Dutch Oven Fried Chicken

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Dutch oven fried chicken will make amazing crunchy, golden fried chicken!  The key to make a  brine with buttermilk, cornstarch AND a secret oil temperature!  Perfect with creamy mashed potatoes, or southern candied yams!

Fried Chicken Recipe


  • Dutch oven chicken makes perfect crispy golden fried chicken.
  • The brine makes the chicken so flavorful.
  • The buttermilk make it nice and tender!
  • A combination of corn flour and flour is used to make it extra crispy! 
  • Unlike most fried chicken recipes, this one uses a lower cooking temperature which doesn’t burn the chicken and helps makes it golden in color.
  • Using a meat thermometer to monitor the oil temperature will help to keep the temperature steady. 

Just hearing someone talk about fried chicken can make a person hungry. When it’s made right it’s so darn good!


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This dutch oven fried chicken is super easy to make. It’s so good and seasoned just right. You will be sinking your teeth into it in no time!

When I was a kid my mom and southern grandmother showed me how to make their southern fried chicken.  We used a brown paper bag. We would add the chicken pieces to the bag and shake the bag to coat the chicken with the flour.

Back then we didn’t use a  meat thermometer. These days, I still use my brown paper bag, Ziploc, or a large plastic container with a lid. And of course I ALWAYS use my meat thermometer. A thermometer will take all the guesswork away. 

Fried Chicken Recipe


Please do not brine chicken overnight using the salt measurement in this recipe because the chicken will turn out salty.  If you must brine it overnight use way less salt.


I always use buttermilk when I brine the chicken. Soaking the chicken in buttermilk helps tenderize it and it will keep the chicken nice and tender while it is frying. The brine is simple. It consists of salt and sugar and buttermilk. The sugar will not make the chicken sweet. I brine the same day I make fried chicken.


If you have time, ONLY brine the chicken for 3-4 hours AND use 1/4 cup of salt and sugar. If you are short on time then only 2 hours. I can’t recommend brining the chicken in buttermilk enough though. It will make the best-fried chicken so don’t skip out on it.


To make the best fried chicken seasoning first let the chicken sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes. Please do not fry chicken cold.

Season both the flour and the chicken before you fry it.

To achieve a nice golden color and crunch add cornstarch to the all-purpose flour. It makes the chicken crunchy and gives the chicken a nice golden color.


Just discard the buttermilk and brine marinade then pat the chicken dry. Coat the chicken in flour first, then dip it in the egg then back into the flour. The egg helps in making super crunchy fried chicken.


A  lot of recipes say to use canola oil or peanut oil.  Peanut oil works well but I usually use vegetable oil.  Whatever oil you choose, make sure it’s a very high smoke point oil. Vegetable oil or peanut oil will make great fried chicken!

Fried Chicken Recipe


Like most recipes, this dutch oven fried chicken recipe also takes about 15-20 minutes to fry it. After you coat the chicken in the seasoned flour, shake off the excess flour and leave the coated chicken alone for 10-15 minutes so that the flour can absorb some.

Do not overcrowd the dutch oven or deep fryer. Overcrowding the dutch oven/deep fryer will reduce the oil temperature and your chicken will end up greasy and soggy.

Fry the chicken flipping occasionally to prevent dark spots until golden brown for 15-20 minutes or the meat temperature reads 165 F on a thermometer. Fyi, smaller chicken pieces will cook faster.

Cast Iron, Dutch oven or a deep fryer? I love to use a large dutch (I use a 6qt) oven or a hard bottom aluminum frying pan does the job.  Fill the dutch oven with 2 1/2 quarts of vegetable oil.

Deep fryers are great too if you don’t have a dutch oven then use a deep fryer. Refer to your deep fryer manufacture manual for frying information.


Use a Thermometer: I always check the temperature of the oil every 3-5 minutes. If you don’t have a meat thermometer then please purchase. Use it to maintain and track the oil temperature. You will know exactly what the oil temperature is. You’ll also know when your fried chicken is done.

With a thermometer, there is no need to play the guessing game. No chance of undercooked meat. No chance of getting food poisoning. If you are a pro at frying chicken then you probably already know whether your chicken is done or not, but it’s still good to use one. I’ve been making fried chicken for years but I always use a meat thermometer.


Adjust the heat every now and then to maintain the temperature. Keep the oil temperature at 300 F. If you happen to check the meat and it’s higher than 300 F, reduce the heat immediately.

Once you get the oil temperature at 300 F, check it a couple minutes later because you may need to adjust the heat again to a higher temperature.  The key is to try to keep the heat to at least 300 F.


Do not drain on paper towels or the chicken will end up soggy. To keep the chicken crunchy and crisp, drain the chicken over a wire rack set over a baking sheet for about 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200 and place the wire rack set over the baking sheet into the oven. Carefully remove the hot chicken from the dutch oven onto the rack inside the oven until you are finished frying all of the chicken.

So there you have it, follow these tips and you will have perfectly golden and crunchy southern fried chicken.

A plate of golden crispy fried chicken

Dutch Oven Fried Chicken

April Boller Wright
This dutch oven fried chicken recipe will make easy crunchy, golden chicken.  The key to make a  brine with buttermilk, cornstarch AND a secret oil temperature! 
5 from 21 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine soul food, Southern, Southern American
Servings 5 people
Calories 483 kcal



  • 5 lb whole chicken cleaned and cut into 10 pieces
  • 3 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Seasoned Flour

  • 1 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp red pepper
  • 1 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs

For the chicken pieces

  • 1 3/4 tsp salt plus


  • To a large Ziploc bag add buttermilk, salt, and sugar.  Gently mix well. Add the chicken pieces. Refrigerate for 2- 4 hours.*See notes. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. 
  • Remove the chicken from the brine. Pour the brine down the drain. Pat the chicken dry then place the chicken on a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet.
  • To a large brown bag or Ziploc add 1/2 tsp of pepper to the flour and the rest (except for the salt) of the flour ingredients. Mix the flour and seasonings together. Season the chicken with the salt.
  • To a bowl, add 3 eggs and whisk. Add the chicken pieces to the flour and shake the bag to coat the chicken. Remove the chicken and place it the chicken into the egg mixture then flip the chicken to coat the other side in the egg mixture.
  • Place the chicken back into the flour and shake to coat again then place it on the parchment lined bake tray. Let the chicken sit to absorb the flour for 10-15 minutes. 
  • To a Dutch oven over medium-high heat add the oil. The oil is ready once the temperature reaches 300 F. Use a thermometer to maintain and track the temp.  Add the chicken pieces to the dutch oven but do not overcrowd it. Flip the chicken a couple times as it cooks. Fry the chicken for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown and the temperature of the fried chicken reaches 165 F. Fyi, smaller pieces of chicken will cook faster. 
  • To keep the fried chicken crunchy and crisp, drain the chicken over a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet for about 10 minutes. To prevent soggy chicken, do not drain on paper towels. 




Calories: 483kcal
Keyword dutch oven fried chicken, fried chicken, southern fried chicken
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  1. Charlie Andre says:

    I just wanted to thank you…..your recipe and the attention to detail is outstanding….have been wanting to make fried chicken for years are local carry out closed several years ago and we were left out wanting fried chicken……anyway followed your instructions in every detail and WOW the results were incredible…..outstanding the best chicken we have had in years
    Thank you so much a keeper
    Charlie5 stars

    1. So sorry for my delayed response but thank you for your kind words. I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed the fried chicken recipe and that it turned out so well for you. It’s always a pleasure to hear that my recipes are helpful and appreciated. I hope you continue to enjoy making and eating fried chicken in the future!

  2. Marry Brady says:

    This recipe is great . It tasted so good.5 stars

  3. Kathy McCabe says:

    My entire family LOVED the chicken. We are a multi-generational family which includes my 89 year old mother, 11 year old grandson, 39 year old son, my husband and myself. My husband is an excellent cook and his comment “This is the best chicken I have in years.” Rave reviews from all….

  4. Made for Father’s Day and got RAVE reviews! Corn muffins and potato salad were perfect sides!One question: How do I keep the oil from darkening?

    1. Thank you so much Sharon! Did you mean something else because I don’t have potato salad on here yet:). Was your oil too hot? That can usually cause dark oil.

  5. Just made this today for Memorial Day and WOW! Completely surpassed all expectations! So moist, so flavorful, just amazing. This will be added to the rotation and the first thing I make for friends/family once this whole thing is behind us. Thanks April!5 stars

    1. Hey Josh! I’m really glad you enjoyed it! Next time, try it with the hushpupies and coleslaw on my site too. Delicious! I seriously can’t wait to be able to cook for my friends and family as well. Take care!

  6. Rich Jones says:

    Do you use kosher or table salt for the brine?

  7. Any suggestions for what to do with the frying oil after you’re done? Can it be used again for different reasons?
    Thanks for any tips.

  8. I personally don’t cook any meat myself, but your step by step method and explanations would be any first timer’s delight. I think I should direct hubby to your blog whenever he craves for perfectly fried chicken.

  9. this chicken looks so perfect with the best crispy crunch. I too love the flavor and texture achieved from brining5 stars

  10. Oh my gosh I LOVE Southern fried chicken and yours looks perfect! I always soak in buttermilk but now I need to try your brine!

  11. Jacqueline Debono says:

    I love fried chicken but mine never really comes out that good. Next time round, I’ll follow your recipe. It sounds like you get it perfect!5 stars

  12. sondria Harp says:

    Love fried chicken, I mean who doesn’t? Amirite? I will definitely try this I am always looking for a good fried chicken recipe and need always new tips and tricks.5 stars

  13. Catherine Brown says:

    You read my mind April. I’ve been craving fried chicken lately, even dreamed about it last night. and not just ANY fried chicken, but fried chicken cooked just like THIS! You’ve got ALL the right steps. Happily, I don’t eat meat very often, but the next time I come across an organically raised, humanely treated chicken, this is what I’m making!5 stars

  14. Oh, man! This fried chicken looks so amazing! Just like my grandma used to make! I haven’t had fried chicken or made it since she passed away, but this recipe is totally calling to me!5 stars