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15 finger-lickin' good fried chicken recipes

Because few things are more inviting than a plate of golden, crunchy fried chicken.
The beauty of fried chicken is that it's delicious hot or cold — all year long.
The beauty of fried chicken is that it's delicious hot or cold — all year long. TODAY Illustration / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

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.

Whatever season it is, it's always a good time to gather a spread of potato salad and mac and cheese, and then dig into these mouth-watering fried chicken recipes.

Savannah's Mom's Homestyle Fried Chicken

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.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Toni Tipton-Martin

It's a classic for a reason. Marinating in buttermilk remains a go-to technique for succulent chicken. This recipe from Toni Tipton-Martin adds a couple of tablespoons of hot pepper sauce to the buttermilk marinade for an added kick!

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."

Korean Fried Chicken Wings

Chef Judy Joo's Korean fried chicken wings' extra crispy crust makes them so different and addictive compared to other fried chicken. Her secret? Matzo meal, a Jewish unleavened flatbread, which keeps this crust super crunchy, and a splash of vodka, which prevents gluten development, making these wings super crispy.

Michael Symon's Fried Chicken

Michael Symon also uses vodka in his fried chicken batter — it allows the chicken to get extremely crispy but evaporates when cooking so you'll never know it was there.

Why stop at just fried chicken? These creamy, decadent grits are prepared with coconut milk and white cheddar, then topped with juicy roasted tomatoes and crispy fried chicken to create a meal that's perfect for any weekend brunch or Sunday supper.

Oven-Fried Chicken

Oven-Fried Chicken

Justin Chapple

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 Hot Fried Chicken

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!

Delaware Fried Chicken

Ready for a picnic on the beach? New York Times cooking editor Sam Sifton learned to cook this dish on the Delaware shore — the chicken is crusted in a seasoned flour and fried in a bath of peanut oil scented with bacon.

Fried Chicken on a Stick

Fried Chicken on a Stick

Elizabeth Heiskell

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!

"Crawfish Boil" Fried Chicken

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.

Crispy Fried Chicken Sandwich

Forget about the fast food chicken sandwich wars! Make this one from Chef JJ Johnson right at home. It's got a super crispy crust thanks to its secret ingredient ... grits!