Fried Chicken

Total Time:
4 hr 40 min
20 min
4 hr
20 min

8 servings

  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup Emeril's Essence, recipe follows
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 head garlic, cloves peeled and crushed
  • 2 (3 1/2 to 4-pound) chickens cut up or chicken parts
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • Peanut oil, for frying
  • Emeril's Creole Seasoning (Essence):
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • Combine the buttermilk, 1/4 cup Essence, salt, sugar, and garlic in a large nonreactive bowl. Stir to blend. Immerse the chicken in the mixture and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.

  • Combine the flour and the remaining 1/4 cup Essence in a large doubled brown paper bag or plastic freezer bag and shake to blend. Drop the chicken, a few pieces at a time, into the flour mixture and shake thoroughly to completely coat. Remove the chicken and shake off the excess flour. Repeat the coating process with the remaining chicken pieces. Place the coated chicken on a large wire rack set over a sheet pan and let rest until ready to fry, at least 20 minutes.

  • Heat 4 inches of oil to 300 degrees F over medium-high heat in a medium Dutch oven or heavy pot. Fry the chicken in batches, skin side down, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Turn and fry until golden brown on the second side, 8 to 10 minutes longer. Remove the chicken and drain on paper towels. (Note: An even oil temperature is the key to success; a clip-on candy/deep-fry thermometer should be kept in the pot at all times. The temperature should remain between 280 degrees F and 300 degrees F at all times.) Allow the chicken to rest at least 5 minutes before serving.

Emeril's Creole Seasoning (Essence):
  • Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.

  • Yield: about 2/3 cup

  • Recipe from New New Orleans Cooking by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch, Published by William and Morrow, 1993.

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4.6 25
I love most things Emeril, just not this recipe for fried chicken. Emeril's essence which is a very good spice mixture does not go well in everything--this, for example. I let my chicken marinate for 20 hours and the spice permeated throughout the meat, but I found it to be unsavory and off--putting. I've had great success marinating chicken in hot sauce--see Paula Deen's recipe for fried chicken--and it tastes great. I'll go back to making Paula's fried chicken, but every once in awhile I'm interested in trying someone's version. Another thing: Emeril's technique of frying is not full proof. I used my dutch oven with a candy thermometer clipped on and I found I was constantly adjusting the temperature. Anywhere between 280 and 300 with the 8-10 minutes per side recommendation I found to be too long and the skin overcooked, which was surprising because I normally fry between 325 and 350 degrees in my kettle fryer with better results. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Fried chicken perfection. It was juicy and flavorful on the inside, crispy and golden brown on the outside! I think I'm going to try this recipe with wings next time. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I had never made fried chicken until a single male friend of mine offered to pay me to make it! He was so impressed that he asked me to make it for friends. I credit this recipe! Thanks Emeril item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is a great recipe! The chicken turned out perfect. Nice and crispy on the outside and super juicy on the inside. I marinated for almost 24 hours and I think that is key! Will definitely make again! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is wonderful! Very easy, very tasty, very crunchy crust! I'm going to try a bit of Tabasco in the marinade next time, just to experiment. The longer you let the chicken marinate, the better! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Superb. Seasoning is perfect; temp just right, and color is appealing. item not reviewed by moderator and published
My problem was knowing when it was done. Thanks so much. It will continue to cook for a few minutes. No more burned or rare chicken! Thanks for taking the guesswork out of the timing. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I marinated my chicken for 24 hours and I'm telling you I've never had fried chicken that the spices actually penetrated the ENTIRE chicken. Every bite, right down to the bone, was tasty! As far as I'm concerned Emeril is the KING of fried chicken! I'll be trying his chili-lime recipe next--the base is the same, only the seasonings are different. My advice for those who like lots of spice: USE MORE. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I didn't like it. I come from a family that uses plenty of spices and i thought using the essence it would be perfect but i still felt that it was underseasoned. my family didn't like it either. it was a waste. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Family favorite item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is about the best fried chicken I've ever had! My husband and I usually made pretty yummy fried chicken ourselves, and I kind of "willy-nilly" add spices to my flour (e.g., thyme, tarragon, poultry seasoning, salt & pepper, and some Cajun seasoning/cayenne pepper. But I made a jar of Essence that I now keep in my pantry for use with many different dishes, and I had plenty on hand so I followed this recipe to the tee, except I didn't have fresh garlic so I used the pre-minced garlic in a jar. I usually soak my chicken in milk, but the buttermilk with the Essence made a HUGE difference in flavor & juiciness. Cooking times were EXACTLY on point, which is VERY important -- I don't like dried out chicken! Thanks Emeril for another great recipe! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is the first fried chicken recipe (out of dozens I've tried) that actually works for me. The crust turns out crispy-delicious, the meat tender & juicy, the flavor... out-of-this-world-scrumptious. I find that the longer you marinate the chicken pieces in the buttermilk mixture (up to 24 hrs.) the juicier and more flavorful the chicken becomes. And Emeril's tip, re: keeping an eye on the oil temperature IS definitely key to ensuring the meat is cooked through and the coating just right.. For an economical meal, I buy just good old drumsticks provides- at least six servings for under $5.00! Thanks Emeril. "Lovin' it!" item not reviewed by moderator and published
The BEST fried chicken ever...The only thing I did different was substituted 1 cup of corn starch for 1 cup of flour for extra crunch. The whole family loved it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
whole family loved it and is requested often :) item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this recipie for a get together everyone loved it and it was simple and delish item not reviewed by moderator and published
I didn't let the chicken marinate for 4 hrs, just 3. But I figured since they're wings they wouldn't turn out too bad. They were very good! The coating was crunchy. The meat was moist. I don't like spicy so I didn't add the cayenne in it however I did splash some Frank's Hot Sauce while marinating. Very easy to make. Most of the ingredients were in my pantry. I will definitely make this one again! Thanks Emeril! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is a nice easy tasty fried chicken recipe. My family loves this! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This chicken puts the super salty KFC chicken to shame. It was so easy to make and even though I used a garlic powder and garlic salt versus whole garlic it still turned out excellent. I would suggest maybe using smaller pieces of chicken than a whole fryer though, as those pieces get very large and are not as easy to eat. Overall easy to make and tasted great!!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was a great recipe and so simple that our 7 year old daughter made it from watching the episode that Emeril cooked it on. Chicken has the right amount of spice and it did not take long at all to make! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Great! Best fried chicken I've ever made. item not reviewed by moderator and published
this is really good I never would have expected sugar but it reallyworks item not reviewed by moderator and published
Everything about this recipe gets 5 stars; looks, smell, taste, ease of preparation. My picky teen wanted 3rds, my husband said it's better than his mom's and rivals KFC. I was nervous about the amount of essence used in this recipe, but the chicken was perfectly seasoned. The only thing I will do differently is keep my temp as recommended. I went a little higher to keep my oil hot and some of the skin was very crunchy. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I am 14 years old, and i followed Emeril's Recipe to the TEE. And i have amazing results! So soft on the inside, and crunchy , golden brown crust on the outside. I really love this recipe and im SURE you all will too!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I absolutely love fried chicken but I've never made it before. This recipe was very simple and just delicious. I will definitely make it again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was my first attempt at deep frying, but it turned out great! The whole family loved it! Even the picky one!! The creole seasoning was perfect! item not reviewed by moderator and published

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Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen