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Southern Buttermilk Fried Chicken

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Southern Buttermilk Fried Chicken is a down-home vintage recipe. Tender meat and crispy skin make the ultimate comfort food.

fried chicken and baked mac and cheese vertical

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

seasoned fryer parts in a bowl

Chicken Whole fryer
Buttermilk
Flour
All-purpose seasoning
Hot sauce

Cooking oil
Large bowl with lid or plastic wrap
Thermometers
Cast-iron skillet or heavy pot with lid
Baking sheet with a wire rack or paper towels

seasoned flour

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

buttermilk and hot sauce over 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.

floured chicken

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.

buttermilk fried chicken on a platter

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

plated buttermilk fried chicken

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
Buttermilk Cornbread
Classic Flaky Biscuits
Lemonade Iced Tea

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buttermilk fried chicken on a platter
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Southern Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Print Recipe
Southern Buttermilk Fried Chicken is a down-home vintage recipe. Tender meat and crispy skin make the ultimate comfort food.
Prep Time:15 mins
Cook Time:30 mins
Brine:1 d
Total Time:1 d 45 mins

Ingredients

  • 4 lb fryer chicken cut into 8-10 pieces
  • 2 c buttermilk
  • 1/4 c hot sauce
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 c all-purpose flour
  • 4 tbsp all-purpose seasoning
  • Oil for frying canola

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

Nutrition does not include cooking oil. 

Nutrition

Calories: 514kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 118mg | Sodium: 838mg | Potassium: 441mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Iron: 3mg
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: buttermilk, chicken, fried
Servings: 6
Calories: 514kcal
Author: Ty

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