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Crispy Fried Chicken Recipes That Will Make Your Mouth Water

buffalo wings white plate
buffalo wings white plate - Keith Kamikawa/Mashed

Fried chicken knows no borders. This specialty is appreciated in practically all corners of the world, and it seems that every household has its favorite fried chicken dish. The U.S., however, takes this admiration to a whole new level and to the point where you can handily classify fried chicken as one of the ultimate American classics.

It's easy to see why this humble dish has a grip on us. The juicy, tender meat finds the perfect partner in the crackling crust. Fried chicken also acts as a great canvas to show your culinary creativity. You can play with the seasoning, the batter, the breading, and the amount of heat, which can lead to a myriad of fun creations. The recipes for fried chicken abound, and navigating through the sea of options can be overwhelming. That's why we have worked to create a curated selection of reliable, well-thought-out ideas that put fried chicken in the spotlight.

This list shows off the creativity of our authors and guides you through their signature recipes and ideas that recreate familiar flavors and favorite takeout items. All these prove that homemade is always better as you know the ingredients and you're sure the chicken is as fresh as possible. Most recipes are relatively easy, and they all promise to deliver some of the best fried chicken that will come out of your kitchen.

Read more: 41 Must Try Hot Sandwich Recipes

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Chicken Cordon Bleu
Chicken Cordon Bleu - Mikayla/Mashed

Cordon bleu is a classic combination of thinly pounded schnitzel stacked with cheese and ham, then rolled in breadcrumbs and fried until the coating turns into a delectably crispy crust. This recipe relies on chicken as the most convenient and hassle-free option with spectacularly tender results.

Opt for good-quality ham and cheese for this dish as they will carry a lot of flavor, and don't forget to coat the breast with good Dijon mustard. Pair cordon bleu with similar classics and make sure to serve it while it's still hot so the cheese stays soft and gooey.

Recipe: Chicken Cordon Bleu

Orange Chicken

Homemade Orange Chicken
Homemade Orange Chicken - Ksenia Prints/Mashed

If orange chicken is one of your go-to takeout options, you'll want to learn how to easily recreate it at home. This recipe yields a batch of perfectly glazed orange chicken with a flavor that's far superior to any restaurant option.

The chicken is generously coated in flour and cornstarch that will turn into a perfectly crisp crust in the fryer. You will then douse the pieces with flavor-packed sauce, displaying a perfect medley of sweet, sour, and tangy nuances. All that's left is to cook some rice and sprinkle your chicken with sliced scallions and freshly grated orange zest.

Recipe: Orange Chicken

Copycat KFC Chicken Sandwich

Copycat KFC Chicken Sandwich
Copycat KFC Chicken Sandwich - Sophie Putka/Mashed

This recipe is for the fans of classic KFC sandwiches, where masterfully fried chicken is tucked inside a buttery roll and complemented by tangy pickles and a generous heaping of sauce for a nice, spicy kick.

The chicken first sits in tangy buttermilk brine and then gets tossed in a seasoned flour mix that delivers classic KFC flavors before it's fried. For the best results, double-dip the chicken in flour and use a good-quality butter roll that balances out the crunch and spice.

Recipe: Copycat KFC Chicken Sandwich

Copycat Wingstop Lemon Pepper Wings

Copycat Wingstop Lemon Pepper Wings
Copycat Wingstop Lemon Pepper Wings - Eric Ngo/Mashed

Wingstop's Lemon Pepper Wings enjoy cult status among the loyal fans who love the item's medley of crunch, zest, and spice. But why not make it at home, too?

The wings here get a light coating of flour that will turn into a thin, perfectly crispy crust. They are then tossed with a buttery lemon pepper sauce. The result is a unique fried chicken variant that is bursting with citrusy and peppery flavors.

Recipe: Copycat Wingstop Lemon Pepper Wings

Copycat Popeyes Chicken Sandwich

Copycat Popeyes Chicken Sandwich
Copycat Popeyes Chicken Sandwich - Lindsay D. Mattison/Mashed

Popeyes Chicken Sandwich consists of a thick, fried chicken fillet nestled inside a bun and accompanied by pickles and mayonnaise. If this is your idea of a perfect meal, this recipe gives you a budget-friendly copycat version that is easy to whip up.

Make sure to use toasted brioche buns, and though the recipe goes with the classic mayonnaise, the author also lists the ingredients for its spice-laden alternative.

Recipe: Copycat Popeyes Chicken Sandwich

Copycat Wendy's Chicken Sandwich

Copycat Wendy's Chicken Sandwich
Copycat Wendy's Chicken Sandwich - Angela Latimer/Mashed

This recipe does not call for complicated ingredients and is a breeze to assemble even for less experienced home cooks. You'll first dredge thinly pounded chicken breasts and then toss them in the sizzling oil. The chicken will take a few minutes to cook. When it's nice and golden, you're ready to assemble the sandwich.

Serve your juicy fried chicken cutlet inside toasted hamburger buns dressed with mayonnaise and crispy iceberg lettuce.

Recipe: Copycat Wendy's Chicken Sandwich

Copycat McDonald's Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Copycat McDonald's Crispy Chicken Sandwich
Copycat McDonald's Crispy Chicken Sandwich - Angela Latimer/Mashed

McDonald's Chicken Sandwich is a classic fast food treat that's ideal for those who prefer simplicity over complicated ingredients and techniques. This recipe mimics the same philosophy and produces a chicken sandwich that stands a good chance of becoming a part of your standard dinner routine.

The sandwich starts with a classic burger bun toasted with salted butter, but the centerpiece is the breaded fried chicken cutlet. Once the chicken is cooked, this classic only requires four thick pickle slices before it's ready to eat.

Recipe: Copycat McDonald's Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Copycat Burger King Spicy Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Burger King Spicy Crispy Chicken Sandwich
Burger King Spicy Crispy Chicken Sandwich - Angela Latimer/Mashed

This chicken sandwich mimics the classic Burger King version that stacks a chicken cutlet, tomatoes, lettuce, and mayonnaise between two buttery buns.

The chicken is dipped in spiced egg wash and then gets a nice coating from spiced flour breading that's amped up with cayenne and paprika. The result is a perfectly fried chicken fillet hiding beneath a perfectly seasoned, crispy façade. Before you assemble the burger, toast the bun and generously coat the top and bottom with mayonnaise. Serve with French fries.

Recipe: Copycat Burger King Spicy Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Wendy's Maple Bacon Chicken Croissant Copycat Recipe

Wendy's Chicken Croissant Copycat Recipe
Wendy's Chicken Croissant Copycat Recipe - Michelle McGlinn/Mashed

Wendy's Maple Bacon Chicken Croissant is a legend among chicken sandwiches. It's difficult not to fall in love with the meal's combination of crispy chicken and buttery croissant, made all the better with Swiss cheese, strips of smoky bacon, and a maple glaze.

If you want a cheaper and perhaps better alternative, follow this ingenious recipe that relies on classic ingredients and a simple technique. The best thing about this copycat version is that it can be made in just 40 minutes. This is a must among fried chicken recipes.

Recipe: Wendy's Maple Bacon Chicken Croissant Copycat

Simple Buffalo Wing

Simple Buffalo Wing
Simple Buffalo Wing - Keith Kamikawa/Mashed

If you are looking for a straightforward recipe for Buffalo wings, you can count on this version that delivers a heap of perfectly sticky and moderately spicy chicken wings that you won't reserve for game days only.

The wings are prepared the classic way, with a light dip in well-seasoned breading followed by frying. When you create a nice crusty coating, toss the wings with a finger-licking Buffalo sauce that balances spicy, sweet, and tangy flavors. Serve with carrots, celery sticks, and a blue cheese dip, the of which can be made with instructions included in the recipe.

Recipe: Simple Buffalo Wings

Sesame Chicken

Sesame Chicken
Sesame Chicken - Cecilia Ryu/Mashed

If you love sesame chicken and want to take a break from heavy restaurant takeout, this recipe will show you how to effortlessly whip up a home-cooked version of this classic.

The recipe suggests dredging the pieces in egg white and then coating them with cornstarch, but ultimate crispiness is attained with a classic double-frying technique. The cooked chicken is tossed with a thick sauce incorporating a medley of sweet and savory flavors. Serve with chopped scallions and enjoy the sort of freshness you can never get from takeout.

Recipe: Sesame Chicken

Copycat KFC Chicken

Copycat KFC Chicken
Copycat KFC Chicken - Lindsay D. Mattison/Mashed

Despite all the fast food competition, KFC will remain a household name and the fast food temple for American-style fried chicken.

If you ever wondered what it takes to make KFC fried chicken, this recipe rspills the beans on the original spice blend that features 11 herbs and spices for the signature KFC flavor. For an even more authentic experience, serve with coleslaw on the side.

Recipe: Copycat KFC Chicken

Copycat Wendy's Spicy Jalapeño Popper Sandwich

Copycat Wendy's Spicy Jalapeño Popper Sandwich
Copycat Wendy's Spicy Jalapeño Popper Sandwich - Angela Latimer/Mashed

Another Wendy's favorite is a spicy treat that gets its character from applewood bacon, jalapeños, pepper jack, cream cheese, and cheddar cheese sauce. Of course, the leading role is given to the chicken filet that is dredged and fried to crispy perfection.

Many ingredients go into this monster sandwich, but only the chicken requires real prep work. The secret here is to place the pepper jack slice on top of the fried chicken so it melts before you stack it in the bun.

Recipe: Copycat Wendy's Spicy Jalapeño Popper Sandwich

Easy Chicken Schnitzel

Easy Chicken Schnitzel
Easy Chicken Schnitzel - Susan Olayinka/Mashed

Everyone should have a reliable recipe for the classic chicken schnitzel. This comfort dish does not require much introduction as most have already had the pleasure of trying this crispy, golden fried chicken cutlet.

The recipe is ridiculously easy. Even with prep work and frying, you will have fried chicken on your table in just over 20 minutes. Don't forget to drizzle lemon juice on top, and you're always welcome to add parsley to brighten the combination. For a classic side dish, opt for mashed or fried potatoes.

Recipe: Easy Chicken Schnitzel

Copycat Chili's Chicken Crispers

Copycat Chili's Chicken Crispers
Copycat Chili's Chicken Crispers - Angela Latimer/Mashed

Chicken crispers are Chili's version of classic chicken tenders that get a neat twist thanks to a distinctive crust. The trick here is to dip the tenders in a thick batter-like mix and then lightly coat them in flour. The technique yields a slightly different texture that is perfect to snack on.

These crispers can be a quick weeknight meal or a great game snack. Serve them warm and always with a dipping sauce on the side.

Recipe: Copycat Chili's Chicken Crispers

Copycat Buffalo Wild Wing

Copycat Buffalo Wild Wing
Copycat Buffalo Wild Wing - Lindsay D. Mattison/Mashed

Another copycat recipe tries to mimic classic chicken wings from Buffalo Wild Wings. In this rendition, the wings skip the dredge and go straight into the sizzling oil until they are crisp and golden. On the side, whip up a blend of hot sauce, sugar, plenty of seasonings, cornstarch, and a whole egg yolk that will give the sauce glossy shine.

Wings will get soggy and lose crispness as they sit, so serve these immediately, ideally with a blue cheese dip on the side.

Recipe: Copycat Buffalo Wild Wing

Crispy Fried Chicken

Crispy Fried Chicken
Crispy Fried Chicken - Ting Dalton/Mashed

If you are looking for a foolproof fried chicken recipe, look no further. This classic technique uses skin-on drumsticks and thighs that have been marinated in buttermilk. The breading features familiar ingredients but also adds turmeric as the secret ingredient to boost flavor.

This no-frills recipe is perfect for those who prefer nostalgic fried chicken that always tastes better at home. Serve the chicken while it's hot and pair with mashed potato or fries.

Recipe: Crispy Fried Chicken

Southwest-Spiced Air Fryer Chicken Legs

Southwest-Spiced Air Fryer Chicken Legs
Southwest-Spiced Air Fryer Chicken Legs - Kate Shungu/Mashed

This recipe is devised for all who love fried chicken but desire a leaner alternative. Here, the trusty air fryer again becomes the most valuable gadget to mimic that distinctive fried texture and crunch.

Use chicken legs that are patted dry and then generously rubbed with a spice blend that will provide most of the flavor. The chicken then spends approximately 15 minutes in the fryer before it's ready to eat. Serve these with a lighter side dish like salad or rice.

Recipe: Southwest-Spiced Air Fryer Chicken Legs

Homemade Fried Chicken

Homemade Fried Chicken
Homemade Fried Chicken - Cyndi Sterne/Mashed

Fried chicken is a Southern staple, and one of its most famous renditions is Nashville's famed hot chicken, which gets its distinctive fiery touch from a spicy glaze. This recipe adds a unique twist with harissa, a peppery spice paste from North Africa and the Middle East, as well as a nutty tahini drizzle.

You can use any cut of chicken for this recipe, but it will work best with skin-on pieces. Give the chicken a good rub with harissa, then dredge and fry until crispy. When served, douse in the thick tahini sauce.

Recipe: Homemade Fried Chicken

Better Call Saul-Inspired Los Pollos Hermanos Chicken

Los Pollos Hermanos Chicken
Los Pollos Hermanos Chicken - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

As you can guess from the name, this recipe is an homage to Los Pollos Hermanos Chicken featured in the iconic shows "Breaking Bad" and "Better Call Saul."

The list of ingredients in the spice mix is impressive. Along with the usual suspects, you'll find ground cumin, annatto powder, and chicken bouillon, while the batter gets the unexpected splash of tequila that should help with crispiness and lend unique flavor. The result is a Southwestern-style fried chicken with an ideal ratio of crunch to juiciness.

Recipe: Better Call Saul-Inspired Los Pollos Hermanos Chicken

Chicken Nuggets

Crispy Chicken Nuggets
Crispy Chicken Nuggets - Ting Dalton/Mashed

Chicken nuggets should not only be reserved for children. This recipe proves it by presenting a serious, grown-up version that will be a hit at the next gathering.

The trick here is to follow the suggested three breading steps, including a light layer of seasoned flour, a quick dip in egg wash, and the final touch of panko breadcrumbs that give the nuggets a delectable crunch. The recipe developer also suggests finishing the nuggets in the oven until they are nice and crispy.

Recipe: Chicken Nuggets

Homemade General Tso's Chicken

Homemade General Tso's Chicken
Homemade General Tso's Chicken - Ksenia Prints/Mashed

General Tso's chicken is a Chinese-American classic distinguished by its sweet, spicy sauce and perfect crunch. Though we typically associate the dish with restaurants and late-night take-out, this recipe proves this icon can be easily recreated at home. It results in an equally flavorful but slightly healthier version that will likely be much easier on the budget.

Chicken thighs are recommended as the best option flavor-wise, while cornstarch is essential to attain the light, airy crust. After it's fried, the chicken is doused in an umami-laden sauce that will deliver that signature shiny glaze.

Recipe: Homemade General Tso's Chicken

Southern Oven Fried Chicken

Southern Oven Fried Chicken
Southern Oven Fried Chicken - Tricia Wheeler/Mashed

This recipe will allow you to attain the perfect Southern-style fried chicken without the hassle of deep frying. It uses bone-in pieces that get a nice zing from the spice blend and the hot sauce added to an egg wash, as well as texture from panko breadcrumbs. While the chicken cooks in the oven, whip up a simple hot honey drizzle by mixing honey and red pepper flakes.

Serve this chicken with a side dish of choice and a drizzle of hot honey.

Recipe: Southern Oven Fried Chicken

Korean Fried Chicken

Korean Fried Chicken
Korean Fried Chicken - Ting Dalton/Mashed

This recipe comes packed with gochujang, the red chili paste that is so often used in Korean dishes. The recipe opts for chicken wings blanketed in cornstarch, resulting in a much crispier and textured coating.

When the wings are nice and golden, they are covered in a sticky, spicy gochujang sauce that is amped up with sugar, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger. Serve these wings with sliced green onions and sesame seeds for a subtle nutty kick.

Recipe: Korean Fried Chicken

Sheet Pan Fried Chicken

Sheet Pan Fried Chicken
Sheet Pan Fried Chicken - Kit Hondrum/Mashed

This hassle-free recipe promises juicy and delicious fried chicken sans the frying oil. The recipe also mimics other classic fried chicken techniques, including extensive marinating and a spicy breading that will develop into a crispy crust. Give the chicken a spritz of avocado oil before it hits the oven to amp up the crispness.

If you want to keep the dish light, pair it with salads or green beans. If you prefer a more substantial meal, this chicken also works well with pasta, rice, fries, or mashed potatoes.

Recipe: Sheet Pan Fried Chicken

Buttermilk Fried Chicken And Waffles

Buttermilk Fried Chicken And Waffles
Buttermilk Fried Chicken And Waffles - Erin Johnson/Mashed

Fried chicken and waffles is a classic comfort food that makes a perfect weekend breakfast. You'll have to dedicate some time to this homemade version, but the results are worth it.

The recipe uses chicken tenders that soak in a buttermilk marinade before they are tossed with a paprika-laden dredge. While the chicken sizzles, whip up light, buttermilk-based waffles that will make the perfect bed for the chicken. At the end, get creative and serve your perfect home-cooked meal with any preferred garnish.

Recipe: Buttermilk Fried Chicken And Waffles

Fried Chicken Sliders With Simple Slaw And Hot Honey

Fried Chicken Sliders
Fried Chicken Sliders - Erin Johnson/Mashed

These sliders will be the hit at your next gathering. They require some prep work but, besides the time commitment, are generally easy to assemble.

Use seasoned chicken breasts breaded with panko crumbs, which will deliver a perfectly crisp crust. Hot honey spiced with chili flakes acts as the perfect flavor complement, and you'll also mix some broccoli slaw for a kick of bright freshness. All that is left to do is assemble this finger-licking combination inside slider buns.

Recipe: Fried Chicken Sliders With Simple Slaw And Hot Honey

Chicken Francese

Chicken Francese
Chicken Francese - Mikayla Marin/Mashed

Chicken Francese is not your regular fried chicken. This elegant dish stems from Italian-American tradition, and it's believed that it was created by some of the first Italian immigrants to New York City.

The dish starts with a golden pan-fried chicken cutlet doused in a zesty lemon sauce that's enriched with butter and boosted with garlic, white wine, chicken broth, and parsley. Chicken Francese takes less than half an hour from start to finish, and it would make a fantastic dinner. Serve it with pasta or rice and a generous drizzle of that aromatic sauce.

Recipe: Chicken Francese

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