Simple Pan Fried Southwest Chicken | Guide to the Kitchen – Coral

I made Pan Fried Chicken Legs for the first time about ten years ago and I haven’t stopped making them since then. Pan-fried chicken makes an appearance on our table at least once a month.

It still amazes me that just a spoonful of oil and a little bit of patience can result in juicy, tender chicken with golden crisp skin.

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Southwest Pan Fried Chicken

Pan Fried Chicken Drumsticks

The other day, as I was mixing together a fresh batch of Taco Seasoning for some Spanish Rice I was cooking, it occurred to me that I could use that combination of Mexican spices as a rub for the chicken I was planning to make that night for dinner.

The chicken turned out great and every member of the family voted the meal a success. This is a great variation on one of our family’s favorite meals.

How to Long To Fry Chicken Legs

Never cooked chicken on the stove top before? I’m happy to report that this method of cooking chicken is as easy as it is tasty.

This recipe starts by mixing southwestern herbs and spices together in a bowl. My spice blend includes cumin, chili powder, paprika, garlic and onion powder.

Sprinkle the spices on the chicken then use clean hands to rub the spice blend into the chicken skin. Once your chicken thighs are nice and spice-covered, place them in a hot skillet with just a tablespoon of oil.

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For this chicken recipe, I prefer refined coconut oil or a light flavored olive oil. You don’t want any flavors in the oil to dominate the chicken.

Then comes the waiting. Let the chicken cook (skin side down) uncovered until the skin is deep golden brown and crispy. For me, this usually takes about 25 minutes, but depending on the size of your chicken pieces it could take up to 30 minutes.

How To Cook Chicken On The Stove

Note: if the outside of the chicken starts to blacken or burn before the inside is cooking, you need to turn the heat down. Keep a close eye on your chicken as it cooks to ensure this doesn’t happen!

Frying chicken on the stove top is one of the best ways to cook chicken with perfectly crispy skin, in my opinion.

That said, sometimes you just want to toss your chicken thighs in the oven and walk away. For delicious oven baked chicken recipes, check out this Crispy Oven Baked Chicken, Crunchy Baked Chicken and my full list of The Best Baked Chicken Thigh Recipes.

Pan Fried Chicken Legs

I’ve used both chicken thighs and drumsticks to make pan fried chicken with good results. Cooking drumsticks with this method requires a little more hands-on attention.

Cook them for 15 minutes on one side, rotate a third and cook 15 minutes more. Rotate a final time and finish cooking the drumstick for about another 15 minutes. Your chicken is done when the meat closest to the bone is cooked through!

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Pan Fried Southwest Chicken is crispy and juicy with just the right amount of spice for everyone to enjoy. I love that it only uses a spoonful of oil so the chicken is crisp without dripping with grease!

If you like more heat on your chicken, feel free to add a little more red pepper flakes or chili powder to the spice blend.

Southwest Pan Fried Chicken

We enjoyed our chicken legs with a side of Chipotle Lime Rice and Jalapeno Corn Coleslaw.

I’m excited to add this chicken to our meal plan rotation along with other chicken dinnertime favorites like Sticky Asian Chicken, Indian Chicken Bites and Pan Fried Italian Chicken Thighs.

Next up, I plan to try this 15 Minute Parmesan Crusted Chicken Breast from 15 Spatulas and this Sesame Chicken recipe from Crunchy Creamy Sweet!

And for more great southwest flavors, you’ll want to try these Southwest Chili Lime Steak Bites soon!

{originally published 10/1/13 – recipe notes and photos updated 2/26/21}

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How To Pan Fry Chicken Drumsticks


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