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How to Deep Fry a Whole Chicken

How to deep fry a whole chicken – made simple. If you’ve never tasted a deep fried chicken, you are in for a real treat. Succulent and juicy, the results are spectacular.

I use a Cajun method that produces sensationally juicy meat and crispy skin.

How to deep fry a whole chicken - made simple. If you've never tasted a deep fried chicken, you are in for a real treat. #misshomemade

When I fry a whole chicken, I inject a marinade and let it marinate overnight.  And when it is done, I use a butter rub.   You may want to cook two birds because they don’t last long.

The Night Before:


2 cups Italian Dressing 
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp homemade garlic powder
1 tsp homemade onion powder

Whisk the above ingredients together. I usually taste it before I use it to make sure it is seasoned perfectly.  Place this marinade under the chicken skin, in the cavity and all over the entire bird. Inject the marinade into the breast and legs.

Place the chicken(s) in a NON SCENTED garbage bag and marinate in the refrigerator overnight. The next day remove from the bag and you are ready to go.

Following are some of my secrets to a perfect bird.

Secret Tip #1

I usually deep-fry a chicken between 3 and 5 pounds. The chicken should either be fresh or completely thawed before cooking. 

Secret Tip #2

To determine the amount of oil you will need, place the bird in the pot you intend to use for frying. Pour in cold water until the turkey is covered by a couple of inches. There should still be several inches between the surface of the water and the top of the pot. Measure the water: this is how much oil you’ll need. For a traditional Cajun chicken, use peanut oil for frying the bird.

Peanut oil is expensive, but it gives the best flavor and has a high smoke point. 

Secret Tip #3

To properly season your chicken, place it in a pan and load your marinade into a hypodermic meat injector (available at kitchen supply stores, some supermarkets).

Purchase the largest gauge needle they sell. Many of the readily available poultry  injectors will clog with a speck of pepper. If you can’t find a big enough one, just cut the tip off the one you have – make sure you cut it at an angle.

Inject the marinade in several places on the chicken by carefully lifting up the skin, rather than poking the needle through it. Gently loosen the membrane under the skin.


PREHEAT the oil initially to 375 degrees.

Thoroughly pat the chicken completely dry with paper towels. Make sure the hole at the neck is open so the oil can flow freely through the bird.

The chicken should be placed in basket neck end first. Slowly lower basket into hot oil to completely cover the bird. Maintain the temperature of the oil at 350 degrees, and cook chicken for 3 to 3- 1/2 minutes per pound.  It doesn’t take long.

Carefully remove basket from oil, and drain. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh; the internal temperature must be 180 degrees.

Finish draining chicken on the prepared platter, brush on butter rub and let sit for at least 20 minutes before carving. 

BUTTER RUB (To Put On Chicken After It Is Cooked)

1 TBS homemade Cajun seasoning

1/2 tsp homemade garlic powder
1/4 tsp homemade cayenne pepper (you control the heat)
1/2 stick butter, melted

When the chicken is done frying, remove the bird from the oil and let the oil drip off the bird.  Then immediately dust with the Cajun seasoning. 

Add the garlic and cayenne powder to the melted butter and brush on the  chicken. Allow to sit for at least 20 minutes before carving. 

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