Country Fried Chicken

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Written By Robby Macaay

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Bring all the best things about Southern cooking to your dinner table with this country fried chicken recipe! The result? Golden, crispy goodness smothered in savory homemade gravy.

Need some tasty Southern sides to go with your country fried chicken? Try these! Hush puppies, fried okra, or classic biscuits!

Country Fried Chicken Recipe (Chicken-Fried Chicken)

This recipe for country fried chicken is sure to become a new favorite for busy weeknight meals. And it’s surprisingly easy to make! You’re going to love it. The buttermilk marinade keeps the chicken moist and tender, while the flavorful breading gives it a crispy, golden brown crust.

And that homemade white gravy? It’s the perfect finishing touch, adding rich savory flavor. This country fried chicken will be a hit with the whole family! Here’s everything you’ll need so you can whip it up:

Ingredient List

The best part about country fried chicken is that it uses so many simple ingredients. I’m sure most of them are in your pantry! Note: exact measurements are in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

Buttermilk Marinade

  • Chicken Cutlets: Thin, boneless pieces of chicken, perfect for even cooking. You can also use chicken breasts, hammered thin with a tenderizer.
  • Buttermilk: Makes the country fried chicken nice and tender! You can also substitute this with milk mixed with some lemon juice or vinegar. Find my full recipe on making homemade buttermilk here.
  • Salt and Pepper: Add the first layer of flavor to the chicken.
The raw chicken breasts and marinade ingredients: buttermilk, salt, and pepper.

Breading

  • Flour: The base of the crispy coating. All-purpose flour is fine!
  • Paprika, Garlic Powder, and Cayenne Pepper: Spices that add a kick of flavor and color to the breading.
  • Eggs: Binds the breading to the chicken.
  • Vegetable oil: For frying the chicken in.
All of the ingredients for the country fried chicken breading. Listed are: garlic powder, flour, eggs, paprika, cayenne, salt, pepper, and oil.

Gravy

  • Butter: So the gravy has a nice richness! Butter makes everything better, and Southern cooking wouldn’t be as good without it!
  • Flour: Thickens the gravy and creates a roux.
  • Chicken Broth: The flavorful liquid base for the gravy.
  • Salt and Pepper: Adjust the flavor to taste!
All of the ingredients for the gravy. Listed are: chicken broth, flour, butter, salt, and pepper

How to Make Country Fried Chicken

Country fried chicken is all about crispy, juicy chicken smothered in rich gravy, and it’s easier to make than you think. Let’s get started!

Marinating the Chicken

  1. Marinate: Add the chicken cutlets to a large freezer bag, then add in the buttermilk, salt and pepper and shake to mix well and coat the chicken evenly. Let the chicken marinate at room temperature for an hour.
  2. Heat Oil: Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, enough to cover half a filet at a time

Breading and Frying

  1. Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, paprika, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne.
  2. Whisk Eggs: In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs.
  3. Coat: One at a time, take the chicken cutlets from the marinade and allow any excess marinade to drip off. Then place the cutlet into the breading mixture and dredge it evenly and generously.
  4. Repeat: Take the breaded cutlet and dredge it in the egg, then back to the flour mixture for a final coating.
  5. Add to Oil: Carefully place the breaded cutlet into the hot oil, there should be enough oil so half the cutlet is submerged.
  6. Fry: Fry the cutlet for about 5-7 minutes on each side. Remove from the oil and then place on a paper towel lined plate while you work with the rest of the chicken.
  7. Repeat: Repeat these steps with the remaining cutlets.

Making the Gravy

  1. Make Roux: In a saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Then whisk in the flour to create a roux.
  2. Add Broth and Seasonings: Slowly whisk in the chicken broth, salt and pepper. Whisk the gravy and continue cooking until the desired consistency is reached.
  3. Serve: Serve the country fried chicken with your favorite sides and smothered in the gravy! If you need some ideas, I have tasty sides listed below.

Side Dishes to Serve With Country Fried Steak

Country fried steak is great paired with both hearty sides and greens to lighten things up! Here are a few ideas to start you out with:

Top-down view of 4 country fried chicken cutlets.

Storing Leftovers

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. I like to keep the gravy and the chicken separate. This way, the chicken won’t get soggy!

And good news- country fried chicken reheats like a dream. Just pop it on a baking sheet at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes, or until heated through and crispy again.

Pouring gravy over the chicken.

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Buttermilk Marinade

Buttermilk Marinade

  • Add the chicken cutlets to a large freezer bag, add in the buttermilk, salt and pepper and shake to mix well and coat the chicken evenly. Let the chicken marinate at room temperature for an hour.

  • Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, enough to cover half a filet at a time

Breading and Frying

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, paprika, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne.

  • In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs.

  • One at a time, take the chicken cutlets from the marinade and allow any excess marinade to drip off. Place the cutlet into the breading mixture and dredge it evenly and generously.

  • Take the breaded cutlet and dredge it in the egg, then back to the flour mixture for a final coating.

  • Carefully place the breaded cutlet into the hot oil, there should be enough oil to submerge half the cutlet.

  • Fry the cutlet for about 5-7 minutes on each side. Remove from the oil and place on a paper towel lined plate while you work with the rest of the chicken.

  • Repeat these steps with the remaining cutlets.

Make the gravy

  • In a saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour to create a roux.

  • Slowly whisk in the chicken broth, salt and pepper. Whisk the gravy and continue cooking until the desired consistency is reached.

  • Serve the country fried chicken with your favorite sides and smothered in the gravy!

Calories: 808kcalCarbohydrates: 69gProtein: 52gFat: 35gSaturated Fat: 19gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 267mgSodium: 2721mgPotassium: 1004mgFiber: 3gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 1788IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 194mgIron: 5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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