Grandma's Hidden Valley Fried Chicken Recipe: The Original Ranch Fried Chicken Recipe by Donna John

Grandma's Hidden Valley Fried Chicken Recipe: The Original Ranch Fried Chicken Recipe

My cookbook collection has been given a workout recently. I've been scouring through old cookbooks and looking for interesting recipes to try. I especially love vintage recipes like this Hidden Valley fried chicken recipe. This fried chicken recipe made with ranch salad dressing was in several old – very old – cookbooks. It was referred to as "the original" recipe, so it's a pretty good bet that our grandmas were frying this chicken on their stoves.

A whole cut-up chicken is marinated in prepared ranch dressing. That means a packet of dry salad dressing mix that's made according to package directions, with mayonnaise and either milk or buttermilk. After marinating in the ranch dressing for at least eights hours, the chicken is fried in oil in a skillet until crispy and golden on both sides. The chicken is then baked until it is cooked through. Sounds like something you want to sink your teeth into, doesn't it?

If you were short on time, you could use a bottle of ranch dressing instead of the dry mix. But, fresh is always best and you can tell the difference. You could also buy a chicken already cut up of use your favorite bone-in chicken pieces for this old-fashioned recipe. I bet this recipe would even work on chicken nuggets or tenders. Just cook through completely in the skillet and skip the baking. Serve this crispy ranch fried chicken for dinner with a vegetable, salad or your favorite side dishes. If you like this recipe, try my four-ingredient ranch baked chicken recipe.

Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes plus 8 hours to marinate
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes plus 8 hours to marinate
Servings: 4 to 6


  • 1 whole chicken (about 3 pounds), cut up
  • 1 cup prepared ranch salad dressing
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • vegetable oil, for frying

Here's how to make it: 

  1. Marinate the chicken in the prepared ranch salad dressing for at least 8 hours in the refrigerator.
  2. Remove chicken and shake off excess marinade. 
  3. Combine flour, salt and pepper. Roll chicken in seasoned flour.
  4. Heat 1/2 inch of oil in deep skillet until it reaches 375 degrees F. Fry chicken until golden, about 5 to 7 minutes per side. Transfer to a baking sheet. 
  5. Bake in a preheated 350-degree F oven until chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes. 

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Nan Inc Owner
Thanks for sharing this amazing recipe.
You really can’t go wrong with hidden valley, great flavor.

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