June 18, 2013



Finger licking good, crispy outside, tender inside fried chicken, made with a simple brine and fried until golden crisp.

Picnic Fried Chicken
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My family and I have not yet gone to the beach this year. So far, there has been only one weekend of really warm weather. It has been a cool, wet unofficial start to the summer. But when beach day comes, I will be taking a batch of succulent fried chicken along with me.

two pieces Picnic Fried Chicken on a plate

The payoff for packing a picnic lunch will be worth it. All will be right with the world when I have my hands deep in a basket full of homemade, perfectly seasoned, crispy outside, tender inside, finger-licking-good fried chicken while leisurely lounging on the beach. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it! The added bonus, no lines, no waiting for my meal!

Picnic Fried Chicken

If you make this, take the time to brine the meat. It really does help seal in the juices. If time is short, brine it for as long as you can, or skip the step altogether if there is no time. The result will still be delicious. I have never had a bad fried chicken.

Uhhh…I lied.

I once had bad fried chicken. It was from KFC of all places! I love KFC, but not on that day. It tasted like a mouthful of old vegetable shortening (somebody must have waited a weeeeee bit too long to change the oil!). Fortunately, it was THE only time I was disappointed with their food. It’s all good now…I forgive. There is still plenty of love in my heart for The Colonel and his delicious flock of feathered friends!

Picnic Fried Chicken in a white serving bowl

More chicken recipes you would like:



4 lbs. bone-in chicken pieces
4 cups flour, divided               
2 tbsp. salt       
2  tbsp. + 2 rounded tsp. black pepper    
2 tbsp. Bell’s Seasoning            
1 tbsp. garlic powder              
1 tbsp. onion powder              
1 tbsp. paprika             
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk    
canola or vegetable oil for frying

Simple Brine:
6 cups water, divided
3 tbsp. Kosher salt
3 tbsp. sugar


To make the brine, bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a small pan. Add Kosher salt and sugar. Stir until dissolved. Remove from heat. Pour into a container large enough to hold all of the chicken. Add the remaining 5 cups of cold water and stir. Place chicken pieces in bowl. Make sure they are completely submerged. Cover and refrigerate for 1.5 to 2 hours.

In a large zip lock bag combine 2 1/2 cups flour, salt, pepper, Bell’s Seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Shake to thoroughly to combine.

Place the remaining 1 1/2 cup flour in a separate zip lock bag.

Beat eggs and 1/4 cup milk in a shallow bowl.

Drain brine. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Place a couple of pieces in the plain flour and shake to coat. Shake off excess. Dip in egg wash. Place in seasoned flour and shake to coat. Shake off excess. Place on a baking sheet. Repeat until all of the chicken pieces are coated.

In a large heavy bottom frying pan, add about 1 inch of oil. Heat to 350 degrees F. Place a few chicken pieces in at a time.  Don’t crowd. It will bring the oil temperature down too much. Cook for about 8 to 10 minutes. Turn and cook for another 8 to 10 minutes. The cooking  time depends on the size of the chicken. Larger pieces will cook longer than smaller ones. Done when batter is golden brown and the juices run clear. Place on a wire rack or paper towels to dry.  

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  1. Sounds like KFC forgot to change the oil they fried the chicken in. I can't remember the last time I had fried chicken...I love it, but hate frying. I'm going to have to change that because you're right - not only is it great for picnics - it's just great summer fare! :) Delicious post!!

    1. Thanks for your comment! If you are able to cook outside, cleanup is going to be a breeze. I have access to electrical outlets on my deck and made this particular batch there.