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Food & Recipes

Paula Deen Reveals Her Secret Swap That Guarantees Perfectly Crispy Fried Chicken

And six fast and easy recipes for a complete All-American summer feast

“You can’t have a Fourth of July party without some patriotic foods!” enthuses celebrity chef Paula Deen. And we couldn’t agree more — that’s why we asked the queen of Southern cooking for her favorite all-American recipes. And, boy, did she deliver. We’re talking the crunchiest fried chicken you’ve ever tasted, classic cornbread, even a crisp salad made with corn and Fritos (yes, Fritos). Who could forget about dessert? Not Paula! Her classic coconut cake gets all dressed up for festive fun. Keep scrolling, y’all, for her delicious recipes perfect for the 4th of July and more:

Paula Deen’s Southern Fried Chicken

Paula Deen's fried chicken
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Paula says fried chicken is her #1 most requested recipe — and for good reason. She mixes hot sauce into the eggs before dipping the chicken, then dredges in self-rising flour instead of all-purpose. Self-rising has a bit of baking soda in it, which helps the batter puff up for a lighter, crispier crust.


  • 2½ lbs. assorted chicken pieces
  • Paula Deen’s House Seasoning  (1 cup salt, ¼ cup pepper, ¼ cup garlic powder and ¼ cup onion powder)
  • Oil for frying
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup hot red pepper sauce
  • 2 cups self-rising flour


  • Season chicken earlier in the day with Paula’s House Seasoning; cover and chill. Let stand at room temp. about 15 min. before coating and frying.
  • In deep pot, heat oil until deep-frying thermometer registers 350°F or until shimmering (do not fill pot more than half full).
  • In medium bowl, beat eggs. Add enough hot sauce so egg mixture is bright orange (about 1 cup). Place self-rising flour in separate bowl.
  • Dip chicken in egg mixture, letting excess drip off; coat well in flour.
  • Fry chicken until golden brown and meat thermometer inserted in thickest part away from bone registers 170°F, 8–10 min. for white meat and 13–15 min. for dark meat.

Servings: 10. Active time: 30 min. Total time: 2 hrs., 45 min. 

Paula Deen’s Frito Corn Salad

Paula Deen's Frito Corn Salad
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This tasty toss is creamy, crunchy and so irresistible. You can make it the night before, cover and chill—the flavors get even better the longer it sits—then add the chips when ready to serve.


  • 3 cups fresh corn
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup mayonnaise 
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • 1 (10.5 oz.) bag coarsely crushed Fritos corn chips 
  • Red pepper (optional)


  • In large bowl, mix corn, cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, green pepper and onion; cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to serve.
  • Just before serving, stir in corn chips until combined. If desired, seed and chop red pepper; garnish salad with red pepper.

Servings: 10. Active time: 15 min. Total time: 1 hr., 15 min.

Fresh Green Bean ’n’ Tomato Salad

Paula Deen's Fresh Green Bean ’n’ Tomato Salad
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To keep a vibrant color and snappy texture, Paula likes to shock green vegetables in ice water after cooking.


  • ½ lb. fresh green beans, trimmed 
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen green peas 
  • 1 (8 oz.) can diced water chestnuts
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded, quartered
  • 2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled, quartered 
  • 2-3 scallions, sliced
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • Dash of lemon juice 
  • 1 large head red or green leaf lettuce, washed, dried


  • Fill large bowl with ice water. In large pot of salted boiling water, cook beans until just tender, about 5 min. Transfer to ice water; drain and reserve.
  • In same pot of boiling water, cook peas until just tender, 30 sec.–1 min. Transfer to ice water; drain and reserve.
  • Drain water chestnuts; toss with beans, peas, tomatoes, eggs and scallions, then season with salt and pepper. Add mayo and lemon juice and stir to combine.
  • Place lettuce leaves on serving platter. Top with salad.

Servings: 10. Active time: 15 min. Total time: 15 min.

Moist ’n’ Easy Corn Bread

Paula Deen's Moist ’n’ Easy Corn Bread
Rhapsody Media

This buttery quick-prep side is ready for the oven in just 15 minutes.


  • 1 cup cornmeal 
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour 
  • 1 Tbs. sugar 
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder 
  • ½ tsp. baking soda 
  • 1⁄4 tsp. salt 
  • 1½ cups buttermilk
  • 6 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted 
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten


  • Heat oven to 425°F. Lightly grease 8″ round baking pan or cast iron skillet.
  • In large bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • In separate bowl, stir together buttermilk, butter and eggs. Pour buttermilk mixture into cornmeal mixture; fold together until no dry spots remain (batter will still be lumpy). Pour into baking pan.
  • Bake until golden and pick inserted in center comes out clean, 20–25 min. Transfer to rack; let cool 10 min. before cutting into wedges.

Servings: 10. Active time: 15 min. Total time: 50 min.

Raspberry Ginger Ale Punch

Paula Deen's Raspberry Ginger Ale Punch
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For an adults-only version, add in a splash of vodka.


  • 1 (2 liter) bottle chilled raspberry -ginger ale 
  • 2 cups chilled pineapple juice 
  • 1 cup frozen limeade concentrate (thawed)


  • In large pitcher, combine all ingredients. Stir to gently combine.
  • Serve in ice-filled glasses or mason jars. Garnish with lime slices and fresh raspberries. 

Servings: 12. Active time: 10 min. Total time: 10 min.

Classic Coconut Cake

Paula Deen's Classic Coconut Cake
Rhapsody Media

Coconut milk whipped into the quick from-scratch buttercream makes Paula’s showstopper irresistible 



  • 1 cup butter, at room temp.
  • 1⅓ cups granulated sugar
  • 2⅔ cups cake flour
  • ¾ tsp. baking powder
  • ¾ tsp. baking soda
  • ⅛ tsp. salt
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1½ tsp. coconut extract
  • 1½ tsp. vanilla extract


  • 10 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup butter, at room temp.
  • ¾ cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1½ tsp. coconut extract
  • 1½ cups sweetened flaked coconut
  • Assorted red, white and blue sprinkles and nonpareils, coarse decorating sugar + flag and star toothpicks


  • Cake: Heat oven to 325°F. Coat 2 (9″) round cake pans with baking spray with flour. Line pans with parchment paper; coat parchment with baking spray. On medium-high speed, beat butter and granulated sugar until fluffy, 4–5 min. 
  • In bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In separate bowl, whisk eggs, sour cream and extracts. On low, beat flour mixture into butter mixture alternately with egg mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture, until just combined after each addition. Pour batter into pans. Bake until pick inserted in centers comes out clean, about 25 min. Let cool in pans 10 min. Transfer to racks; gently remove parchment. Let cool.
  • Frosting: On medium speed, beat 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, butter, coconut milk and extract until creamy. Gradually beat in remaining confectioners’ sugar until smooth. 

A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.

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