Best Mustard Fried Chicken Recipe

Frying may not be the healthiest way to cook chicken, but it's certainly one of the most delicious. There's just something about a tender, juicy piece of chicken with a crunchy coating. Fried chicken is absolutely amazing when it's freshly cooked, but the best way to get the freshest chicken possible is when you're frying it yourself.

As you'll know if you've ever deep-fried your own chicken — or anything at all, for that matter — you need to dust the chicken (or other unidentified frying object) with a light coating of flour before you can get the coating to adhere. Recipe developer Kate Shungu from Gift of Hospitality notes, though, "The flour doesn't stick well to the chicken alone," so she got the idea of using mustard to help the flour stay in place. She also explains, "The mustard is a great way to add another layer of flavor to the finished dish." 

Try making your next batch of fried chicken with this secret ingredient, and see if anyone can guess what it is! Once you've tried it, we bet you'll be happy to swap Colonel Sanders' chicken for Colonel Mustard's instead.

Gather the ingredients for mustard fried chicken

In order to get a mix of light and dark meat, you'll be making this fried chicken from a whole chicken, cut into pieces. If you only like one type or the other, though, you could substitute an equal amount of bone-in, skin-on breasts, thighs, and/or drumsticks.

The other ingredients you'll need include: buttermilk, vegetable oil, flour, and spices (paprika, cayenne, seasoned salt, onion powder, and garlic powder). Oh yes, and some mustard, of course. Shungu used plain yellow mustard, the kind usually served with hot dogs. If you want a slightly different flavor to your chicken, you could always use Dijon mustard, brown mustard, or spicy mustard in its place.

Marinate the chicken in buttermilk

Although the chicken doesn't require a lot of prep work, unless for some reason you choose to buy a whole chicken that you have to cut up yourself, you will need to start prepping it several hours in advance of whenever you plan to eat it. The reason for this is it needs to marinate in buttermilk for several hours before you fry it. "Marinating the chicken in buttermilk helps keep the chicken moist. It also seasons the inside of the chicken, thanks to the salt, and the spices add more flavor," says Shungu.

The spices she's speaking of here are the paprika and the cayenne. Combine these, along with a tablespoon of salt, with the buttermilk in a large bowl, then dunk the chicken. Cover the bowl, and stick it in the fridge for at least four hours or up to 12 hours if you'll be marinating it overnight.

Baste the chicken with mustard before coating

Once the chicken has been in the buttermilk for a sufficient amount of time, take it out and pat it dry with a paper towel. Now, use a basting brush to rub a thin coating of mustard over each piece of chicken. Mix the flour with the seasoned salt, garlic, and onion in a gallon-sized Ziploc-type bag. Add the chicken to the bag a few pieces at a time, and shake, shake, shake until the chicken is coated. Repeat this step until you've shaken up all the chicken.

Fry the chicken until it's crispy and golden

Heat the oil in a large pot, Dutch oven, or fryer to 375 F. When the oil is hot enough, carefully lower a few pieces of chicken into the oil. Cover the pot, and fry the chicken for eight to 10 minutes until it is golden brown. Turn the pieces over, and cook for another six to eight minutes, using a meat thermometer to check to see when they are done. Breasts and wings will need to reach 160 F, while thighs and drumsticks must hit 175 F.

Shungu says in order to make sure the chicken cooks evenly, "Make sure that the oil stays at or around 375 F. " She explains, "If it's hotter, the outside of the chicken will burn before the inside is done. If it's cooler, the chicken won't get as crispy." She notes that the wings will finish first, followed by drumsticks, then thighs, then breasts.

This chicken is delicious hot or cold

If you'll be serving this mustard fried chicken for dinner, Shungu says, "I love serving fried chicken with buttered biscuits drizzled with honey." If you're making it in advance, she says it will keep in a covered container in the fridge for up to five days.

If you want to reheat it, Shungu says to bake it on a sheet pan in a preheated oven at 400 F to warm it up. As she notes, "It will take about 25 minutes for the chicken breasts, and 15 to 20 minutes for the other pieces." Of course, if you don't want to wait, you can always just eat it cold, since cold fried chicken is pretty amazing, too. This is such a great crowdpleaser, and you are sure to want to make this recipe time and time again!

Best Mustard Fried Chicken Recipe
5 from 39 ratings
Fried chicken is absolutely amazing when it's freshly cooked, but the best way to get the freshest chicken possible is when you're frying it yourself.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Fried chicken in bowl
Total time: 24 minutes
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 (3 to 3 ½-pound) whole chicken, cut into pieces
  • 3 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 4 cups vegetable oil
  1. Whisk together the buttermilk, paprika, cayenne, and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Add the chicken pieces to the bowl, mixing to coat them with the marinade.
  3. Cover the bowl, and let the chicken sit in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  4. Remove the chicken pieces from the buttermilk, and pat dry with paper towels.
  5. Use a basting brush to coat the chicken pieces with a thin layer of yellow mustard.
  6. Mix the flour, seasoned salt, garlic powder, and onion powder in a gallon-size resealable bag, shaking to combine.
  7. Add 2 pieces of the chicken at a time to the bag, and shake to coat. Repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.
  8. Heat the oil to 375 F in a large pot, Dutch oven, or fryer.
  9. Carefully lower the chicken a few pieces at a time into the hot oil.
  10. Cover, and fry the chicken until deep golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  11. Turn the pieces over, and cook for an additional 6 to 8 minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160 F for wings and breasts and 175 F for drumsticks and thighs.
  12. Let the chicken cool slightly before serving.
Calories per Serving 1,590
Total Fat 126.0 g
Saturated Fat 17.2 g
Trans Fat 0.9 g
Cholesterol 192.9 mg
Total Carbohydrates 55.7 g
Dietary Fiber 2.6 g
Total Sugars 6.3 g
Sodium 1,519.5 mg
Protein 57.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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