Several pieces of fried chicken stacking in a bowl and two pieces on a plate.
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4 from 2 votes

Grandma Kennedy’s Fried Chicken

This recipe for fried chicken has been described as “the best on the entire planet”. It’s hard to argue with a recipe that’s been made as many times as this one has.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Marinating Time12 hrs
Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 527kcal


  • 1 - 3 pound whole chicken broken down
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Crisco or other vegetable shortening plus bacon grease OR peanut oil for frying


  • Pat chicken dry and place in a large non-reactive bowl. Pour buttermilk over the top, add onions and stir until the chicken is coated and the onions are distributed.
  • Cover and refrigerate over night.
  • Combine the flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika in a shallow pan. To make it like Grandma Kennedy did, place the flour mixture into a large brown paper bag.
  • Remove the chicken from the buttermilk and dredge in the flour mixture OR place in the paper bag and shake to coat the chicken. You may have to work in batches to do this.
  • Shake off any excess flour and transfer to a plate.
  • In a 12-inch cast iron skillet, melt the Crisco and bacon grease combination so that you have about 1” of fat in the skillet. Alternately, pour 1” of oil in the skillet. Heat until a bread crumb sizzles on contact, or and instant read thermometer reads 360˚F.
  • Working in batches, place the chicken in the skillet skin side down. Allow to fry for 3 minutes before turning. Turn every 2 minutes to ensure even browning until cooked through, about 11 - 12 minutes.
  • Transfer to a cooling rack placed on a sheet pan, and continue frying the rest of the chicken.
  • Serve with your favorite fried chicken sides.


Calories: 527kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 118mg | Sodium: 1351mg | Potassium: 481mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 499IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 123mg | Iron: 3mg