried chicken

“Southern”, of course, refers to the American south. You know, pictures of a bygone era with cotton plantations, big houses a la Tara and Twelve Oaks in Gone with the Wind… That era is gone but the southern way of cooking fried chicken has made its mark. There are many versions of southern style fried chicken. Some require precooking, either in water or in milk or buttermilk. Some require that the chicken be dipped in buttermilk before dredging in flour, some recipes include beaten eggs while others simply require that the seasoned chicken be dredged in flour before frying. The common denominator is the coating. Southern style fried chicken is coated either with flour or batter and it is the crisp crust that distinguishes it from other fried chicken dishes.

I don’t like the idea of precooking because the natural chicken flavors and juices will go into the cooking liquid. I don’t like the addition of eggs as they make the coating too thick and bread like. I just like the chicken to be well seasoned and the coating light and crisp. This is my version.

Inspired by a reader’s comment about mixing flour and cornmeal to make the coating, I have to admit that the result is delicious. I used to make the coating by dredging the seasoned chicken in flour, dipping in beaten eggs then coating with breadcrumbs. That’s a thing of the past now. I tell you, the inclusion of eggs in the preparation of the coating makes it soggy as soon as the fried chicken starts to cool. Ditch the eggs and the fried chicken’s coating stays crisp even after 30 minutes. Southern style fried chicken

Recipe: Southern style fried chicken


  • 12 chicken wings (“small drumsticks” attached)
  • 3/4 tbsp. of salt
  • 1/2 tbsp. of freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. of cayenne powder
  • 1 tbsp. of grated garlic (or 1 tsp. of garlic powder)
  • 1/2 c. of flour
  • 1/4 c. of corn meal
  • oil for deep frying (how much depends on the size of your frying pan)


  1. Wash the chicken wings and pat dry with kitchen towels. Place in a large resealable plastic bag (I recommend a Ziploc bag with expandable bottom). Add the salt, pepper, cayenne powder and garlic. Seal the bag. Shake the bag to distribute the seasonings. Massage the chicken wings through the plastic to work the seasonings into the meat. Place the fridge for at least two hours, turning the bag over and massaging the chicken every 30 minutes.
  2. Heat the oil. Medium-high works best for me — the chicken get cooked through while the coating does not get too brown.
  3. Open the plastic bag and dump the flour and corn meal inside. Reseal and shake thoroughly to make sure that every crevice of each piece of chicken is coated.
  4. When the oil starts to smoke (smoking profusely means it is too hot), deep fry the chicken wings. Work in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan and so that the temperature of the oil does not drop. Leave them alone for five minutes or so. If you start moving them around too soon, the coating will slide off the chicken. This will happen too if the oil is not hot enough. When the underside is nicely browned, turn them over and cook for another five minutes or so. Chicken wings don’t take too long to cook.
  5. If you cook your fried chicken correctly, the coating will not be shiny at all and very little oil will drip off the chicken as you lift them off the frying pan. To make sure that you get rid of the little excess oil, drain on paper towels before serving.
  6. Now, if you want something different… Did you know that Southern style fried chicken is the base dish for making buffalo wings? That’s what I’ll be posting next.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

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The Author

Hello, my name is Connie Veneracion. I cook, I shoot, I write. But I don't do the laundry. I don't like housekeeping very much either... (more about me)

22 Responses

  1. Great looking chicken! Thanks for the tip about the egg.

  2. RobKSA says:

    Looks really crispy; can’t wait for the buffalo wings. Thanks for sharing and more power to your blog. I only occasionally comment but I always read your blog (5 times a weeks at least!)

  3. Jhoanne says:

    My kids, especially my sone, will surely love this.

    BTW, i love your site.

  4. mark says:

    hello thanks for this great site. can i ask where can i buy corn meal? have you try to soaking the chicken to milk for overnite do you think its ok? thanks :-)

  5. Crisma says:

    You are so right about excluding the eggs—
    and for the right reason!!! I also learned this from experience. Thanks for confirming this cooking tip, Ms. Connie.

  6. Connie says:

    Mark, Landmark and Unimart both sell Alber’s cornmeal.

  7. James says:

    Skipping the eggs is a good idea. If you want super crispy, double-dredge. Use milk as the liquid between coats.

    Your wings look awesome!

  8. Crisma says:

    Really got so inspired with this one, Ms. Connie! We had this for lunch, and my son
    really raved about how good the chicken was!
    Thanks again! ;)

  9. Connie says:

    Crisma, ah so you’ve tried it! Great. Kids are such honest critics. Mine are super honest — when I mess up, the reactions are soooo mean LOL

  10. jason says:


    is corn meal, corn flour the same?

  11. Connie says:

    Jasin, no they’re not the same. See the cornmeal entry.

  12. paw says:

    hi,ask ko lang,ano po ba ang packaging ng corn meal,ive been to landmark,i cant find one,and the disers cant help me either….tnx

  13. Connie says:

    Naka-box, Paw. Albers corn meal. There’s yellow cornmeal and white cornmeal.

  14. yellahfellah says:

    Hi Connie, I have been looking for a recipe for Don Henrico’s-style Buffalo Wings since last week and sadly could not find anything that comes close… until I came across this site of yours. It looks close to the real thing so I’ll try to make a batch tomorrow and see what happens… And your Southern Fried Chicken sure looks tasty & crispy!

    BTW, I came across a recipe for Kenny Rogers Corn Muffins some time ago, but haven’t been able to make some as it called for some corn meal. Now that you’ve told us where to get it (sa Unimart lang pala!) I’ll finally be able to try it out.

  15. Michelle says:

    Hi.. thanks for the recipe…can i subsitute cornmeal to bread crumbs?

    thnks again…

    • Connie says:

      The crust would be too thick and hard. Breadcrumbs and cornmeal on a 2:1 ratio seems to yield the best crust.

  16. athena says:

    Ms. Connie, i cant find cornmeal anywhere in our local market, and pls excuse me for this kinda st**pd question, but i’m having a hard time understanding the previous comment about substituting it to bread crumbs, so maybe you can enlighten me, the comment above says 2:1 ratio for breadcrumbs and cornmeal, and the recipe asks for 1/4 cup cornmeal, so i’ll use 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs instead? or should it be 1/8 cup? thank you

  17. Connie says:

    It means cornmeal with no bread crumbs won’t work as the crust wvill be too thick and hard.

    2:1 ratio means 2 parts breadcrumbs and 1 part cornmeal.

  18. Athena says:

    I’ll try flour + cornmeal next time, i cooked this earlier this morning for the party at night. used 1/2 cup flour and 1/4 cup breadcrumbs. The chicken tastes delicious, i marinated it for atleast 3 hours (chicken wings) and about 8 hours for other chicken parts. But it isnt crunchy anymore, well it’s just ok since everyone enjoyed it :) especially with the sauce.

  19. Myra says:

    hi connie! your chicken looks amazing! I just had one question what do you suggest for a substitute to cayenne powder?

  20. Shana says:

    I use a bag of drummettes. I open it up and season with garlic pdr, cayenne pepper, Lowrys seasoned salt, 1 pkg sazon goya seasoning. Sprinkle with Tapatio hot sauce for a bit of spice. Cut a small onion and mix it all together. Close bag and place in fridge for at least 3 hrs.. overnight if u like. Heat oil in pan and once its getting hot put in big chunks of onion to season the oil.. a little butter in there too. I mix flour, paprika, cayenne, little garlic podwer and dip chicken. Pat off excess flour. Fry over med high as listed above.

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