Crispy + Moist Deep Fried Chicken Thighs

Crispy deep-fried chicken thighs are the ultimate comfort food. They’re great for Sunday dinners or special get-togethers. This recipe is our favorite! The moist chicken has a crispy, flavorful skin. The marinade with buttermilk makes the meat tender and juicy. The spices in the breading add the right amount of kick. Not only is this an affordable cut of chicken, but it’s also quick to cook. You can do most of the preparation in advance, so all you need to do before dinner is fry them until golden.

A deep fryer recipe that will become part of your dinner rotation ❤️.

close up deep fried chicken thighs.

Crispy Deep Fried Chicken Thighs

Moist chicken with crispy skin. This family-favorite recipe will be welcome at Sunday dinner or any time.
Prep Time 8 hours
Cook Time 24 minutes
Total Time 8 hours 24 minutes
Serving Size 4 people

Equipment

  • Dutch oven or deep fryer
  • Paper Towels

Ingredients 

For Buttermilk Marinade

  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

For Breading

  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

For Chicken and Frying

  • 4 pieces bone in skin on chicken thighs
  • 1 quart oil for frying peanut or vegetable

Instructions 

  • Soak. Add 1 teaspoon of salt to the buttermilk in a large bowl. Soak the chicken thighs, refrigerated and covered, for at least 6 hours, up to 12 hours.
    buttermilk in bowl.
  • Bread. Combine the flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne in a gallon zipper bag or large paper bag. Take out the chicken thighs, shaking off the excess buttermi,lk and place them in the. bag of. flour. Shake until they are well coated and place them in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
    bag of seasoned flour.
  • Fry. Preheat the deep fryer to 340 degrees (or use a heavy duty Dutch oven filled with three inches of oil and use a candy thermometor to monitor the temperature). Fry the chicken, covered, for 12-15 minutes per side until golden brown and thoroughly cooked. The internal temperature should be at least 165.
    dutch oven showing frying process.
  • Hold or serve. Place a clean cooling rack over a baking sheet with layers of paper towels. Place the cooked chicken on top and allow to drain. Serve immediately, or hold in a 200 degree oven.
    chicken on cooling rrack.

Notes

This recipe will double (or triple) just fine, but you’ll need to do the frying in batches. 
It is easiest to have the thighs soak in the buttermilk overnight, then dredge them in flour in the early afternoon and cook for dinner in the evening.
Here’s what to do with your leftover buttermilk!
finished plate of fried chicken.

❤️ Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Juicy and moist on the inside
  • Crispy and flavorful on the outside
  • Affordable cut of chicken
  • Quick to cook. Most of the work is done ahead of time, and all you have to do right before. dinner is fry them.

This is an overview of the ingredients. You’ll find the full measurements and instructions in the printable recipe at the bottom of the page.

ingredients on counter.

You’ll need the following for this yummy dinner:

  • buttermilk
  • salt
  • all-purpose flour
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  • cayenne pepper
  • bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • oil for frying (peanut is my favorite, but vegetable oil works too)
  • an electric deep fryer OR a heavy-bottomed, deep pot like a Dutch oven
  • paper towels
  • large bag

🍴Instructions

Step One: soak

buttermilk in bowl.

Add 1 teaspoon of salt to the buttermilk in a large bowl. Soak the chicken thighs, refrigerated and covered, for at least 6 hours, up to 12 hours.

Step Two: bread

bag of seasoned flour.

In a large zip-top bag or paper bag, mix the flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder and cayenne. Take the chicken thighs and shake off any excess buttermilk. Place them in he bag with flour and shake very well. Place in the fridge for at least an hour. (This will help the breading stick!)

Step three: fry!

dutch oven showing frying process.

Preheat the oil to 340 degrees. Fry the chicken, covered, for 12-15 minutes per side until golden brown and thoroughly cooked. The internal temperature should be at least 165.

Step Four: serve immediately or keep warm in oven

chicken on cooling rrack.

Place a cooling rack over a baking sheet with layers of paper towels. Place the cooked chicken on top and allow it to drain. Serve immediately, or hold in a 200-degree oven.

🍽 Serve it with

Everything (and I mean everything!) goes well with fried chicken. But especially these:

Southern coleslaw is creamy and delicious.

Cast iron skillet biscuits are brown, beautiful, and easy to make.

Butter beans are a traditional side dish you can start ahead of time.

And nothing finishes off a delicious meal like a berry cobbler with the most amazing sugar cookie topping.

🥫 Storage instructions

If you eat the thighs within two hours of cooking, they can be stored at room temperature. If not, then store them in an airtight container and refrigerate them. They should last up to three days in the fridge. To reheat, simply pop them into a 350-degree oven for 15 minutes or until heated through.

(They don’t crisp up in the microwave. But they’re quite good cold!)

🔍 FAQs

Why is the cooking time so long?

Because these are big pieces of chicken! We’re also frying at a relatively low temperature so the skin doesn’t burn. It will take a while to cook through.

Is it okay to use skinless chicken thighs?

Yes, but you won’t get the same crunchy texture. Skin-on is best!

What if I don’t have a deep fryer?

You just need a heavy-duty, deep pot, and a thermometer to check the oil temperature. But you should ask for one for your birthday! They are safer, easier, and just the best thing ever!

👩🏻‍🍳 Expert tips

  • Be careful with deep frying! Never leave a hot pot of oil unattended. And don’t try to do this in a skillet, you need something deep.
  • Make sure your oil is at the right temperature. Too low and your chicken will be greasy, too high and it could burn. A candy thermometer works great for this (or even a digital meat thermometer to monitor the temperature).
  • Don’t overcrowd the pot when you cook. Fry in batches if you have more than four thighs to get the best results. And make sure there is always enough oil for the chicken to float.
  • If you want, you can give the thighs a double dip in flour. Dip them in the buttermilk again and then back into the bag of flour. This will give them an extra crunchy coating.

📘 more yummy ways to fry dinner

  • You’ll love this Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich. Crispy, golden exterior and juicy chicken on soft buns. Delicious!”
  • Try our Southern Buttermilk Chicken Tenders for a delicious taste of the South. They are seasoned and fried to perfection, resulting in a mouth-watering crispiness.
  • Our tasty French fries are fried to perfection, with a crunchy outside and a fluffy inside that will leave you craving more.
fork showing inside of chicken.
Crispy + Moist Deep Fried Chicken Thighs

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating