Few things are more inviting than a plate of golden, crunchy fried chicken. Making fried chicken at home is actually easier than it seems and contrary to popular belief, it doesn't always require a fryer.
The beauty of fried chicken is that although it is delicious hot and straight out of the kitchen on a cold winter night, it's also remarkably good at room temperature — some may even say better. That makes it a great addition to any summer celebration from picnics to barbecues.
Savannah Guthrie's mother Nancy Guthrie revealed her secrets to making her delicious home-style Kentucky fried chicken that has an incredible golden crunch and just the right kick of spice. The key is to use crushed crackers or potato chips in the coating and to add bacon grease to the frying oil for extra flavor.
Carson Daly's mother grew up all over the world, but her roots were in North Carolina. "She would tell stories about her days on her grandmother's farm and the family-style dinners with proper Southern cuisine," Siri Daly told TODAY Food. "I am so thankful she shared her recipes with me. When we eat this crispy, juicy fried chicken it feels like she's sitting at the table with us."
Chef Judy Joo's Korean fried chicken has an amazing thin and crisp skin. "As a kid, I used to just eat the skin off fried chicken ... it's the best part!" she told TODAY Food. The spicy sauce can be drizzled on top or kept on the side to cater to everyone's spice-o-meter.
Justin Chapple's fried chicken recipe is amazing because it uses only five ingredients — and one is cornflakes! Plus, it doesn't require any stovetop cooking or oil splatter clean-up. Who doesn't like to have 50 minutes free while the oven does the work?
Chef Sunny Anderson uses an old trick from her catering days to make this fried chicken. First, she brines the chicken, then she poaches it and finally, she fries it. "You ensure it is juicy, flavorful and cooked through by brining and poaching, then the final fry is all about the crunch!" she told TODAY Food. This method allows home cooks to actually have fried chicken in minutes all week or use the poached chicken for other uses like in a salad.
Nashville's hot fried chicken became a food trend for good reason. The brine makes the chicken incredibly juicy and it has the perfect balance of seasonings. The buttermilk crust is amazingly crunchy and stands up well to the spicy butter and pickles served with the chicken.
"Great fried chicken is all about balance," chef Erin French told TODAY Food. The meat should be tender and juicy, while the coating is crisp and crunchy. This recipe achieves both with a flavorful, tenderizing brine and a crackling flour-and-cornflake crust. For a surprising twist, it's served with a sweet and sour blueberry spread made with sweet fruit and tangy ketchup.
Chef Ryan Scott shared his grandmas's recipe for her sweet tea-brined chicken that's crunchy, sweet and salty. Here it's served with a creamy butternut squash puree, but it's delicious on its own. Sometimes grandma just knows best!
Chef Elizabeth Heiskell's fried-chicken-on-a-stick is great as an appetizer or dinner, and is the perfect thing to bring to an outdoor barbecue. No utensils required!
The key to this Louisiana-style fried chicken is to brine it in water that's flavored with crab boil seasoning, which makes the meat super juicy. Serve it up with crab-boiled vegetables like corn, potatoes and onions for a taste of New Orleans at home.