Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Favorite Southern Pan-Fried Chicken

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Favorite Southern Pan-Fried Chicken

One of Dr. King's favorite foods - pan-fried chicken - as prepared by Chef Alexander Smalls.
  • Preparation:
  • Cooking:
  • Total:
  • Serves: 8 persons



  1. Step 1

    Gather the ingredients. Rinse the chicken pieces under cool water and pat dry.
  2. Step 2

    In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, paprika, salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Add the chicken and toss until coated.
  3. Step 3

    Refrigerate, covered, for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight. Fry the chicken:
  4. Step 4

    Remove the chicken from the marinade, shaking off any excess. Place on a platter or plate (discard the marinade). Let the chicken come to room temperature. Meanwhile, gather the remaining ingredients.
  5. Step 5

    Fill a large cast-iron skillet halfway with oil. Heat over medium-high heat until the oil reaches 350 F.
  6. Step 6

    Add the flour, salt, and pepper to a wide rimmed plate and. Stir to combine.
  7. Step 7

    Dredge the chicken pieces in the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess and transfer to another plate or platter.
  8. Step 8

    Once the oil has reached the right temperature , working in batches to avoid crowding the skillet, add the chicken and fry, undisturbed, until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes (smaller pieces may need less time).
  9. Step 9

    Turn the pieces and fry, undisturbed, until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer registers 165 F, 5 to 6 minutes more (larger pieces may need more time). Adjust the heat to maintain the oil temperature, if necessary.
  10. Step 10

    Drain on a crumpled brown paper bags, paper towels, or a rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with salt as chicken drains. Serve immediately.