Skip Navigation

Dear Dad: How the lessons you taught make the best fried chicken.

With Father’s Day upon us again, I want to make my dad a dinner worthy of his influence and love on my life.  Of all the meals Dad loves, his favorite remains classic Buttermilk Fried Chicken.

As I made this recipe, I reflected on the many lessons Dad taught me over the years.

Dear Dad,

How can I thank you for all the knowledge you have passed on to me? To keep my eye on the ball as we played catch in the backyard, to parallel park, and whom to trust are just the beginnings of the many lessons. Certainly, another important lesson was to listen well.

And I hear you loud and clear. The dinner you always want for Father’s Day is the one that evokes your own memories of growing up with your parents. This dish you enjoyed as a child now brings stories to my mind of the life you led as a boy, and the journey you have taken as an adult. Inevitably, you shared these accounts with your children and grandchildren with stories that began with “We made the best fried chicken.”

The stories were great, but the real question is, How do I make fried chicken that is as good as what you loved as a child?

The challenge is on! Can I make the best fried chicken?

Now, I can make all sorts of fancy meals, but I am looking to make a once-a-year good-old-fashioned fried chicken. There was no passed-down recipe for this special treat.  What do I have to do to make fried chicken that wows?

So, Dad, I hope you love this chicken as much as I love you.


Your Favorite Child

In my quest to learn how to make the best fried chicken, I realized it’s all about the lessons I learned at my Dad’s knee.

  1. Preparation is key: Do your homework. Make sure you have all the right ingredients and necessary pans, bowls, space in the refrigerator, etc.
  2. There are no shortcuts in life. Each step is necessary to achieve super-moist, delicious chicken.
  3. A little “sweetness” in life goes a long way. Adding the syrup is a surprise ingredient, but adds so much to the final result.
  4. Find ways to connect with others, and keep those connections throughout your life. You never know when, where or how those connections will positively affect you in the future. An egg provides the all-important binder to ensure your chicken is crispy.
  5. Keep it simple. Sometimes, it’s the simple things that are just right.  Just salt and pepper are all the spice you really need for this recipe.
  6. Find the humor in life and you’ll spread that joy to others. Toss the chicken pieces in a big paper bag with the flour mixture. Shake it up to a fun song or have someone tickle the person with the bag.  So simple, key to the recipe, and just plain fun!
  7. Life can be messy, in fact, expect it and embrace it. There will be flour and grease. Prepare for the grease by laying newspaper all along the area around where you will be frying.
  8. Don’t be afraid when things get hard. That’s when change can create something great. Make sure the heat is high when you put the chicken in the pan.
  9. Have patience. Don’t always be in a hurry. Mistakes can happen if you try to rush.
  10. If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again. Learning from failure makes us smarter.
  11. Share with others. Giving and sharing our abundance will bring you inner peace. We always make extra for leftovers, too.
  12. Savor life. Appreciate what you have, not what you don’t. Sometimes, when you least expect it, a wonderful thing will happen.


Dad loves these sides with his chicken too!

Search for more recipes great to go with any meal in your DinnerTime Recipe Box. Bought extra ingredients at the market or cut from your own garden? Add to your DinnerTime Pantry Manager and indicate to “use soon” for recipe recommendations in your next meal plan. Your grocery list will show you already have this item in your pantry.

Super easy and bursting with flavor.

Elegant and healthy dish.

Zesty and delicious! Perfect side for any meal.