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Single Serving Crispy Pan Fried Chicken Drumsticks

This single-serving fried chicken recipe, has a crispy exterior and juicy interior, a classic comfort food. And when it comes to making it at home, a cast iron skillet is your best friend. In this recipe, I’ll show you the steps to create delicious buttermilk fried chicken drumsticks. It’s a straightforward process that’s perfect for both experienced cooks and beginners. Grab your cast iron skillet, and let’s make s fried chicken!

If you want some great sides to go with your crispy fried chicken, then try my homemade potato salad, and these tasty paprika roasted carrots and if you want to stay crispy then these small batch onion rings will fit the meal. For dessert finish the meal with a mini cherry pie.

Crispy fried chicken drumsticks on a green plate with wedge of lemon.

Click the recipe link at the top of the page to go straight to the printable recipe card which includes ingredient amounts with a detailed ingredient list, instructions, and recipe notes. You can also scroll through the post for helpful tips and step-by-step instructions. The recipe card is located at the bottom of the post.

Ingredients You Need

Chicken drumsticks in bowl and various spices in small bowls.
  • Oils: Use an oil with a high smoke point. Crisco typically has a smoke point of around 360°F to 370°F making it suitable for various cooking methods, including frying and sautéing, where high temperatures are required. It’s my choice for frying chicken, it’s what my Dad used and I’m familiar with cooking with Crisco. Other common oils with the needed high smoke point include:
    • Safflower Oil: Safflower oil is a neutral-tasting oil that works well for frying and other high-heat cooking methods.
    • Canola Oil: Canola oil is also versatile and widely used oil for frying due to its neutral flavor.
    • Corn Oil: Corn oil has a smoke point and is another option for frying, but it has a slightly more distinct flavor compared to some of the other neutral oils.
    • Sunflower Oil: Sunflower oil is also a versatile oil suitable for frying and sautéing.

The Prep Process

Seasoned flour in bowl.

Prep 1: In a medium bow bowl, mix the flour, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, remaining salt, and pepper to make a seasoned flour mix. Don;t skimp on the seasoning!

Chicken drumsticks in shallow dish covered with buttermilk.

Prep 2: Place drumsticks in a shallow dish or large Ziploc bag and pour the buttermilk over the chicken. Sprinkle in some of the seasoning. Cover, refrigerate, and chill for 2 hours.

Buttermilk-coated chicken drumstick sitting on top of a bowl of flour.

Prep 3: Take the chicken out of the buttermilk, letting excess liquid drip off. Roll the drumstick in the flour mixture and coat all sides of the chicken. Lightly press the flour into the chicken to make sure it sticks and it will help to get a crispy skin.

The Cooking Process

  • Step 1: In a medium size heavy skillet (cast iron works great) Heat vegetable oil 350-375°F. You will need about an inch deep of oil, the quantity will vary depending on the size of pan you use. Use a cooking thermometer to make sure the oil is hot enough.
  • Step 2: Use tongs to carefully put the coated chicken pieces in the hot oil and fry for 12-15 minutes until they’re golden brown, crispy, and cooked inside. You will need to turn the chicken over once to get all sides cooked and browned. The chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • Step 3: Use a slotted spoon or tongs to remove the fried chicken from the skillet, and place the chicken drumsticks on paper towels to remove the extra oil. Let cool a few minutes before serving.

How to Store Leftovers

  1. Cool the Chicken: Allow the fried chicken to cool to room temperature for about 30 minutes after cooking. This helps prevent condensation inside the storage container.
  2. Line with Paper Towels: Place a layer of paper towels at the bottom of an airtight container before adding the fried chicken. This helps absorb any excess moisture, preventing the skin from getting soggy.
  3. Arrange Carefully: Arrange the chicken pieces in a single layer in the container, making sure they are not touching or stacked on top of each other. This helps maintain their crispiness.
  4. Seal Tightly: Seal the container or wrap the chicken pieces tightly to prevent air from getting in, which can soften the skin.
  5. Refrigerate Promptly: Place the container in the refrigerator as soon as possible. Fried chicken should be refrigerated within two hours of cooking to ensure food safety.

How to Reheat Fried Chicken

When you’re ready to enjoy the leftover fried chicken, avoid using the microwave, as it can make the skin soggy. Instead, preheat your oven to 350°F, place the chicken on a baking sheet, and reheat for about 10-15 minutes until it’s heated through. This will help restore the crispiness of the skin.

Recipe Notes

Detailed notes for the best pan-fried chicken are in the recipe card below. To make the best fried chicken check out these tips:

  • Use bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces
  • For flavorful chicken, don’t skimp on the seasoning.
  • Pat the chicken dry to remove excess moisture. This helps in achieving a crispy exterior.
  • Use a heavy-bottomed pan with a thermometer to maintain a consistent oil temperature. The ideal frying temperature for chicken is around 350-375°F (175-190°C).
  • Use a skillet large enough to prevent the chicken from touching.
  • Place the fried chicken on a wire rack or paper towels to drain excess oil and maintain its crispiness.
  • Chicken should rest for a few minutes before serving. This helps retain the juiciness and allows the crust to set.

FAQs

How do I achieve a crispy crust on my fried chicken?

To achieve a crispy crust, pat dry the chicken thoroughly before breading it. When cooking, maintain a consistent oil temperature of around 350-375°F (175-190°C) and avoid overcrowding the pan when frying.

What’s the best way to check if my fried chicken is cooked through?

Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken. It should reach 165°F (74°C) to ensure it’s fully cooked and safe to eat. Additionally, the chicken should have a golden-brown color on the outside.

What type of chicken pieces should I use for frying?

For the best fried chicken, use bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces like thighs, drumsticks, or breasts. The bone and skin add flavor and moisture to the dish.

Two golden fried chicken drumsticks on grey plate with plate of more chicken in background.
Two golden fried chicken drumsticks on grey plate with plate of more chicken in background.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Drumsticks

Old fashioned crispy fried chicken in a seasoned buttermilk batter. A classic comfort food dinner and so tasty the next day!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert for One
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 1
Calories: 828kcal
Author:Sydney Dawes

Ingredients

  • 3 chicken drumsticks
  • ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cups buttermilk
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • Vegetable oil for frying enough to partially cover the chicken

Instructions

  • Rinse the chicken drumsticks and pat dry.
  • Place drumsticks in a shallow bowl or large Ziploc bag, pour the buttermilk over the chicken. Make sure the chicken is submerged in the buttermilk. Refrigerate and chill for 2 hours.
  • In a medium bow bowl, mix the flour, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, remaining salt, and pepper to make a seasoned flour mix.
  • Take the chicken out of the buttermilk, letting excess liquid drip off. Roll the drumstick in the flour mixture and coast all sides of the chicken. Lightly press the flour into the chicken to make sure it sticks and you get a crispy skin.
  • In a medium size heavy skillet (cast iron works great) Heat vegetable oil 350-375°F. You need about an inch of oil in the pan, use a cooking thermometer to make sure the oil is hot enough.
  • Use tongs to carefully put the coated chicken pieces in the hot oil and fry for 12-15 minutes until they're golden brown, crispy, and cooked inside. You will need to turn the chicken over once to get all sides cooked and browned. The chicken should reach 165°F inside.
  • Use a slotted spoon or tongs to remove the fried chicken and place them on paper towels to remove extra oil. Let cook a few minutes before serving.

Notes

  • Choose the right chicken: Use bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces like thighs, drumsticks, or breasts for the best flavor and juiciness.
  • Seasoning: Season your chicken with a mix of salt, pepper, and other preferred spices or herbs. Let it sit for a while to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.
  • Drying the chicken: Pat the chicken dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture. This helps in achieving a crispy exterior.
  •  Breading: Make sure to season your flour mixture , don’t skimp.
  • Temperature control: Use a a heavy-bottomed pan with a thermometer to maintain a consistent oil temperature. The ideal frying temperature for chicken is around 350-375°F (175-190°C).
  • Don’t overcrowd the pan: If you are only frying 3 Drummsticks use an 8-inch skillet to avoid any overcrowding the pan, which can lead to uneven cooking and less crispy results. 
  • Drain excess oil: Place the fried chicken on a wire rack or paper towels to drain excess oil and maintain its crispiness.
  • Resting time: Allow the fried chicken to rest for a few minutes before serving. This helps retain the juiciness and allows the crust to set.

Nutrition

Serving: 3drumsticks | Calories: 828kcal | Carbohydrates: 84g | Protein: 56g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Sodium: 720mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 9g
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