Crispy Southern Fried Chicken

Crispy Southern Fried Chicken

If you’re looking for the best Louisiana fried chicken recipe on the internet, you’ve come to the right place. Inspired by a true legend, Austin Leslie’s Fried Chicken is everything a fried chicken recipe should be. Crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and packed with crave-worthy flavors all the way through—this dish is one-of-a-kind.

Austin Leslie Fried Chicken

As a young aspiring chef in New Orleans, black chefs like Austin Leslie paved the way for me and showed me what was possible if I worked my butt off. Known around the nation for his mouth-watering fried chicken, it’s no surprise that Countless chefs have adapted Leslie’s classic recipe over the years.

One of the things that made Chef Austin Leslie’s fried chicken recipe so special is the garlic, parsley, and dill pickle garnish he used. Such a simple combination is responsible for adding a tremendous amount of flavor to this Louisiana chicken, so of course, I had to pay homage to the legend himself by incorporating those elements into this recipe.

You may have had southern fried chicken before, but I guarantee you’ve never had southern fried chicken quite like this. This recipe is the real deal and guarantees to impress your friends and family on any occasion. Try it out for yourself and let me know what you think in the comments below!

Key Ingredients:

To bring this Louisiana fried chicken recipe to life, you’re going to need the key ingredients listed below. 

  • Whole Chicken: Look for a whole chicken that’s under 4 ½ pounds. It’s always best to cut your own chicken into pieces, but you can have a butcher do it or buy the pieces pre-cut. Feel free to use any combination of the legs, thighs, breasts, and/or wings for this recipe. 
  • Peanut Oil: One of the best oils for frying chicken! Peanut oil is great at standing up to high heat and gives the chicken a fantastic color. Feel free to use canola oil instead if needed. 
  • Evaporated Milk: This ingredient is uncommon in fried chicken recipes, which is one of the reasons why Austin Leslie’s version is so unique. Evaporated milk lends a slight sweetness to the dish, beautifully balancing all the heavier, richer flavors. 
  • Herbs and Spices: Back in the day, all you really needed was a little salt and pepper. I like to keep that tradition going, but with a little garlic powder and cayenne for some heat. 
  • Dill Pickle Chips: Served as a garnish, dill pickle chips add that delicious briny flavor that buttermilk would generally add to southern fried chicken. 
  • Garlic-Parsley Mix: Another special Austin Leslie touch, the combination of chopped garlic and fresh parsley, adds a ton of flavor and a nice pop of color to the dish. Sprinkle this onto the chicken just before serving—you won’t be disappointed!
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How to make Austin Leslie’s Fried Chicken:

This Cajun fried chicken recipe takes only a few minutes of prep work and 12 minutes to cook. The majority of the time this dish takes is just letting the seasoned chicken sit in the fridge, so make sure you have at least 4 hours to spare for this step. 

Here’s how to make Austin Leslie’s Fried Chicken: 

In a medium bowl, combine salt, black pepper, garlic powder and cayenne. Set aside 3 ½ teaspoons, then liberally season the chicken on both sides with the remaining seasoning mix. Place chicken in an airtight container and transfer to the fridge for 4-8 hours.

Preheat the oven to 200°F. Remove the chicken from the fridge 30 minutes before frying. Turn on the heat to medium-high in a 5-qt. pot and heat oil to 325°F. 

Add 3 teaspoons of seasoning mix to a large bowl and add ½ teaspoon to a medium bowl. To the medium bowl, add the eggs and evaporated milk, then beat with a fork to combine. In the large bowl, add the flour and stir until fully incorporated.

Once the oil is hot, dip the breast, thighs, and legs in the egg wash. Drain the excess egg wash off, then toss each piece in the flour to coat. Fry for 12 minutes, rotating the chicken every 5 minutes if cooking in a skillet. When you have 8 minutes left, pierce the chicken with a knife to let the oil run through the chicken.

While the chicken is frying, combine garlic and parsley in a small bowl.

When the chicken is fully cooked and golden brown, use tongs to remove the chicken from the fryer, slightly squeezing to remove excess grease. Set on a wire rack and keep cooked chicken warm in the oven while you cook the rest.

Once all the chicken is cooked, serve hot with garlic-parsley mix and a pickle for each piece to garnish.

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Fried Chicken Recipe Tips & Substitutions

Want to make the best Cajun fried chicken you’ve ever had? Here are some of my top recipe tips and one-to-one substitutions to help you do just that: 

  • Avoid overcrowding your pot when frying the chicken. This could result in the chicken steaming instead of frying, which would make it soggy instead of crispy.
  • Make sure to pierce your chicken halfway through the frying process. This allows the oil to flow through, ensuring that your chicken gets fully cooked. If you’re using chicken wings, this step is not necessary. 
  • When you fry chicken in batches, keep the cooked chicken warm in a 200°F oven, so it stays nice and crispy until you’re ready to enjoy it.
  • If you do not have a wire rack, place the cooked chicken on a paper towel lined baking sheet. 

How to store Fried Chicken

It’s not a secret that fried chicken is always best when served right out of the grease. That being said, don’t feel like you need to eat the whole chicken in one sitting unless you’re that hungry, in which case—no judgments! If you do find yourself with leftovers, you can seal them up in an airtight container and store fried chicken in a few different ways:

  • In the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
  • In the freezer for up to 3-4 months.

To Reheat: Ready to heat up your leftovers? You can reheat cooked fried chicken uncovered in a 350°F oven for 10-12 minutes or reheat in an air fryer at 300°F for 6 minutes.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Below you can find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this crispy southern fried chicken recipe:

Who is Austin Leslie?

Chef Austin Leslie was a New Orleans legend who was known for his incredible fried chicken. His signature fried chicken garnish was a combination of dill pickle chips, garlic, and fresh parsley, which we use in this recipe to pay homage to one of the greatest restauranteurs in American history. 

His fried chicken was so great they made a tv show based on his restaurant called Frank’s Place.

Should I soak the chicken in milk before frying?

This step is used when marinating your chicken in a buttermilk brine overnight. This helps to break down the proteins in the meat, making it even juicier and more tender after it’s fried. Since we’re using evaporated milk, it will not break the chicken down the same way as buttermilk would. So this step is totally optional; many chefs give their chicken an overnight milk bath before frying it.

Why is my fried chicken not crispy?

If your oil is too hot or not hot enough, your fried chicken won’t end up with that perfectly crisp crunch that you want. Before frying your chicken, use a food thermometer to make sure your oil is heated to 325°F for the best results. This is the sweet spot.

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More Fried Chicken Recipes

Looking for more ways to use fried chicken? Check out these recipes next:

I hope you give this Louisiana fried chicken recipe a try and tell me how it turns out. Fried chicken is always best when shared with friends, so make sure to invite some over to enjoy it with you. And don’t forget to leave me a 5-star review if you liked the recipe – your feedback means a lot to me. 

Recipe:

Austin Leslie Fried Chicken

Austin Leslie’s Fried Chicken

Kenneth Temple
Inspired by the iconic Chef Austin Leslie from my home, New Orleans, this fried chicken recipe is juicy, tender, and perfectly crispy. The best southern fried chicken to enjoy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine African, American, Cajun, Creole
Servings 4 persons
Calories 751 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • Peanut oil for frying
  • 1 whole birds 3-4 ½ pounds, washed, dried & cut in 8 pieces
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 oz. evaporated milk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 garlic chopped fine
  • ¼ cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 16 dill pickles chips

Instructions
 

  • In a medium bowl, combine salt, black pepper, garlic powder and cayenne. Reserve 3 ½ teaspoons to the side. Liberally season the chicken on both sides with seasoning mix. Place chicken in an airtight container and leave in the fridge for 4-8 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 200°F. Remove the chicken from the fridge 30 minutes before frying. Turn on the heat to medium-high in a 5-qt. pot heat oil to 325°F.
  • Add 3 teaspoons of seasoning mix to a large bowl and add ½ teaspoon to a medium bowl. To the medium bowl, add the eggs and evaporated milk, beat with a fork to combine. In the large bowl add the flour stir to mix the seasoning in.
  • Once the oil is hot dip the breast, thighs and legs in the egg wash. Drain egg off then toss each piece in the flour. Then fry for 12 minutes, rotate the chicken every 5 minutes if cooking a skillet. When you have 8 minutes left, pierce the chicken with a knife to let the oil run through the chicken.
  • While the chicken is frying in a small bowl, combine garlic and parsley.
  • Once chicken is fully cooked and golden brown. Use tongs to remove the chicken, slightly squeezing to remove grease. Drain on a wire rack or paper towels. Keep cooked chicken warm in the oven.
  • Once all the chicken is cooked serve hot with garlic-parsley mix and a pickle for each piece.

Notes

Recipe Tips and Substitutions:
  • Avoid overcrowding your pot when frying the chicken. This could result in the chicken steaming instead of frying, which would make it soggy instead of crispy.
  • Make sure to pierce your chicken halfway through the frying process. This allows the oil to flow through, ensuring that your chicken gets fully cooked.
  • If you’re using chicken wings, this step is not necessary.
  • If frying in batches, keep the cooked chicken warm in a 200°F oven, so it stays nice and crispy until you’re ready to enjoy it.
  • If you do not have a wire rack, place the cooked chicken on a paper towel lined baking sheet.
Storage:
  • In the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
  • In the freezer for up to 3-4 months.
Ready to heat up your leftovers? You can reheat cooked fried chicken uncovered in a 350°F oven for 10-12 minutes or reheat in an air fryer at 300°F for 6 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 751kcalCarbohydrates: 58gProtein: 49gFat: 35gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gMonounsaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 237mgSodium: 2205mgPotassium: 715mgFiber: 3gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 1279IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 189mgIron: 6mg
Keyword fried chicken
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