AAA Magazines

Texas Kitchen: The best crispy fried chicken salad recipe

Photo by Natalie Paramore

Austin-based Natalie Paramore’s food blog began with very short entries: 140 characters, to be exact.

When her career as an analyst wasn’t inspiring much creativity, Paramore turned to posting on Twitter about what she was eating and cooking. In 2011, the self-taught chef launched her blog to document her culinary exploits (using as many characters as she likes).

Natalie Paramore

Photo by Taylor Prinsen

Paramore says her interest in food came from being a latchkey kid who made her own after-school snacks and meals at home. Her love of food continued into adulthood, and she started picking up tips and tricks from watching chefs in the kitchen.

She also changed careers and is now doing PR and marketing for restaurants in Austin. One of Paramore’s biggest sources of inspiration is the weather.

“If it’s rainy, I always want something warm and comforting; if it’s muggy and hot, I’m leaning into light, cool dishes,” she says.

In the summertime, Paramore’s favorite dinner is this fried chicken salad.

Crispy fried chicken salad


2 servings

  • 4 cups peanut or vegetable oil
  • 8 ounces chicken breast
  • 2 cups panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 head of romaine lettuce (about 4 cups)
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 tablespoons ranch dressing


In a deep pot, heat oil to 350°. Dice chicken into bite-size pieces. In a medium bowl, whisk together panko, flour, salt, garlic powder, paprika, and pepper. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs and buttermilk. Dredge chicken in egg and buttermilk mixture, then dip into panko mixture, gently pressing to ensure bread crumbs adhere. Fry chicken in batches for about 1 minute per batch, keeping oil temperature close to 350°. Set chicken on a paper towel–lined plate to drain. Tear romaine lettuce and toss with onion, cheese, and ranch dressing. Plate salad and top with chicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Tip: Paramore suggests using a candy thermometer to make sure the oil is the correct temperature. “Too hot and the breading will burn, too low and it’ll be soggy,” she says.

More recipes:

Follow us on Instagram

Follow @AAAAutoClubEnterprises for the latest on what to see and do.

Read more articles

You'll find more of the articles you love to read at AAA Insider.

AAA discounts

Seared scallops arranged on a plate

Dining & food discounts

Save at restaurants and on meal-kit delivery services.

Woman pumping gas

All AAA discounts

AAA membership unlocks savings on everyday purchases.

back to top icon