Crispy fried chicken without buttermilk is unbelievably crispy, juicy, and delicious! The chicken is covered in a seasoned flour mixture and then fried until crispy and crunchy. It is finger-lickin'- good! Made in a cast iron skillet, you’ll have the best, crispiest, and juiciest homemade fried chicken you’ll ever eat!
Many fried chicken recipes soak the chicken in buttermilk for 10 - 20 minutes before frying as a way to keep the chicken moist, tender, and juicy as it cooks. My family and I don’t like to do this and we actually find that the chicken actually tastes better without it!
Instead of buttermilk, the chicken is coated in flour, then an egg mixture, then the flour mixture one more time to create a crispy outer crust. The egg helps to keep the chicken moist and juicy as it cooks and you won’t even miss the buttermilk because it is so juicy and flavorful!
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Key Ingredients in this Pan-Fried Chicken recipe:
Fried chicken is easy to make with a few ingredients and of course, everything is organic!
Chicken - You’ll need 2lb of chicken parts. Use whichever combination of chicken parts you like! When I first made this recipe I made - chicken wings, chicken breast cut into 2-inch nuggets, and boneless thighs. Taking the bone out of the thighs helps it to cook faster and more evenly. You could also fry legs too. Just keep in mind that they will take the longest to cook. I like to make cuts in the legs to help them to cook better.
Eggs - Used to bind the flour to the chicken to create a crispy crust. Also, it keeps the chicken very moist while frying. I used the Happy Eggs because they are our favorite pasture-raised eggs. They have sooo much flavor and rich color.
Flour - Regular organic all-purpose flour is fine.
Seasonings - The seasoning process is two-fold. Season the chicken with salt before battering, because no one wants unsalted chicken! Next, the rest of the seasonings get added to the flour - freshly ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, ground paprika, dried thyme, dried rosemary, onion powder, and a bit more salt.
Vegetable oil - Used to fry the chicken. I used organic cold-pressed avocado oil, but any neutral-flavored oil will work as well!
How to Make Crispy Fried Chicken in a Cast Iron Skillet:
Step one: Set up your drenching stations. Have one bowl or plate for the eggs, one for the seasoned flour, and one for the rinsed chicken pieces. Also, have your two sheet pans with wire racks nearby.
Step two: Sprinkle chicken with a bit of salt to season it. Then using a pair of tongs or gloved hands coat it in the seasoned flour mixture first, shake off any extra flour then dip it into the egg mixture then finally back into the flour mixture. Transfer the chicken to one of the sheet pans with the wire rack. Repeat with the remaining pieces of chicken.
Step three: Heat a large cast iron skillet on medium heat with 2 - 3 inches of vegetable oil. Add a carrot to help keep the oil clean if you like. Once it starts to sizzle, carefully add the chicken into the hot oil away from you using a fork or pair of tongs.
Step four: Cook chicken on each side for 5 minutes or until it has a nice golden brown color. Using a fork or slotted spoon transfer the cooked chicken to the second sheet pan with a wire rack. Repeat with remaining chicken.
Step five: Serve and enjoy!
Kitchen Items You Might Need For This Recipe
Sheet pans and wire racks, one for cooked chicken and one for uncooked chicken
Slotted spoon or fork, for getting the cooked chicken out of the frying oil
Large cast iron skillet, the chicken comes crispier than if cooked in a stainless steel skillet
Use tongs or gloves: I prefer to use tongs for the flour steps and one pair for the egg steps. If you don’t like touching raw meat or don’t want your hands caked with flour and egg, they are the way to go.
Adjust cooking time depending on if the meat has bones in it or not: Meat with bones in it will take longer to fry than the pieces without bones. Wings and breast nuggets take about 5 minutes per side. I like to take the bones out of the thighs so they’ll cook faster (5 minutes per side), and the legs take the longest, about 7- 9 minutes per side.
Season the chicken before drenching it in flour and egg: You don’t want the crust to be seasoned and the chicken underneath bland tasting. So sprinkle a bit of salt on the meat before coating the chicken in the flour and egg mixture.
Use a carrot to keep the frying oil clean: I add half of a rinsed and dried carrot to the frying oil to 1. help me know when the oil is hot and 2. to help keep the oil clean when frying.
Batter and fry like parts of chicken: Cook all the white meat together and all the dark meat together. This will help everything cook at the same rate and so you aren’t adding raw meat to the skillet while something else is finishing cooking.
Finish cooking in the oven if needed: It’s ok if the meat - particularly the legs, isn't all the way done but the crust is. Simply take the fried chicken out of the oil and pop it into a 375-degree oven for a few minutes so the meat can completely cook through.
Recoat raw drenched chicken in flour before frying if needed: I like to drench all the chicken with flour and egg before I start the frying process. So by the time I finish cooking one batch the raw chicken will have absorbed the flour coating and start to look a little wet, to avoid this simply give the chicken a quick dusting in flour before frying it so it gets as crispy as possible.
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Crispy fried chicken without buttermilk is unbelievably crispy, juicy, and delicious! The chicken is covered in a seasoned flour mixture and then fried until crispy and crunchy. It is finger lickin’- good! Made in a cast iron skillet, you’ll have the best, crispiest, and juiciest homemade fried chicken you’ll ever eat!
- 2lb organic chicken parts(thighs, legs, breasts, or wings)
- 3 - 4 large organic eggs, whisked
- 2 cups organic all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon organic cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons organic ground paprika
- 1 teaspoon organic dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon organic dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon organic onion powder
2 - 3 inches of vegetable oil (I used avocado oil)
Carrot (optional to keep the oil clean when frying)
Prepare chicken dredging stations
- Start by setting up your chicken dredging stations, this will make preparing the chicken much easier.
- Rinse chicken then place it into a large bowl with 1 teaspoon salt, and mix to combine. In a shallow baking dish whisk 3 eggs.
- In a large bowl add all the dry ingredients - flour, 2 teaspoons salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, thyme, rosemary, and onion powder. Mix until everything is well incorporated.
- Then set up two sheet pans with wire racks- one for the raw battered chicken and one for the cooked chicken.
- Using a pair of tongs or your hands, add the chicken to the flour. Mix until well coated then add it to the egg mixture. Completely coat then transfer the chicken back to the flour mixture. Shake off any of the excess flour, then set the chicken onto the wire rack. (I like to do this step in batches with similar pieces of meat and separate tongs for the wet and dry steps)
- Repeat until all the chicken has been coated in the egg and flour mixture.
- Heat a large cast iron skillet until hot, then add 2 - 3 inches of vegetable oil. Add a carrot if using. Once the carrot is sizzling and the oil is hot, carefully add the chicken to the oil away from you so the oil doesn't splatter. Fry chicken for 5 minutes per side or until the crust is nicely golden brown.
- Once done, using a slotted spoon or fork, transfer the cooked chicken to the wire rack to drain. Repeat with the rest of the chicken.
- Serve and enjoy!
How to store leftovers: store in an airtight plastic bag or container for up to 5 days. Reheat in the oven for a few minutes until heated through.
In the freezer: store in a freezer-safe plastic bag for several weeks. Reheat in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until heated through.
Keywords: crispy fried chicken, fried chicken, fried chicken without buttermilk, no buttermilk, cast iron skillet fried chicken