August 13, 2020

Crispy Fried Picnic Chicken

Delicious homemade oven baked fried chicken on a white plate, side view. Closeup.

There are recipes that sound good but seem complicated to make. This is one of those recipes, but it’s really not hard at all.

I think the idea of frying things in oil in your home kitchen can put people off due to the smell and mess. In reality, this isn’t too messy, and if you can keep your grill temperature stable you can fry it on the grill in a cast iron pan outside.

However you decide to do it this crispy fried chicken recipe is killer and works great to double it for a crowd. Just make sure to put all the chicken in the oven at the same time after the frying.

My mom would make fried chicken almost every Sunday served alongside mashed potatoes, gravy and corn. This chicken is spicier than hers, but it reminds me of her all the same.

Fried chicken

Picnic Crispy Fried Chicken


  • 1 to 3 lbs chicken, cut in 8 serving pieces
  • 1 qt buttermilk
  • 1/2 c pickle juice
  • 2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • Vegetable oil or vegetable shortening


  1. Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl and pour the buttermilk and pickle juice over them.
  2. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Combine the flour, salt, peppers and paprika in a large plastic bag. Take the chicken out of the buttermilk and shake each piece in the plastic bag until thoroughly coated with the flour mixture.
  5. Pour the oil into a large heavy-bottomed stockpot to a depth of 2 inches and heat to 360 degrees on a thermometer.
  6. Carefully place several pieces of chicken in the oil and fry for about 3 minutes on each side until the coating is a light golden brown (it will continue to brown in the oven). Don’t crowd the pieces.
  7. Remove the chicken from the oil and place each piece on a metal baking rack set on a sheet pan or, alternatively, a sheet pan wrapped in tin foil.
  8. Continue frying pieces. It's important to allow the oil to return to 360 degrees F before frying the next batch.
  9. When all the chicken is fried, bake for 40 minutes, until chicken is done. Serve hot.

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