My Mom's Easy Fried Chicken with Gravy or Rice

My Mom's Easy Fried Chicken with Gravy or Rice

A flavorful, crispy, simple-to-make fried chicken that always turns out perfect!


8 servings


Chicken leg quarters or drumsticks and/or thighs, enough to cover the bottom of your (large) skillet
3-4 tablespoons vegetable shortening or oil, for frying
Lawry's seasoned salt
ground black pepper
1/4 cup water

Gravy or Rice ingredients: (see additional notes)


1. Remove excess fat from chicken pieces. If using leg quarters, cut apart drumsticks and thighs*. Rinse chicken under running water, and coat with flour. I put flour in a large bowl and just put all the pieces in and stir to coat.

2. In a large skillet (or two, depending on how much chicken you want to fry), heat about 3-4 tablespoons of oil or shortening over medium heat. When oil is hot, lay chicken pieces in oil, arranging to fit the most in your skillet.

3. Brown chicken pieces on both sides. While browning on one side, sprinkle the top of the chicken pieces with generous amounts of seasoned salt, salt, pepper, and paprika. Season both sides of chicken.

The initial frying...

4. Add additional oil only if needed as frying. (You should have about 1/4 to 1/2-inch of oil in your pan.) When chicken is well-browned (this should take about 30 to 45 minutes over medium heat), add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water to your pan and cover with a lid.

5. Boil for about 15 minutes, or until chicken pieces are heated through. Then turn your burner as low as it will go. Cook for 45-60 minutes or until done, depending on size of pieces.

6. When chicken is done, lift from the skillet with tongs (allowing the pieces to drip a little) and place in a glass baking dish. Chicken should be loosely placed in the dish, with space between the pieces, and not squished together. Put uncovered dish of chicken in a 300-degree oven for 20-30 minutes to allow chicken to dry out and become crispy again**.

7. Remove as much oil as possible from the drippings in your skillet. Thicken remaining drippings for a tasty gravy (add salt if needed) or make rice with the drippings***.

My Mom's Fried Chicken
My Mom's Fried Chicken (shown with rice recipe included)
Additional Notes: 

*To cut apart leg quarters, use a sharp knife and carefully cut the skin and meat around the joint. As you get closer to the bone, wiggle knife back and forth and cut the tendons and cartilage near the joint until drumstick is separated from thigh, without cutting through bone.

**If you need to keep your chicken warm a little longer (like while you prepare the rest of the meal), turn oven lower until you're ready.

***To make rice:

1. Be sure that you have removed enough of the grease from the top of the drippings. It doesn't have to be completely removed, but if you have too much, the rice won't turn out as well.

2. Add your rice. Add however much you want to make. Then add water to make enough liquid for the amount of rice you're making. I always guess on this; I've read that the level of the water in the pan (with rice in also) should be about 3/4-inch above the level of the rice.

3. Once you've added your rice and water, cover and bring to a boil. Stir once and then re-cover and turn heat to low. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until rice is done. Fluff rice with a fork and add salt to taste.

Preparation Time: 

15 minutes

Cooking Time: 

allow at least 2 hours

Tammy's Review: 

This fried chicken recipe is the best I have ever tried. The flavor is excellent, and the meat is always tender and the skin is crispy and seasoned.

What I really love about this recipe is that the chicken is always, 100% of the time, fully-cooked inside. It can be a challenge to make fried chicken that isn't burnt or too dark on the outside, but still completely cooked on the inside.

This recipe solves that problem by first browning the chicken and then covering and cooking for a while. The chicken is restored to a crispy outside by being kept warm in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until you're ready to eat it.

I know the lengthy instruction list makes this seem like a complicated recipe, but it really isn't! I just tried to be thorough in describing exactly how to do everything. :)

And yes, this is my mom's own recipe that she came up with after many tries resulting in under-cooked fried chicken drumsticks. :) She's been doing it this way for about 12-15 years now, and we all love it!

Personally, I think this is the BEST recipe for fried chicken drumsticks or thighs! My rating: 10/10


Please see the recipe above for my lengthy review! :D ~Tammy


yes, this is definitely the best fried chicken recipe I've ever had! It turned out so well! Thank you, this is being added to my recipe stash. Tell your mom she's an awesome cook!


I grew up eating fried chicken but was never successful in making it myself. I had almost given up until I saw this and thought I would give it another try. So glad I did! It turned out great!


I loved this chicken. When I read about buying chicken quarters I decided to keep my eye out for a sale. Once I got loads of chicken then I had to figure out what to do with it!! I tried the conventional way of cooking fried chicken and it was fine. This time I tried your recipe and LOVED it. It was so juicy on the inside. Mine didn't get real crispy on the outside but maybe I needed to let it cook longer in the oven, or add less water? Anyway even if it always turned out this way it would still be a ten. We all loved it. I did make the rice and am going to serve it with chopped chicken leftovers for lunch tomorrow. I made one skillet of gravy and one I used for my rice. Once my rice was cooked I added some gravy to give it a little more flavor. It was good but it will be very good for lunch with the chicken pieces. Thanks


I have to admit that I was dubious about this recipe. Only the reviews convinced me to try it. Even while I was cooking it, I thought it would bomb. Adding water to fried chicken? All I can say is you have to try it. Definitely six thumbs up.

One note about the recipe though -- once you add the water to the pan, don't touch the chicken again until you put it in the baking pans. You'll surely loose your breading. I didn't touch mine and no harm came to it -- and all the breading stuck.


Made this and my family really liked it, easy and tasty has become one of our favorites.


I made this tonight for my family and everyone loved it. My husband said it was the best chicken he has had in a while. It was tender, juicy and flavorful. Thanks Tammy for the great recipe!


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