Sunday, July 6 is National Fried Chicken Day, and who better to share with us the secrets to making his famous fried chicken than head chef Patrick Russell of Max's Wine Dive. He shares his recipe for easy homemade chicken fry batter, and a bonus recipe for honey butter biscuits.

Southern Fried Chicken


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 2 to 5 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 3/4 cups cold water
  • 3 quarts (12 cups) peanut or vegetable oil for frying


Make the brine:

  1. Whisk the water, salt, and sugar in a large bowl until the sugar and salt dissolve. Add the chicken and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes.

Make the fried chicken batter:

  1. Whisk the flour, cornstarch, black pepper, paprika, cayenne, baking powder, salt, and water in a large bowl until smooth.
  2. Cover and refrigerate the batter while the chicken is brining.

Fry the chicken:

  1. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or other deep-sided pot over medium-high heat till it reaches 350 F (176 C). Place a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Pour off and discard the brine from the chicken.
  3. Pat the chicken pieces completely dry with paper towels.
  4. Whisk the batter to recombine. (If the batter seems too thick, add a little cold water, no more than 1 tablespoon at a time, until the batter becomes the consistency of pancake batter.)
  5. Place half the chicken pieces in the batter and turn to coat.
  6. Remove the chicken from the batter, letting any excess drip back into the bowl, and carefully transfer it to the oil.
  7. Fry the chicken, adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain the oil temperature between 300 F and 325 F (149 C and 163 C).
  8. Cook the fried chicken until deep golden brown and the white meat registers 160 F/71 C (175 F/79 C for dark meat), 12 to 25 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken pieces.
  9. Place the fried chicken on the wire rack to drain.

Easy Sour Cream Butter Biscuits


  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Grease miniature muffin pans.
  3. Mix the flour and butter together, add the sour cream, and blend well.
  4. Place spoonfuls of the batter in the muffin pans and bake until golden, 8 to 10 minutes.

Honey Butter


  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup honey


  1. Mix a stick of butter with honey in a medium sized bowl.
  2. Brush over top of fresh biscuits from the oven to melt down into the biscuit.

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