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Skillet Fried Chicken: Perfect for Family Dinners

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If you’re looking to make the perfect skillet fried chicken, you’re in the right place. Master the art of making crispy, juicy fried chicken with just a few simple ingredients.

Using a cast-iron skillet, you can easily control the temperature to ensure even cooking. Flour, paprika, salt, and pepper are all you need to create a flavorful coating. Follow these easy steps, and you’ll be serving up delicious fried chicken in no time.

Ready to impress your family and friends? Grab your skillet and let’s get cooking!

Exact Ingredients (+ Possible Substitutes)

Here’s a list of what you’ll need to make delicious skillet fried chicken:

  • Chicken: Use bone-in, skin-on pieces like thighs, drumsticks, or breasts.

  • Flour: All-purpose flour works best.

  • Paprika: Adds a mild spice. Substitute: Smoked paprika or chili powder.

  • Salt and Pepper: Essential for seasoning.

  • Buttermilk: Makes the chicken juicy and tender. Substitute: Mix 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar.

  • Oil: Use vegetable oil, canola oil, or peanut oil. Make sure it’s enough to cover the bottom of the skillet by about 1/4 inch.

Optional Ingredients

  • Garlic Powder: For an extra layer of flavor.
  • Onion Powder: Adds a subtle sweetness.
  • Cayenne Pepper: For a spicy kick.

Ingredient Table

ChickenBone-in, skin-on 
Flour1 cup 
Paprika1 tspSmoked paprika, chili powder
SaltTo taste 
PepperTo taste 
Buttermilk1 cupMilk + lemon juice/vinegar
OilEnough to cover 
Garlic Powder1 tsp (optional) 
Onion Powder1 tsp (optional) 
Cayenne Pepper1/2 tsp (optional) 


  • If you don’t have a deep-fry thermometer, test the oil by dropping in a small piece of bread; it should sizzle and turn golden in about 60 seconds.
  • Adjust spices to your taste preferences.
  • Always keep an eye on the heat to prevent burning.


  1. Prepare the Chicken
    Make sure the chicken is clean and dry. Pat it with paper towels to remove any excess moisture.

  2. Mix the Coating
    In a shallow dish, combine flour, paprika, salt, and pepper. You can also add garlic powder or cajun seasoning for extra flavor.

  3. Coat the Chicken
    Coat each piece of chicken thoroughly with the flour mixture. Ensure all sides are well-covered.

  4. Heat the Oil
    Pour oil into a heavy skillet, about ¾ inch deep. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it reaches about 350°F (175°C).

  5. Fry the Chicken
    Place the chicken in the skillet, skin side down. Cook for about 10 minutes or until it is light brown.

  6. Reduce Heat and Cover
    Reduce the heat to low and cover the skillet. Cook for an additional 20-30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

  7. Crisp the Chicken
    Remove the cover, increase the heat again, and fry until crispy. Turn occasionally to ensure an even crust.

  8. Drain Excess Oil
    Once the chicken is done, place it on a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess oil.

Enjoy your delicious skillet fried chicken!

Tips, Tricks & Storing

Tips & Tricks

  • Seasoning: Always season your chicken with salt and pepper before frying. You can also add other spices to the flour mixture to enhance the flavor.
  • Oil Temperature: Keep your oil at 350°F (175°C). This ensures a crispy exterior and a fully cooked interior.
  • Batch Frying: Avoid overcrowding the skillet. Fry in batches to maintain the oil temperature and get evenly cooked chicken.
  • Rest After Frying: Place fried chicken on a wire rack to drain excess oil and stay crispy.

Storing Fried Chicken

  • Room Temperature: Let the chicken sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before storing.
  • Use Proper Containers: Place chicken in container without overcrowding. This keeps the chicken crispy.
  • Refrigeration: Store fried chicken in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Use airtight containers to preserve freshness.

Reheating Fried Chicken

  • Oven: Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Place chicken on a rack inside a baking sheet, and reheat for 10-15 minutes.
  • Air Fryer: Preheat the air fryer to 375°F (190°C). Heat the chicken for about 6-8 minutes until warmed through.
  • Skillet: Heat a skillet over medium heat with oil or butter. Cook each side for 2-3 minutes until crispy and heated through.

Freezing Fried Chicken

  • Prep for Freezing: Move fried chicken to the freezer within 2 hours of cooking. This locks in freshness.
  • Storage Temperature: Keep at 0°F (-18°C) for optimal quality. Chicken can be stored safely for up to 12 months. For best taste, consume within 6 months.