Mean Chef's Southern Fried Chicken and Gravy

Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 30 mins

Originally posted by Mean Chef.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. FOR THE CHICKEN: Combine 3 quarts water and 1 tablespoon salt in a large bowl; add chicken pieces.
  2. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours.
  3. Or cover chicken pieces with buttermilk and refrigerate for 8 hours - if you want to be adventurous, add a 1 or 2 cups of hot sauce to the buttermilk when you marinate.
  4. Drain chicken; rinse with cold water, and pat dry.
  5. Combine 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper; sprinkle half of mixture over all sides of chicken - for the adventurous you can add 1 stp or more of cayenne or cajun spice to the flour mixture .
  6. Combine remaining mixture and flour in a gallon-size, heavy-duty, zip-top plastic bag.
  7. Place 2 pieces of chicken in bag; seal.
  8. Shake to coat completely.
  9. Remove chicken, and repeat procedure with remaining pieces.
  10. Combine vegetable oil and bacon drippings in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet or chicken fryer; heat to 360ºF.
  11. Add chicken, a few pieces at a time, skin side down.
  12. Cover and cook 6 minutes; uncover and cook 9 minutes.
  13. Turn chicken pieces; cover and cook 6 minutes.
  14. Uncover and cook 5 to 9 minutes, turning pieces during the last 3 minutes for even browning, if necessary.
  15. Drain chicken on a paper towel-lined plate placed over a large bowl of hot water.
  16. FOR THE GRAVY: Pour off pan drippings, reserving 1/4 cup drippings in skillet.
  17. Place skillet over medium heat.
  18. Add flour to drippings, stirring constantly, until browned.
  19. Add milk gradually; cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly (about 3 to 5 minutes).
  20. Stir in salt and pepper.
  21. Serve immediately.
  22. Yield: 1 2/3 cups.
  23. Note: If you are using the buttermilk marinade, you can flour the chicken first, dip in the marinade and flour again.
Most Helpful

Being from Kentucky, fried chicken has always been a mainstay on our table. This is the same recipe my family has used for generations with the exception of adding 1 teaspoon of paprika to the flour and using Crisco (used to use lard) to fry it in. The cook for my grandmother taught me to put 2 tablespoons of water in the hot fat towards the end of frying and immediately cover it with the lid to make sure it stayed moist. After the sputtering quits, then remove the lid to let the chicken "crisp up". This trick has always worked for me, but make sure you do not have your fat too close to the top of the skillet or it will be a mess.

Lutie August 08, 2007

I followed the recipe to the letter (using salted water), and the resulting chicken was crispy on the outside, and tender and juicy on the inside. Served with mashed potatoes and gravy and steamed peas. Luscious comfort food! I thought I would miss the seasonings that I normally add--thyme, paprika and granulated onion, but no! This recipe is perfect as is. Thanks Mean!

canarygirl July 09, 2004

OMG,this was the best fried chicken I've ever made. I've been trying for over 40 yrs and finally had success. My DH said that it even looks like fried chicken. I didn't have time to brine overnite, just 2 or 3 hrs, but the flavor was not just in the coating but all the way thru the chicken, crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside. Next time I will brine overnite. While making the gravy, rather then pouring off the hot oil, I used a metal measuring cup to scoop some drippings out and made gravy in a seperate sauce pan. Thank you for posting.

Naturelover February 14, 2010