With the first satisfying bite of this Buttermilk Fried Chicken you’ll be greeted with the savory crunchy coating followed by juicy and tender chicken that has been well seasoned. Buttermilk Fried Chicken is classic comfort food that will bring a smile to your friends and family when served to them. Add a drizzle of honey over the hot crunchy fried chicken for an extra special treat.
There are a few steps that require you to plan ahead when making the this recipe. This only requires a few minutes of your time early on the process but will reward you with the best tasting Buttermilk Fried Chicken possible.
Seasoned Buttermilk Brine: The trick to make the best tasting fried chicken is to season it well, before it is coated and fried. By brining the chicken in whole fat buttermilk that has been well seasoned for at least 8 hours or overnight allows the chicken to be well seasoned throughout. The acids in the buttermilk tenderize the proteins and adds moisture to the meat. This also allows the seasonings in the buttermilk to permeate throughout the chicken and down to the bone. Following this step will give you the most flavorful and tender fried chicken you ever made.
Double Dipping: Once the chicken has been brined it will be time to dredge the pieces in flour that has been simply seasoned with Kosher Salt, Black Pepper, and White Pepper. Each piece of chicken is well coated in the Seasoned Flour and then placed onto a parchment lined sheet tray and then refrigerated for at least 15 minutes. This allows the seasoned flour to hydrate with the buttermilk brine and create a moist coating around the chicken pieces. The chicken pieces are then coated the second time to lock the first layer in place. This helps to create the savory crunchy nooks and crannies of crispy coating all over the fried chicken pieces.
Double Frying: The double coated chicken pieces are fried for 8 to 10 minutes or until a light golden brown the first time around. This sets the crust and starts the cooking process. The chicken is then placed onto a cooling rack lined sheet tray to rest while the other pieces are being fried. The resting allows the juices to be reabsorbed back into the chicken. The second fry of 8 to 10 minutes is to finish cooking the chicken and to develop a deep golden brown crunchy crispy crust.
HINT: I like to double the recipe when making Buttermilk Fried Chicken since I’m going through the process of frying anyway. I individually freeze the extra chicken pieces after the cooling the chicken pieces on the cooling rack after the first fry. Then I move the cooled chicken pieces to a parchment lined sheet and individually freeze them on the sheet tray. Once frozen I move the pieces into a large plastic freezer bag and return to the freezer. To serve: I place the frozen chicken pieces on a cooling rack lined sheet tray and bake in a pre-heated oven at 375°F (190°C) for 45 to 50 minutes or until the Buttermilk Fried Chicken crust is a deep golden brown and crisp. Let the chicken rest 10 minutes before serving hot!
Now we’ve gone through the steps to make your own Buttermilk Fried Chicken. It is time to get cooking!
Note: The recipe for the Homemade Poultry Seasoning is on the bottom of the post. This recipe can be doubled and stored in an air-tight container for 2 months. You’ll find it far superior in flavor than what you can buy prepackaged in the stores.
The full instructional YouTube video for Buttermilk Fried Chicken is at the bottom of this blog post.
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Equipment: (Shop my Amazon Page for Ingredients & Equipment)
- Measuring Cups and Spoons/Electronic Scale
- Mixing Bowl
- Rubber Spatula
- Cutting Board
- Chefs Knife
- French Whisk
Preparing the Whole Chicken:
- 5 – 6 lb. (2.27 – 2.72 kg) Whole Chicken or Pre-cut Chicken Pieces with Bone-in
- Using a sharp knife and cutting board cut the chicken into 10 pieces.
- Separate the legs and thighs from the chicken and cut the joint between the thigh and body to separate.
- Cut the wings off at the breast joint.
- Cut and remove the back bone from the breast. (Freeze the back bone for stock)
- Divide the two breast at the breast bone and divide the chicken breast into 2 pieces
- Leave the chicken on the cutting board while preparing the Seasoned Buttermilk Brine.
Seasoned Buttermilk Brine:
- Measured Grams Ingredients
- 2 Tbsp. 32 g. Kosher Salt
- 1 Tbsp. 6 g. Black Pepper (freshly ground)
- 2 Tbsp. 12 g. Onion Powder
- 1 Tbsp. 6 g. Garlic Powder
- 1 Tbsp. 6 g. Poultry Seasoning (recipe at the bottom of the post)
- 1 tsp. 4 g. Smoked Sweet Paprika
- ½ tsp. 2 g. Cayenne Pepper (grounded)
- ½ tsp. 2 g. White Pepper (grounded)
- 3 cups 720 g. Buttermilk (whole fat, natural)
- 5 to 6 lbs. 2.27 to 2.72 kg Whole Chicken (cut into 10 pieces)
- In a large mixing bowl combine the Kosher salt, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, poultry seasoning, smoked sweet paprika, cayenne, and white pepper and whisk to combine.
- Add the buttermilk to the bowl and whisk to dissolve the salt and blend the spices.
- Add the chicken pieces to the Seasoned Buttermilk Brine. Make sure to coat and submerge each piece completely in the brine.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place the bowl into the refrigerator.
- Refrigerate the chicken in the brine for at least 8 hours (or overnight) before coating with the Seasoned Flour and frying.
- Measured Grams Ingredients
- 4 cups 572 g. All Purpose Flour (Unbleached, Unbromated)
- 2 Tbsp. 32 g. Kosher Salt
- 2 tsp. 4 g. Black Pepper (freshly ground)
- 1 tsp. 3 g. White Pepper (grounded)
- In a large bowl combine the all purpose flour, kosher salt, and black pepper
- Whisk to combine the ingredients and set aside until need for dredging the brined chicken.
- 8 quart Heavy Bottom Pot
- 2 quarts Vegetable Oil (Canola)
- Heat-proof Tongs
- Frying Thermometer
- Half Sheet Cooling Rack
- Half Sheet Pan
Double Dipping (Dredging) and Double Frying the Buttermilk Fried Chicken
- Brined Chicken Pieces
- Seasoned Flour in a large bowl
- Parchment Lined Sheet Tray
- In a 8 quart Heavy Bottom Pot add the 2 quarts of Vegetable Oil.
- Place the Pan onto medium-high heat and heat the oil to 360°F (182ºC).
- Remove the bowl of brined chicken from the refrigerator and place on the work surface. Remove the plastic wrap from the bowl.
- Working with 1 piece at a time. Lift the chicken pieces from the brine using tongs or your fingers and let excess liquid drain off.
- Place the drained chicken into the Seasoned Flour mixture and toss to coat the chicken.
- Shake off the excess Seasoned Flour and place the Buttermilk Fried Chicken onto the parchment lined sheet tray to rest.
- Continue dredging the remaining chicken pieces.
- Place the sheet pan of coated Buttermilk Fried Chicken into the refrigerator for 15 minutes to allow the Seasoned Flour to be hydrated completely.
- After 15 minutes remove the chicken from the refrigerator and re-coat the chicken pieces with the Seasoned Flour.
- Place the chicken pieces back onto the parchment lined sheet tray and leave at room temperature while the oil finishes heating.
- Once the oil has reached 360°F (182ºC) you will be ready to fry the Buttermilk Fried Chicken.
- Starting with he dark meat gently place the double coated chicken pieces the into the hot oil away from you. Fry in 3 batches. It is necessary to not over crowd the pan. Adjust the heat to maintain a temperature of 360°F (182ºC).
- Fry the chicken for 8 to 10 minutes or until the chicken coating becomes a light golden brown.
- Using the tongs lift the fried Buttermilk Fried Chicken pieces from the hot oil, drain the excess oil back into the pan and place on the cooling rack lined sheet tray.
- Continue to fry the remaining pieces of chicken as in step 13 & 14.
- Double Frying: Starting with the first pieces, refry the chicken for 8 to 10 minutes or until the coating on the chicken is a deep golden brown. Place the double fried chicken pieces back onto the cooling rack lined sheet tray.
- Continue to double frying all the remaining chicken pieces. Placing them on the cooling rack lined sheet tray.
- Let the Buttermilk Fried Chicken rest for 10 minutes before serving. (Note: To keep the Buttermilk Fried Chicken warm for serving. Place the doubled fried chicken on the cooling rack lined sheet tray into a 200°F (93°C) Pre-heated oven. The chicken can be kept hot and the crust crisp in the oven for 1 hour this way)
- Serve the hot Buttermilk Fried Chicken with a drizzle of honey. Serve Mashed Potatoes and Cream Gravy, Sautéed Green Beans, Dinner Salad, or Coleslaw for a complete meal.
Homemade Poultry Seasoning:
- 1 Tbsp. Dried Sage
- 2 tsp. Dried Thyme
- 1-½ tsp. Dried Marjoram
- ½ tsp. Dried Rosemary
- ½ tsp. Ground Nutmeg
- ½ tsp. Ground Black Pepper
- 1 Dried Bay Leaf (crushed)
- Place all the ingredients into a spice grinder and grind until the herbs and spices become a powder.
- Place the ground Poultry Seasoning into a airtight jar and store until needed.
3 thoughts on “Buttermilk Fried Chicken”
Great points, we were using what we had in the freezer, which were Costco chicken drumsticks. The sizes varied, I tried to group them by size. I guess what I’m saying is I think that I should’ve begin the fry at 360°, but then probably let it come back about 325° to give them more time in the oil without over browning yet cooking to the bone, a more even slower cook. At least that’s my thought?
Thank you for all you do for us neophytes!
Oh and don’t forget about teaching us how to cook French baguettes!
I maintained the oil temperature of 360° throughout the double frying process. I could tell after the first fry that the chicken was browning pretty quickly so I cut the time back to about six minutes. When I did the second fry, at 360°, after about five minutes the pieces looked darker than they should. Overall, I over cooked the breading, it’s too dark and tastes slightly burnt. The internal temperature of the chicken was OK however at 180°, although I think internally it needed to cook more. Thoughts, suggestions?
There are a couple of factors that can effect how quickly the chicken will brown and cook through. The first is the size of the chicken, I typically use a 6 pound chicken when making fry chicken a smaller chicken (less than 5 pounds) will cook up quicker due to the smaller mass of the chicken pieces. The second factor is how much moisture is in the chicken. The moisture content effects how fast the chicken will fry as the water content it is forced outward to the surface of the chicken (this is why we see lots of bubbles when the chicken first goes into the hot oil). More moisture in the chicken means longer cooking times and slower browning of the crust. As with all cooking there is a variances with cooking time since the chicken will be slightly different each time. We are looking for an internal temperature of chicken pieces to be at 165℉ when finished frying. You did a great job evaluating the chicken you fried. This is an integral part of cooking and learning to strive to make a recipe better.