Best Southern Fried Chicken Batter

3 spray(s) cooking spray 1 pound(s) uncooked boneless skinless chicken breast(s), four 4-oz pieces 1/2 tsp table salt, divided, or to taste 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, divided, or to taste 1/3 cup(s) all-purpose flour 3 oz low-fat buttermilk 1/2 cup(s) cornflake crumbs

Best Southern Fried Chicken Batter Recipe

Southern Fried Chicken is a classic dish known for its crispy, flavorful crust and tender, juicy meat. This recipe uses a combination of buttermilk and cornflake crumbs to create a deliciously crunchy batter that’s sure to satisfy. Below, you’ll find a detailed recipe with an introduction, ingredients, instructions, cooking notes, variations, a keto and low-carb version, and a conclusion.

There’s nothing quite like the taste of Southern Fried Chicken. It’s a dish that evokes memories of family gatherings, summer picnics, and comfort food at its finest. The secret to the perfect Southern Fried Chicken lies in the batter. This recipe ensures a crispy, golden exterior with a juicy and tender interior. By using low-fat buttermilk and cornflake crumbs, you can achieve that authentic Southern flavor without the guilt. Whether you’re making it for a weekend treat or a special occasion, this recipe is bound to become a favorite in your household.


  • 3 spray(s) cooking spray
  • 1 pound(s) uncooked boneless skinless chicken breast(s), cut into four 4-oz pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt, divided, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, divided, or to taste
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 oz low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup cornflake crumbs


Preparing the Chicken:

  1. Preheat Oven and Prepare Baking Sheet: Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Season the Chicken: Season the chicken breasts with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  3. Set Up Breading Stations: Place the flour in a shallow dish. Pour the buttermilk into a separate shallow dish. In a third dish, combine the cornflake crumbs with the remaining salt and cayenne pepper.

Breading the Chicken:

  1. Coat with Flour: Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour, shaking off any excess.
  2. Dip in Buttermilk: Dip the floured chicken into the buttermilk, ensuring it is fully coated.
  3. Cover with Cornflake Crumbs: Finally, dredge the chicken in the cornflake crumbs, pressing gently to ensure the crumbs adhere to the chicken.

Cooking the Chicken:

  1. Arrange on Baking Sheet: Place the coated chicken pieces on the prepared baking sheet.
  2. Spray with Cooking Spray: Lightly spray the tops of the chicken pieces with cooking spray to help achieve a crispy crust.
  3. Bake: Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through. The internal temperature should reach 165°F (74°C).

Cooking Notes and Variations

Cooking Tips:

  • Even Coating: Ensure each piece of chicken is evenly coated with flour, buttermilk, and cornflake crumbs for the best texture.
  • Check for Doneness: Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken to ensure it is fully cooked.
  • Rest Before Serving: Allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes after baking to retain its juices.


  • Spicy Southern Fried Chicken: Add more cayenne pepper or a pinch of chili powder to the cornflake crumbs for a spicier version.
  • Herb-Infused Batter: Mix dried herbs such as thyme, rosemary, or oregano into the cornflake crumbs for an extra layer of flavor.
  • Gluten-Free Option: Use gluten-free flour and gluten-free cornflake crumbs for a gluten-free version of this recipe.

Keto and Low-Carb Version:

For those following a keto or low-carb diet, the recipe can be modified as follows:

  • Almond Flour Substitute: Replace all-purpose flour with almond flour.
  • Pork Rind Crumbs: Substitute cornflake crumbs with crushed pork rinds for a low-carb, keto-friendly crust.
  • Full-Fat Buttermilk: Use full-fat buttermilk or a combination of heavy cream and lemon juice to keep it keto-friendly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use bone-in chicken for this recipe?

Yes, you can use bone-in chicken pieces. Adjust the baking time accordingly, as bone-in pieces may take longer to cook through.

Can I deep-fry the chicken instead of baking it?

Absolutely! If you prefer a more traditional method, you can deep-fry the chicken. Heat oil in a deep fryer to 350°F (175°C) and fry the chicken until golden brown and cooked through.

How do I store leftovers?

Store any leftover chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven to maintain crispiness.

Can I freeze the breaded chicken before baking?

Yes, you can freeze the breaded chicken pieces on a baking sheet until firm, then transfer them to a freezer-safe bag. Bake from frozen, adding a few extra minutes to the baking time.

Southern Fried Chicken is a timeless classic that brings warmth and comfort to any meal. This recipe for the best Southern Fried Chicken batter ensures a crispy, flavorful crust with juicy, tender chicken inside. Whether baked or fried, this dish is sure to please everyone at the table. Try out the variations to suit your taste preferences, and don’t hesitate to make the keto-friendly version for a low-carb option. Enjoy this delightful dish with your favorite sides and relish the flavors of the South in every bite.

Happy cooking!

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