Southern Buttermilk Fried Chicken is a down-home vintage recipe. Tender meat and crispy skin make the ultimate comfort food.
There is nothing more southern than fried chicken. I’m convinced that the south it’s the birthplace of all things buttermilk dipped and deep fried. Whether that be based on facts or my fantasy, I declare this Southern Buttermilk Fried Chicken recipe to be the mother of them all. The marinade is too simple yet the chicken is so juicy and flavorful.
What you need to make Buttermilk Fried
Chicken Whole fryer
Large bowl with lid or plastic wrap
Cast-iron skillet or heavy pot with lid
Baking sheet with a wire rack or paper towels
Often times, less is more. And no less true in this case. Fried chicken doesn’t require much more than seasoning and time. I cut up a whole 4 pound chicken and seasoned with with a blend of basic pantry spices before soaking in seasoned full fat buttermilk.
Why you should use buttermilk to brine chicken and for how long
Buttermilk creates a distinguished tangy flavor while acting as a tenderizer for the meat. For best results soak the chicken for 24 hours. This allows the enzymes in the buttermilk to breakdown or tenderize the chicken. But if you are short on time, it is recommended that it soak a minimum of 8 hours.
Best practices for making Fried Chicken
- Fried food requires correct constant temperature. Bone-in chicken parts are best fried at a consistent 325 degrees.
- Use an attached thermometer to monitor and maintain the oil temperature by raising and lowering the heat.
- Slowly raise the oil temperature to 375 degrees over low-medium heat. Once the first pieces of chicken enter the grease, the temperature will drop dramatically. You may need to raise the heat to maintain 325 degrees.
- For a crunchier coating, add a few tablespoons of the brining liquid to the coating and pinch to for “flakes”. These flakes will attach to the chicken and make a great crunch when fried.
How to make Buttermilk Fried Chicken
Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl. Season the chicken thoroughly with half of the spice mix. Mix the buttermilk, salt, and hot sauce then pour it over the pieces. Stir to coat well then cover with plastic wrap. Store in the fridge overnight or up to 24 hours.
Add the flour and remaining spice mix to a shallow dish and toss. Remove the chicken parts from the buttermilk to drain. Coat the pieces in the flour and let it rest while the oil heats slowly.
Fry the chicken for 15 minutes or so in batches of 4-5 pieces. Be sure to cover the pot with a lid. Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat is 165 degrees before removing and draining on a wire rack over a baking sheet.
Down-home southern recipes
Make a bonafide southern menu with a few of my classic southern sides!
Soul Food Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Southern Potato Salad
Collard Greens with Bacon
Potato and Green Beans
Classic Flaky Biscuits
Lemonade Iced Tea
LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK OF THE RECIPE. SUGGESTIONS AND HONEST OPINIONS ALWAYS APPRECIATED. LEAVE A REVIEW IN THE COMMENTS, RATE THE RECIPE, AND SAVE IT FOR LATER!
Southern Buttermilk Fried Chicken
- 4 lb fryer chicken cut into 8-10 pieces
- 2 c buttermilk
- ¼ c hot sauce
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 c all-purpose flour
- 4 tbsp all-purpose seasoning
- Oil for frying canola
- Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl. Season the chicken thoroughly with 2 tablespoons of all-purpose seasoning.
- Whisk the buttermilk kosher salt, and hot sauce in a cup. Pour the mixture over the seasoned chicken. Stir to coat well then cover with plastic wrap. Store in the fridge for 8-24 hours. Remove the chicken parts from the buttermilk to drain.
- Add the flour and remaining all-purpose seasoning to a shallow dish or bag and toss. Coat the pieces in the flour and let it rest while the oil heats slowly.
- Fill a dutch oven or cast-iron skillet with about 1 quart of canola oil. Heat the oil to 325-350 degrees over medium heat. Fry the chicken in batches of 4-5 pieces being sure to not overcrowded the pan. Cover the pot with a lid to cook for 8-9 minutes before flipping for another 5-6 minutes.
- Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat is 165 degrees before removing and draining on a wire rack or paper towels over a baking sheet.