← Back to Search Results
frying American, Southern
David’s Famous Fried Chicken Recipe-10500

Photo by: Joseph De Leo
Comments: 0


Over the years this delectable fried chicken, served with Creamed Spinach and plenty of piping hot Herbed Biscuits, has been our most requested staff meal. Depending on the season and my mood, I sometimes make Summertime Creamed Corn or Cider Vinegar Slaw instead of spinach.

Fried chicken, like barbecue, is one of those quintessential American dishes that all home cooks and chefs are convinced they make better than anyone else. And I’m no exception. Marinating the chicken in buttermilk boldly seasoned with Tabasco and harissa has a tenderizing effect. The buttermilk also serves as a thick coating that absorbs more flour, which is the secret to moist and crunchy fried chicken. Doublecoating further ensures a nice crisp crust. The marinated pieces are coated heavily in flour and refrigerated for an hour to give the marinade time to absorb the flour, then just before frying, the pieces are lightly coated again.

This fried chicken is just as delicious at room temperature as it is served hot from the frying pan.

Yield: SERVES 6 TO 8


  • 2 chickens (3 to 3½ pounds each)
  • 4 cups buttermilk
  • ¼ cup Tabasco sauce
  • 2 tablespoons harissa
  • All-purpose flour, for coating
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Coarse (kosher) salt, to taste


1. Rinse the chickens, inside and out, under cold running water, removing any excess fat. Cut each chicken into 8 pieces and pat dry with paper towels.

2. Combine the buttermilk, Tabasco, and harissa in a bowl or roasting pan large enough to hold all the chicken and whisk to blend. Add the chicken pieces, turning to coat, and refrigerate, covered, for at least 8 hours and up to 16, turning the pieces occasionally.

3. When you’re ready to proceed with the recipe, spread about 1½ cups flour in a shallow dish or pie plate. Dip each piece of chicken heavily in flour to coat on all sides and arrange, without touching, on a large platter or baking sheet. Refrigerate for an hour, letting the flour absorb the buttermilk mixture.

4. If you’re planning to serve the chicken hot, preheat the oven to its lowest setting. Line a large, shallow baking pan or rimmed baking sheet with paper towels.

5. Pour oil to a depth of ½ inch into a large, deep, heavy skillet and heat over medium-high heat until it’s almost smoking. Just before you add each piece of chicken to the hot oil, dip it again in the flour, lightly this time, shaking off any excess. Add only enough pieces to fit into the skillet without touching; don’t crowd the pan. Fry the chicken, turning as needed, until golden brown and cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes per side (see Notes). Using tongs or a slotted spatula, remove the chicken pieces to the lined baking pan and, if you’re planning to serve the chicken hot, place it in the oven to keep warm while you fry the remaining chicken. Continue to fry in batches, replenishing (and reheating) the oil in the skillet as necessary and placing each batch in the oven to keep warm.

6. When all the chicken is fried, sprinkle with salt, transfer to a serving platter, and serve hot or at room temperature.


Test the pieces after 20 minutes. If some pieces are done before others (white meat cooks faster than dark), remove them from the skillet. Also, if the chicken is browning too quickly, adjust the heat. You want the chicken to hit the perfect crispness and color at the same time that the meat is cooked through.

© 2000 David Waltuck and Melicia Phillips

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

Nutritional information is based on 8 servings.

Nutritional information is based on using (2) 3lb chickens.

Nutritional information is based on 1/8 teaspoon added salt per serving.

819kcal (41%)
63mg (6%)
6mg (10%)
142mcg RAE (5%)
253mg (84%)
571mg (24%)
15g (74%)
54g (84%)
4mg (21%)

Would you like to leave a comment about this recipe?

Notify me of new comments on this recipe. Add comment

We'd love to hear what you think!

Please or to add a comment to this recipe.

Sign up for
The Cookstr Weekly

Free handpicked cookbook recipes delivered straight to your inbox

Explore Cookbooks on Cookstr

fruits-of-the-harvest-recipes-to-celebrate-kwanzaa-and-other-holidays Fruits of the Harvest: Reci...
by Eric V. Copage
american-masala American Masala
by Suvir Saran
allergy-free-desserts Allergy-Free Desserts
by Elizabeth Gordon
big-fat-cookies Big Fat Cookies
by Elinor Klivans
flavor Flavor
by Rocco DiSpirito
the-mozza-cookbook The Mozza Cookbook
by Nancy Silverton
the-provence-cookbook The Provence Cookbook
by Patricia Wells
the-deen-bros-take-it-easy-quick-and-affordable-meals-the-whole-family-will-love The Deen Bros. Take It Easy...
by Bobby Deen, Jamie Deen
the-splendid-tables-how-to-eat-weekends The Splendid Table's How to...
by Sally Swift, Lynne Rosetto Kasper
once-upon-a-tart-soups-salads-muffins-and-more-from-new-york-citys-favorite-bakeshop-and-cafe Once Upon a Tart: Soups, Sa...
by Frank Mentesana, Jerome Audureau
jacques-torres-a-year-in-chocolate-80-recipes-for-holidays-and-special-occasions Jacques Torres' A Year in C...
by Judith Choate, Jacques Torres
cooking-with-too-hot-tamales Cooking with Too Hot Tamales
by Mary Sue Milliken, Susan Feniger
in-the-kitchen-with-david In the Kitchen with David
by David Venable

Thanks for signing up!

You'll receive an activation email in your inbox shortly. Don't forget to click that link and activate your new Cookstr.com account!

Already a member? Sign in here

Sign up for Cookstr!

  • Receive a free, handpicked selection of recipes in your inbox weekly
  • Save, share and comment on your favorite recipes in My Cookstr
  • Get updates on new cookbooks, Cookstr features, and other exclusives we know you'll love
By signing up you accept the
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
New to Cookstr? Sign up here
Thanks for commenting!
Would you like to share your comment on Facebook or Twitter?