Southern Fried Chicken (Southern Italy Fried Chicken)

Who doesn’t like fried chicken? Especially done right. I know southerners in the USA claim this as their own. But us southern Italians have just as much a right to fry up some chicken and consider it great “Italian Comfort Food”. So there you are! I know that there is no official Southern Italy Fried Chicken but like most ethnic foods we can take what we want and call it our own.  I have to admit that I use some techniques and ingredients they use south of the Mason Dixon line, but this flavorful version is one you can sink your teeth into  and still have a large side of tomato salad with garlic and olive oil right along with it. And don’t forget the Italian bread.

I think this is some of the most flavorful fried chicken I ever ate. The coating is crisp and flavorful and the chicken is tender and juicy inside. The way fried chicken should be. Hope you enjoy it!

Southern Italy Fried Chicken

For the marinade:

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoons of fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of paprika
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, according to taste
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 cups buttermilk

For the coating:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flower
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 Fryer chicken, cut up
  • Vegetable oil or shortening for frying

Wash and dry your chicken pieces. Combine all the ingredients for the marinade in a large bowl and mix well. Add the chicken pieces and cover and place in refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours up to 8 hours.

In a large zip lock bag place the ingredients for the coating and mix well. Drain the chicken of the marinade in a colander.

Place the chicken in the zip lock bag with the coating, seal the bag and shake it well to coat all the pieces. Remove the pieces from the bag and let sit on a plate till the coating becomes “doughy” and wet, about 10-15 minuets.

In the meantime fill a cast iron pan or deep fryer with peanut oil or shortening for frying, about halfway up. On medium high heat allow the oil to reach 350 degrees.

Place the chicken in the pan and cook about 5 minutes on each side to crisp. Turn the heat down to medium low, cover the pan and cook another 10 minuets on each side. Remove the cover and turn the heat high again to crisp each side of the chicken till they are golden brown.

Cook the chicken in batches if you need to. Don’t over crowd the frying pan. Place the cooked chicken on paper towel lined plates to absorb the oil.


About Peter Bocchieri

Peter was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and is a second generation Italian-American. He has a degree in Journalism from Long Island University and is an avid photographer, gardener and pet owner. Now that Peter is retired, he is relaxing at his home in North East Pennsylvania and cooking for his sons, Michael and Joseph, family and friends. Peter's passion for food was inspired by his Mother's and Grandmother's cooking, but at the age of 10 Peter felt he could do it better himself, so he did.
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7 Responses to Southern Fried Chicken (Southern Italy Fried Chicken)

  1. Billie says:

    Why is it most of the recipes do not have serving sizes? Thank you Peter. Especially
    luv Italian cuisine.

    • Billie, I probably should put serving sizes as a guide with my recipes, but I find them so bogus. A serving size for me might not be the same size for someone else. You can feed a family of four with a whole chicken, if everyone only eats a quarter of the chicken. But if your family has a larger appetite, and everyone eats a half chicken, then you’ll need two. See what I mean? You should really know who you are cooking for and how much they eat. In my family, one pound of macaroni was good for only two people. Other families might feed four people with a pound of pasta. The other thing about Italian cooking is it’s always better to have more. I always look forward to left overs. But thanks for the comment, it sound like a good suggestion and I’ll keep it in mind.

  2. clinson says:

    I am confused in the recipe it calls for dried herbs but I am seeing some fresh herb in the photo? so is it better to use fresh in this recipe

  3. Fresh are always preferred. I listed dried because fresh are not always available. Sorry for the confusion. I”m glad you’re paying attention. 🙂

  4. Pecora Nera says:

    That looks like a nice recipe, I will try it this weekend. Many thanks

  5. Denise Copper says:

    Great recipe . I love garlic and put 4 large slightly crushed cloves . I also loosely cut sage leaves , rub oregano in my palms to crush out flavor . It’s wonderful . My family loves it .

  6. Johanna Field says:

    Thank you very much for this confirmation that I can actually serve ‘southern fried chicken’ to a southern Italian…. We live in northern Italy and chicken is never seen on a restaurant menu (other than pollo milanese) and most Italians we know say they do not like chicken….Do most Italians consider chicken a poor man’s dish? I would be very grateful for your expertise! I thought your idea of serving pomodoro and pane is perfect!

    I was very impressed with your southern Italian fried chicken! I am American, my grandmother was from the south, Arkansas and made delicious fried chicken also with buttermilk and heavy cast iron skillet also covering the chicken at times as you do. Can you please let me know what you think of using an iron enamelled Le Cruset iron pot?

    La ringrazio molto. Ti faccio sapere cosa dicono i nostri amici Siciliani…..


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