Pieces of batter-fried chicken piled on a white platter.
David Leite
1 of 21

Batter-Fried Chicken

This batter-fried chicken calls for the pieces to be quickly brined and then dipped in a seasoned batter for a crisp Southern-style crust. Simple as can be. This is the real deal. Includes secrets for that crunchy crust.
Pieces of bourbon buttermilk fried chicken on a baking sheet drizzled with honey and topped with sliced chiles.
Jessie Hagan
2 of 21

Bourbon Buttermilk Fried Chicken

This bourbon buttermilk fried chicken has that incredibly satisfying combination of mind-bogglingly crisp skin and meltingly tender meat with an ever-so-subtle hint of bourbon. The hardest part is letting it marinate for 2 days.
Crispy fried chicken pieces on grease-stained paper.
Ditte Isager
3 of 21

Padma Lakshmi’s Crispy Fried Chicken

The key to moist, plump, juicy fried chicken is the marinating, either in salted water—a brine—or in milk. I've combined the two methods. The combination of salt and milk results in sheer, succulent pleasure because the milk makes the meat even sweeter.
A pile of Cajun fried chicken pieces.
Chris Granger
4 of 21

Cajun Fried Chicken

This Cajun fried chicken recipe is bathed in buttermilk and turns out crisp, slightly spicy, perfectly deep-fried loveliness thanks to its Southern charm and Louisiana personality. Quite literally the best we’ve had.
Seven pieces of gluten-free fried chicken on a paper towel-lined rimmed baking sheet.
John Kernick
5 of 21

Gluten-Free Fried Chicken

This gluten-free fried chicken doesn’t call for buttermilk but instead relies on coconut milk plus cornstarch and a pinch of chili powder to make the best fried chicken. No one will even notice it’s gluten-free and dairy-free.
A platter of Nashville hot fried chicken with a jar of whipped butter in the background.
Joseph De Sciose
6 of 21

Nashville Hot Fried Chicken

Nashville hot fried chicken boasts just the right level of heat which it takes from a bath of buttermilk and habanero sauce. It’s the style served at Prince’s Hot Chicken down South. Here’s how to make it at home.
Several pieces of gluten-free dairy-free fried chicken in a parchment-lined metal bucket.
Eva Kolenko
7 of 21

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Fried Chicken

This gluten-free dairy-free fried chicken is made by dipping chicken pieces in coconut milk, then dredging in rice flour, potato starch, and spices.
An oval plate with four pieces of Southern fried chicken wings.
Jason Wyche
8 of 21

Southern Fried Chicken Wings

Here’s how to make Southern fried chicken wings battered with a mixture of flour, paprika, Parmesan, and milk and fried until crisp. As easy to make as it is to crave. Well, almost.
A fried boneless chicken thigh drizzle with honey on a white plate with a fork next to it.
David Malosh
9 of 21

Fried Boneless Chicken Thighs

Egg Shop fried chicken fanatics, here's how to make the famously crisp, juicy, chile- and brown sugar-brined bird at home.
Northern fried chicken piled on a green plate, with a bowl of gravy alongside.
Quentin Bacon
10 of 21

Northern Fried Chicken

Our Northern fried chicken is coated in a mix of matzo meal and flour, giving it a crust that's worlds away from your typical fried chicken. Lighter and crisp in a way that brings to mind a cornmeal crust. And don't skip the fried chicken seasoning–it adds a ton of flavor.
Momofuku fried chicken pieces on a piece of brown paper, covered with Octo Vin, with chopsticks piled beside.
Gabriele Stabile
11 of 21

Momofuku’s Fried Chicken

For this Momofuku fried chicken, you steam chicken before frying it and then you douse it in a Korean-inspired vinaigrette. It's unfailingly crisp-skinned on the outside and tender within. Genius as well as gluten-free.
A platter of pickle-brined fried chicken with pieces of dill pickle, and a bottle of beer.
Peter Frank Edwards
12 of 21

Pickle-Brined Fried Chicken

If you've never tried pickle-brined fried chicken, it needs to go to the top of your must-make list. Now.
A man holding tongs in front of a skillet making southern pan-fried chicken, which is bubbling in the pan
Christopher Hirsheimer
13 of 21

Southern Pan-Fried Chicken

This Southern pan-fried chicken is the classic, crispy fried chicken of your dreams. The chicken is brined, soaked in buttermilk, and coated. It's then fried in a skillet in a mixture of lard, oil, ham, and butter. The results? Crisp, juicy, perfectly seasoned fried chicken.
Three pieces of cornmeal-crusted fried chicken on a white plate.
14 of 21

Cornmeal Crusted Fried Chicken

This cornmeal-crusted fried chicken from Sydney Meers, thanks to a quick brine and an easy dredge in flour and cornmeal, turns out tender, juicy meat, and shatteringly crisp skin. Here’s how to make it.
A white oval platter of pan-fried chicken tenders.
Melissa Bahen
15 of 21

Pan-Fried Chicken Tenders

Pan-fried chicken tenders are an easy and tasty way to get dinner on the table in a hurry. Covered in a crisp batter, the toothsome filets of white meat beg to be dipped and devoured.
Two pieces of cornmeal-crusted fried chicken with white barbecue sauce and a knife on a metal sheet.
John Lee
16 of 21

Cornmeal-Crusted Fried Chicken with White Barbecue Sauce

This cornmeal-crusted fried chicken with white barbecue sauce has a crispy exterior thanks to its breading and tender, juicy meat, which pairs beautifully with a creamy, tangy mayonnaise-based white barbecue sauce.
Four pieces of Judy Hesser's oven-fried chicken in a oval glass baking dish on top of a linen cloth.
17 of 21

Judy Hesser’s Oven-Fried Chicken

This oven-fried chicken from Judy Hesser, momma of Amanda Hesser, is a classy Shake'n Bake. The chicken is brined, coated by shaking in a bag, and baked.
Seven oven fried drumsticks with different coatings on a white background.
Jim Franco
18 of 21

Oven Fried Drumsticks

These oven fried drumsticks can be coated in bread crumbs or panko, sure. But let’s not forget crushed potato chips, cheese crackers, tortilla chips, crushed wasabi peas, saltines, corn flakes, or just about anything.
A dozen pieces of double fried Japanese chicken on a paper towel.
Marcus Nilsson
19 of 21

Chicken Karaage | Japanese Fried Chicken

Chicken karaage, or Japanese fried chicken, is made by marinating chicken in soy sauce and sake and then coating it in egg white and potato starch and frying it twice. The result is blissfully crisp and golden on the outside, tender and ridiculously juicy on the inside.
A person pouring spicy maple bourbon syrup over a platter of waffle fried chicken bites, with a white plate with two bites on it beside the platter.
Cenk Sönmezsoy
20 of 21

Waffle Fried Chicken with Spicy Bourbon Maple Syrup

Waffle fried chicken is chicken coated with waffle batter and fried until crisp on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside. With maple syrup for the kiddos and spiked syrup for the adults.
Three breaded chicken thighs on a plate with slices of roasted lemon.
Bec Hudson
21 of 21

Breaded Oven Fried Chicken Thighs

These breaded oven fried chicken thighs come together quickly with just a handful of pantry ingredients. They have all the crispy goodness of fried chicken, without the mess and hassle of deep frying.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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