How Church Mothers Make the Best Fried Chicken (Recipe)

One of the best aromas on Earth is the smell of fried chicken that overtakes the sanctuary at the end of Sunday Morning Service. The scent alone is enough to make the church drummer trade in his drumsticks for the tasty, crispy ones waiting in the church’s kitchen.

The way that church mothers cook up the best fried chicken has long seemed like a mystery – until now. Try this chicken recipe at home and Jesus himself will want to have a seat at your kitchen table.



  • 3 cups buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 whole chicken cut into parts


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon Badia Seasoning Complete
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Cooking Instructions

Step 1    

In a large bowl, combine the buttermilk with the seasonings. Add the chicken and stir with hands until the chicken is fully coated. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour or refrigerate for 4 hours.

Step 2    

In a large, resealable plastic bag, mix the flour with the onion powder, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, and cayenne and shake vigorously to combine.

Step 3    

Set a rack on a baking sheet. Working with one piece at a time, remove the chicken from the buttermilk soak, letting the excess drip back into the bowl. Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture, pressing so it adheres all over. Transfer the coated chicken to the rack and let stand for 5 minutes. Repeat the process dipping the chicken in the buttermilk a second time and dredging in the flour mix.

Step 4    

In a deep skillet, heat 1 inch of oil to 350°. Set another rack over a baking sheet; line with paper towels. Fry the chicken in batches at 315°, turning as needed until golden on all sides and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of each piece registers 160° (15 to 18 minutes). Transfer the chicken to the paper-lined rack and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

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