Loved this recipe!! It is better than mom made. Next time will try the cayenne pepper as well as maybe doubling the other spices. Thanks for a new go-to recipe for fried chicken. Yum. Looking forward to cold leftovers tomorrow!!
This was my first fried chicken experience and it was a complete fail. The chicken got way too hot even though I kept it on medium. The outside ended up burning and the inside as undercooked. I think maybe next time I’ll reduce the heat to low? This may be my last fried chicken attempt…
Brittany, keep at it and give it another try! Homemade fried chicken is SO good. Use a thermometer to keep an eye on the oil temperature, if you have one. If the outside is starting to burn before the inside is done, then the oil temperature is probably just a little too high. Good luck!
Anyone else have good friend chicken advice for Brittany?!
this recipe is great. One tip, I saved the onion from the marinade and made onion rings out of them. yum.
Great idea on the onion rings!
Can this recipe used to oven bake as opposed to fry?
Hi Jodi, the chicken gets a lot of flavor from being fried in oil. So if you bake it instead of frying it, you’ll probably need to add more seasoning to the flour. I haven’t tried baking the chicken in this recipe, but if you do, please let us know how it turns out for you!
Thank you, thanks you! This recipe looks fantastic! Many decades ago I found a buttermilk-fried-chicken recipe in a women’s magazine. Lost it, never found another I liked. I think this is much the same (except in 1960, no herbs or spices). I’m ready for my own fried chicken again, though I do love KFC. :-}
I made this fried chicken Thursday night and everyone loved it. Followed the recipe to the T and it was just amazing. Paired this with roasted garlic mashed potatoes and a salad. Elise, you have never disappointed me or my hungry family. Thank you yet again for another wonderful recipe. P.S. cold fried chicken the next day is just too good! I Look forward to making many more of your fabulous entrees. Thank you, Jenny
Hi Elise! Question – can you estimate what the temperature of the cooking oil should be? And, should the dark meat be cooked a little longer than the breast meat? Thank you in advance for your time and attention to my inquiry :)
Could you do this with just bone in chicken breasts? My husband is not a fan of dark meat.
Sure, I don’t see why not.
Hi Old Foodie – we use buttermilk in baking too, and of course in buttermilk pancakes. Yummm.
Hi Deb – I remember mom making fried chicken for us when we were kids – six kids, there’s a lot of frying going on. These days we usually bake or broil too. But it’s still nice to have some real, not overly-salty, fried chicken once in a while.
Hi Heather – I think if you search around online you can probably find a food oven-fried chicken recipe. If anyone here has one they’d like to share, please do so!
Hi Don Ray – how do they like to eat chicken in Panama?
Hi Jeff – I hear you. We just had two weeks straight of above 105°F temps. Of course in Boston you get the humidity too…
Hi Rebecca – don’t like the flavor of grapeseed oil? are you sure the oil you tasted wasn’t slightly off? I don’t taste anything at all in grapeseed oil. In fact, one of the benefits of grapeseed oil is that it is tasteless.
I love to fry using buttermilk. For the best fried tilapia, just take fresh or just-thawed tilapia fillets, dry each one off, dip in flour, then in buttermilk, then sprinkle each with salt, then dip in flour one last time, and fry just like chicken (mine was in soy oil) until golden brown and crisp. My family demanded that I fry up yet another batch as they still sat at the table…one serving wasn’t nearly enough of this wonderful fried fish for them!
Hi,Can I do this recipe and bake the chicken? Does it make a big difference whether I bake it or fry it?
It makes a huge difference if you bake it or fry it. But if you want a breaded and baked chicken dish, I recommend breaded and baked chicken drumsticks, which you can do with other chicken parts as well. ~Elise
I love this one. I made attempts in bringing this recipe for our dinner but eventually the first results were the chicken got fried too much and it was not impressive enough.
Wow, loved this recipe! I have never tried soaking chicken in buttermilk before frying-it really helped the flour mixture stick, resulting in a nice thick crust! The spiced were delicious, too. I omitted the cayenne because I was cooking for children, but I’m sure that would have been even better.Also, I fried it in home-rendered lard I made from pastured pork, which was very nice. I was afraid it may burn easily, but it seemed to work well, and the flavor was perfect. I’m so glad I don’t have to use Crisco anymore! Lard is much healthier than that!The grapeseed oil sounds intriguing, and I might try it if I can’t get any healthy pork fat to render.
BEST RECIPE IN THE WORLD!!!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH FOR THIS. Everyone was very impressed and loved it to the last piece, hehehe. You rock!
Can you fry this in corn oil?
I added anduille? sauage to the oil as I was frying. Gave some excellent flavor to the crust, and made it taste nice and rich.
I LOVE FRIED CHICKEN and this is a great recipe! Only thing is I always seem to have trouble regulating the temperature when frying and my chicken always seems to cook too fast on the outside before getting totally cooked on the inside. No real problem though as I just then put it in the oven for 15-20 on 175C (350F)and it turns out perfect.
Everytime I “marinate” my chicken in buttermilk before frying, it turns dark. What would cause this?
No idea. ~Elise
Great recipe. The herbs really came through in the taste. Loved the grapeseed oil as it was nowhere near as greasy as crisco and the clean up was easy – strain and put back in the bottle. Two questions: 1) can you reuse the oil? How many times? 2) How do you reheat the chicken to crisp it up? Thanks a lot. The meal was a big hit.
Glad you liked it! Regarding your questions, we don’t reuse the oil. Probably not a good idea if you are trying to avoid transfats, which tend to develop when you heat oil. Don’t think you can reheat the chicken and have it be crispy without being overcooked. We just heat in the microwave, slice it, and use it in sandwiches. ~Elise
Will have to try. I have always just dipped in milk and flour. This sounds so much better. Also, if you have trouble with you chicken burning on the outside and raw in the middle, I always brown the chicken turn heat down, and cover with lid. Let it cook for about 20-30 minutes, uncover, turn up heat to crisp up breading. Never in my 30+ years of cooking chicken have I had a problem. When my sons come home I always have to fix the fried chicken, Mashed potatoes with gravy and Green beans. Their favorite food from childhood.
Great recipe! I tried it and will do this again.
Baked this over the weekend. So good! Also, I sliced the onion to create onion rings for the marinade. Then, we fried them along with the chicken and had some great onion rings!
Identical to my Buttermilk Recipe but I add a little Cinnamon to my marinade. ( I know that sounds strange) but it taste terrific. Enjoy
This is a great recipe for fried chicken. I also tried it with chicken strips. Yummo!
Hi guys for those who want it done in the oven, this is something I do.
I pre fry the coated chicken only for a couple minutes each side to keep the “crust” on.
I Then place the chicken pieces on racks on a baking tray and cook for about 35-40 minutes in warmish oven on about 150 degrees. This chicken falls off the bone when eaten.My husband cant get enough of it. I have a fan forced oven, but you will need to turn the chicken over half way through cooking time if you haven’t.Enjoy!
I am going to make this fried chicken today for company and the 4th of July. My concern is how much can I cook together and can I keep in warm in the oven as I cook it? I cut my large pieces of bone-in breasts so they are smaller. I am also cooking legs. I think I should do the legs in one skillet and the breasts in another one. What do you think? I hope I hear from you. Thanks. KL
It all depends on how big your skillet is. Just make sure your chicken pieces have a little room between them. ~Elise
Tried this recipe last night and was really pleased with the results. I forgot to marinate ahead, so my fryer pieces got about 90 minutes of soaking instead. Still delicious.
A happy outcome also: the onion shreds in the marinade become lovely crunchy onion rings if you dredge them in the leftover flour coating and fry them while the chicken pieces are resting after cooking. :-)
FYI – my Costco sells grapeseed oil. 2 liters = $9.99.
Good stuff!!! I cooked this tonight, minus the buttermilk…but it is still just as good! :)
The cayenne pepper is what makes this so good. We have made this at our house and it is a big hit. We dabbled with some blackening seasoning but it wasn’t as good.
I loved this! Thanks. I’ linked to it as well.
I agree with you about the grapeseed oil, it has a nice light flavor and only about 8% saturated fat, and about 72% polyunsaturated fat. So your cholesterol doesn’t take a hit.
Elise – I just found your site and love it…but I do have a fried chicken question: What temperature for the oil? I have been experimenting and always seem to get overdone coating and underdone chicken (prompting a return to the oil, which I am sure produces less-than-ideal results). Any suggestions? THANKS!
Your recipe for fried chicken is what made me try my hand at it. Of course, I’ve adapted it to my tastes. I like it SUPER crunchy, so I double-dip. Also, I fry it with shortening with a bit of bacon fat mixed in.
I like to serve it with mashed potatoes and gravy made from the pan drippings/crusty bits and 1 cup of chicken broth. And sometimes biscuits, if I feel up to making them.
I just got done frying some chicken. To make the skin taste better try some adobo. its a yellow, lemony and pepper powder. Gives it great flavor better than salt and pepper alone.
Isn’t grapeseed oil kind of expensive?
Dear Elise, Yummy recipe!
I’ve tried dipping chicken in milk overnight and sprinkling herbs into the liquid. Sounds messy, but when I fried the chicken the next day, the result was very tender, fragrantly scented chicken, as if I’d baked instead of frying it.
I am definitely going to try this recipe. When we fry chicken, we regularly soak in buttermilk overnight. I’ve never tried grape seed oil though, we always use lard for fried chicken. I don’t even know that I’ve seen grape seed oil in any of the stores around here (MO).
Just found this website by the way and I’m excited to try the recipes!
My mother cooked alot of fried chicken for the 7 members in my family. She used Crisco to fry the chicken in. She also made milk gravy with the crispy left over bits and a few tablespoons of left over oil, flour and milk. I fry boneless chicken breasts for my family but I use canola oil instead. Still very good but as yummy tasting as I remember of my mother’s pan fried chicken with gravy and biscuits.
Linda in Washington State
My mother in law used to par cook her fried chicken in oil then put it in the oven to ccok it the rest of the way. She always said this is what made the chicken so moist inside & soooo crispy outside. I have to agree. She also used original chicken seasoning (made by McCormick) mixed with the flour before frying it. This made the chicken taste better than any chicken you find in any restaurant.
I will agree with the above comment – if you want thick crusty crunchy skin, leave the marinated chicken in the flour for a few hours. You will have to rotate the chicken around the bag, or it will get glue-ey and stick together.
The salt from the seasoned flour draws some of the moisture out of the chicken and soaks more flour, giving the thicker crust.
That tip, along with the onion/buttermilk marinade are my two secrets to the best fried chicken I’ve ever eaten.
If anyone wants to do this ahead of time – as in – you don’t want to be standing around frying chicken just before a party, I have the perfect method.
Fry the chicken as directed above until it is golden brown and crunchy on the outside – but don’t cook it through. Place in on the grate to drain, and then directly on a cookie sheet. Place in the fridge until b4 the party.
About 25-30 minutes before serving dinner, place the par-cooked chicken pieces in a 375 degree convection oven. Bake until a thermometer reads 162. (It will rise to 165 when you pull it out of the oven.)
This is a great way to have hot, true-buttermilk fried chicken without standing over hot oil before guests arrive. :)
mmm…definitely yum yum. Yours looks super good and crunchy like my mom’s :) I will try it when we move to a bigger house and has a deep fryer. :)
To add to the brining/marinating debate, A recipe I found on the Cooks Illustrated website combines the two by adding salt to the buttermilk and doing it at the same time: http://www.recipezaar.com/235949
Although it takes a lot of time, this is the best fried chicken I’ve ever made!
Now I have such a fried chicken craving! Good to know I can marinate in yogurt instead of buttermilk. Whenever I need buttermilk, I have such a hard time finding it at the stores. Problem solved. Thank you!
As far as oven frying goes: when I was catering, we often did not have time for a marinade. We simply cut up chicken, allowed to dry slightly, and rolled in seasoned flour. (Flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, sage, oregano, basil, etc…..don’t skip the sage!) THen dipped in egg mixed with a little water, then the flour again. Let air dry, spritz with spray oil, and bake at 350 until done. 5-10 minutes before removing from oven, brush with melted butter to crisp and brown. Deliscious, rich, crispy…without the added mess and risks of deep frying. The butter negates a little of the health benefits of baking vs frying, but worth it and most people will think you deep-fried! I think the egg (vs a milk dip) makes a big difference in creating the crust when baking.
Made this chicken last night and it was incredible-the buttermilk really made it taste very rich. I added extra seasoning to the flour as I found it kind of bland at first. Also I soaked the chicken for 2 days and that really made a difference-also added extra seasoning to the buttermilk but went easy on the cayanne since my son doesnt like spicy stuff.
As a firefighter, don’t pour anything on a fire, you run the risk of splashing the hot grease out of the pan. The best method to extinguish a grease fire is to slide the cover over the top of the pan which will smother the fire.
I can’t tell you how many fires I’ve been on where someone has attempted to put out a grease fire incorrectly, with horrible results.
I have tried a similar recipe before. I used hot sauce in the buttermilk soak but I deep fried my chicken in vegetable oil. My niece and her friend ate some and said that is was better than KFC. It was delicious. Tender and Moist.
I tried this method, only using sliced chicken breast instead of the fryer chicken. Makes the most AWESOME chicken fingers…
Used a recipe with buttermilk for fried chicken years ago. Marinated the chicken in the buttermilk for several hours, drained it, then rolled in seasoned flour. Then refrigerated it all for about 4 hours before frying. Best crust I ever had.
In reference to using buttermilk to marinate the chicken. I say good for you! Buttermilk has been used in my family for generations. The main reason is this: buttermilk is a meat tenderizer, though not as good as some others, it also removes gamey taste from wild meats such as venison and rabbit, it is a good medium for allowing the great taste of herbs and other seasonings to penetrate meat if left to soak for at least 24 hours. In the end you will have meat that is moist, tender and very tasty even without the coating.
I have an important addition to this recipe. You must BRINE the chicken first. To do this, mix 1/4 cup Kosher salt (regular will make it too salty) with 1 quart water. Put this in a bowl with the chicken and let it soak for 8 hours. Then empty the salt out of the container and let the chicken marinate in the buttermilk for another 8 hours. Also, cook it in the LARD!!! If you’re going to the trouble to make the best fried chicken, why scrimp? You won’t eat this every day, so you’re heart will be okay.
Recipe looks great…
A good substitute for buttermilk in BAKING is one tablespoon (15 ml) of vinegar in a container and enough milk to make one cup (236 mls)… it works well with pancakes, biscuits, etc…for a marinade, I would use just plain yogurt to get the same effect…
The purpose of the marinade in buttermilk is indeed to tenderize the chicken (yum) and flavor it…..
KK…am REALLY hungry now so am going to start cooking LOL..
:-) Happy cooking!!
May if fry this chicken in a turkey firer?
One cup milk + one cup yogurt = two cups buttermilk
I have been pleased using buttermilk to marinate my chicken. I have fried the chicken and even done oven fried chicken. Weight Watchers have an oven fried chicken receipe using cornflakes for the covering after taking the skin off the chicken. I have come across a Southern Oven Fried Chicken receipe. Recently, I have been marinating it and seasoning with whatever season I desire and baking the chicken. Just marinate in buttermilk and hot sauce for a few hours or overnight. I have been pleased and satisfied with the taste.
I had tried a similar recipe and needed to actually fry the chicken in 3 batches. All had the same amount of time in the marinade and were breaded at the same time. The first batch were perfect in terms of colouring – perfectly golden. The 2 successive batches using the same oil were progressively darker. Is there any way to have them cook/appear the same as the first ones short of using new oil?
I can’t find buttermilk in greece!Can I find a substitute?
Hello, the recipe sounds great. Be sure to let the chicken sit about fifteen minutes after coating for a crisp crust.
I would like to say that warm chicken tastes quite nice and goes down the throat well after chewing. The warm chicken fills my belly to perfection.
You forgot one of the most important steps.
Apply crushed black pepper (any kind will do), but do it in the pan, while the chicken is frying, just after you turn it (the aroma is to die for).
I cook the “bottom” of the chicken first, so that when I turn it, the top is soaking with oil and that makes the pepper “stick” to the top of the chicken on the skin side.
yum-who does not loooove fried chicken-i was born in the south and that is the ultimate comfort food-great with white rice and gravey, squash casserole and peach cobbler. Have you tried CA. Rice Oil??-smoke point 490, no taste and high in antioxidants-plus it will lower your cholesterol!!
I like the sound of the seasoning mix but I’d recommend sprinkling it over the chicken prior to dredging it in the flour. Dried spices tend to burn more quickly and the flour acts as an inslulator, keeping the spices from burning. My grandfather used to fry his chicken in 50% lard and 50% bacon grease. Vegetable shortnening sounds healthy in comparison. And no need for a stove here,…we can fry it on the sidewalk.
Hi Caitlyn – if you find a good oven-fried chicken recipe, please let me know.
Hi Enrique – stick around and maybe we’ll convince you to come to the dark side…
Hi Michael – as duffalo mentions, I think the acidity in the buttermilk tenderizes the chicken and also sharpens the flavor.
Hi Rob – thank you for the clarification on biscuits and scones.
Hi Duffalo – indeed, I think you are right.
Hi James – I saw references to a method similar to yours, but decided that a two day process for making fried chicken was just too long. Bet it tastes great though, eh?
Hi LZB – Is buttermilk big in China?
Hi Christine – indeed. Fried chicken is the ultimate comfort food. :-)
I think there is an interesting cultural difference here. In China we use buttermilk predominantly in baking.
I’ve made this a few times, but I first soak my chicken in a brine overnight.
Then I soak it in buttermilk overnight.
Anyone who took high school chemistry knows that this will draw in the buttermilk and leave the chicken salted perfectly.
The resulting chicken is milky white and extremely tender.
Buttermilk is quite acidic, so besides lending a pleasantly tangy flavor, in theory it tenderizes the meat (I have my doubts about this theory.)
Re: Old Foodie
Love your site! I’m not sure about that scone~biscuit gloss, though.
A ‘biscuit’ here is a chemically leavened, slightly shortened, savory pastry that is cut into rounds before baking. It is often made with buttermilk and is, coincidentally, one of the traditional accompaniments to fried chicken.
A ‘scone’ in the U.S. is essentially the same thing, made with a sweet dough. It comes in a variety of shapes (not just round) and is strictly breakfast/snack fare.
I use a very similar recipe for making chicken fried boneless chicken…i use baking soda and baking powder mixed with eggs under the flour. It really helps give a crispier crust. One question i have is why you marinate the chicken overnight in buttermilk?
Hi Elise,The chicken looks absolutely delicious! I am also wondering whether the chicken could be baked in the oven instead of fried on the stove top.
I have used yogurt and buttermilk interchangeably for marinating chicken and this sounds like the perfect fried chicken recipe, except for the grapeseed oil; I really don’t like the flavor of it. I would definitely use peanut oil. But banning Crisco in Chicago? Talk about the ultimate nanny state!!
I was wondering if I could “oven fry” with this recipe. I know that it will not taste as good but I am really paranoid about frying on the stove top because of fires. Already been there and done that! I am a fairly good cook I ust don’t fry much at all!
I think there is an interesting cultural difference here. In Australia we use buttermilk predominantly in baking – scones (“Biscuits” to you in the USA!), muffins etc. I often marinate chicken in yoghurt, especially for Indian-style dishes, but I will definitely try buttermilk next time and see what the difference is. Thanks for the idea.
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