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Southern Fried Chicken

Florida recipes southern fried chicken

Southern Fried Chicken

Florida has a tradition of great fried chicken. In north Florida there are dozens of little delis, gas stations and roadside restaurants that serve great fried chicken.


  • Iron Skillet or Ceramic clad iron pot


  • 1 each 8 piece cut up 3-4 pound chicken
  • 3 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce your favorite
  • 4 tsp salt divided
  • 6 tsp Cajun seasoning divided
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • oil for frying


  • Marinate chicken in buttermilk, 1/4 cups hot sauce, 2 tsp salt, 3 tsp Cajun seasoning from 4 hours to overnight.
  • In a gallon plastic bag place the 2 cups of flour, 2 tsp of remaining salt, 3 tsp of remaining Cajun seasoning
  • Using two pieces at a time, place chicken directly from the marinade into the flour mixture. Shake bag. Place liberally floured chicken aside for 15 minutes to solidify the breading.
  • If you are using an iron skillet, bring 1 inch of oil up to 330 degrees. If you are deep frying, bring enough oil to cover the chicken by 1 inch to 330 degrees.
  • Place chicken carefully into oil. DO NOT CROWD chicken.
  • Fry chicken until internal temperature is 160 degrees. Remove piece and keep warm in 250 degree oven while cooking remaining chicken.


While most people don’t have the equipment, time or staff to cook like restaurants, there are some tips we can suggest to make your fried chicken as good, if not better than most commercial kitchens!
Try these tips;
If you are cooking your chicken in a skillet, use one that best keeps even heat. Iron skillets are perfect. Cast iron ceramic pots work for deep frying.
We use Cajun seasoning because it has ingredients like garlic, onion, paprika, cayenne pepper and salt.
Always give each piece of chicken plenty of room in the skillet. Crowding chicken (or other meats) tends to steam the meat, not fry.
Chicken should be marinated. Buttermilk, salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning and a little hot sauce makes a perfect marinade. A few hours or overnight will help tenderize and season the chicken.
For an eight piece cut up frying chicken, buy a quart of buttermilk. Use three cups for the marinade and save the fourth cup to make buttermilk biscuits!
When breading the chicken, add a tablespoon of cornstarch to each cup of flour for a crisp skin.
Speaking of the flour, season the flour liberally with salt and pepper and more Cajun seasoning that suits your taste.
Save your kitchen! Use gallon plastic bags for the breading process. You will get an even coating without the mess on the counter. Plastic bags can also be used for the marinating process.
After breading, if you leave the breaded chicken pieces standing for about 15 minutes, the breading will adhere to the chicken better.
Use a cooking thermometer to keep the temperature in range while cooking and to tell when the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 160 degrees.
For most people, the most difficult part of making great fried chicken is the frying part. You can deep fry it or use an inch of oil in an iron skillet. The key is to keep the heat at about 330 degrees. Anything higher tends to burn the chicken before it is done. Remember, you can always finish the chicken in the oven if it looks like it is going to burn.
You will be cooking your chicken in batches to avoid crowding. Using the oven, set at 250 degrees, will facilitate finishing the cooking process or keeping the cooked chicken warm.
True southerners learn to fry everything. If you can make good fried chicken, you are on your way to learning how to fry just about everything!
For some playful fried treats try Snickers bars, bacon, green beans, Twinkies, macaroni and cheese, and even ice cream! It may take a little practice, but the results will be worth it.
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