Ellen’s Fried Chicken

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Editor's Note: Crisp as can be, this easy fried chicken recipe is the perfect solution to the age-old question of "What's for dinner tonight?" In this recipe for Ellen’s Fried Chicken, you'll use a skillet or deep-fryer to achieve the famed crunchy texture that everyone in your family will love. You'll especially love the use of paprika in this recipe, which will give the crunchy coating a taste you won't forget. If you've never made fried chicken before, don't worry. This recipe is easy to follow. The next time you feel like eating fried chicken, don't stop by your favorite fast-food place. Instead, stay home and whip up this recipe!

When Ellen White was chef at The Silver Palate, she made this chicken for store customers, but we were often lucky enough to get the first few pieces. It’s been a favorite of ours for years.

Serves6 to 8 portions

Cooking MethodFrying



Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionGame Day

Recipe CourseMain Course

EquipmentDeep Fryer


Taste and TextureCrisp, Crunchy, Juicy, Meaty, Salty, Spiced


  • 2 chickens (2½ to 3 pounds each), each cut into 8 pieces
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups corn oil
  • 2 lemons


  1. Rinse the chicken pieces well and pat them dry.

  2. Beat the eggs and water together in a shallow bowl.

  3. In another shallow bowl, stir together the flour, paprika, salt, and pepper.

  4. Dip the chicken pieces first in the egg mixture, then in the flour. Coat them well, shaking off any excess.

  5. Heat the oil in a deep-fryer or large deep skillet to 375°F. It should be hot, but not smoking.

  6. Lower the heat slightly, and fry the chicken in the oil in small batches until golden and crisp all over, 10 to 15 minutes.

  7. Drain the chicken on a cake rack or on paper towels. Serve hot or at room temperature, with lemon wedges.


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