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I’ve been making buttermilk fried chicken for years when my mom taught me. I’ve been putting the herbs into the flour mixture, but I like putting them into the buttermilk mixture. As for frying, I use an electric skillet. No one talks about these anymore, but let me tell you, it keeps the temp up to 375 degrees. Then I just fry it until golden and I use my hook shaped device to turn it and then put it on a pan with a rack (foil under to assist in cleanup) and put it into a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes. I start frying with the thighs and breasts and put those into the oven first while I then fry the wings and drumsticks, adding them to the pan in the oven. So crispy. I add a tablespoon of baking powder to the flour and that helps it puff nicely.
It was very easy and quick to make the marinade and then to fry the pieces. I used my old trusty cast-iron pan and canola oil, and never had a problem with the temperature. However, the breading fell off almost immediately once it browned, and I wonder how to keep this from happening? Needless to say, the pieces did not crisp well without the breading attached!
For flavor, the pieces were very tasty however, I will about double the amount of spice in the breading and add a tad bit more salt, to bring up the flavor a bit more. Otherwise no quarrels with this recipe.
And important step is not mentioned in the recipe. The chicken needs to rest on a rack after you finish breading it. 30 to 40 minutes will do. Then add it to the hot oil one piece at a time being sure the oil maintains its temperature. Frying chicken actually takes a long time as you should not crowd the pan. If you do, the moisture will ruin the crust. Also be sure the chicken cools on a rack after you remove it from the fryer. Again allowing the moisture out of the chicken before you start moving around. Never cover your chicken or put it in a covered bowl after it’s finished. The moisture will ruin any crispy crust you might have. . I actually brown mine and then put it in the oven do you finish cooking on bake, thighs and legs first because they need to be cooked the most done.
Instead of a frying pan, I use a a six quart pot, which results in less splatter. Also, I tried using an instant read thermometer but the chicken burned. I lowered the heat a bit on subsequent batches until I figured out where the burner dial needs to be for fried chicken.
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?!
if frying chicken breasts, Brittany might pound/flatten them a bit first, so they are done, before they burn…after getting the oil hot, I fry my chicken between low and medium heat….which I find hot enough on my stove to get it golden brown and cooked through before burning.
Another possibility is to fry until somewhat golden, then finish in a 300 – 325F oven until the chicken is cooked through. It shouldn’t overcook on the outside if you use a low temp oven.
I have been trying for years to make the ‘perfect fried chicken’ and I’ve figured out what works for me now. BTW ~ I have made more burned chicken than I care to say so I know how you feel sweetheart!! I marinate my chicken first, sometimes buttermilk with spices, sometimes just oil, water, spices ( meat tenderizer works as both salt and a tenderizer). I take the chicken out of the fridge to come to room temperature, drain it and coat with flour and seasonings. My stove heats up VERY quickly so my oil was always getting too hot, staying too hot and just burned the outside while the inside remained undercooked ( which grosses me out..lol!). I heat my oil on low ( I have also used both cast iron and heavy duty bottom pans ~ the cast iron doesn’t allow me to reduce heat as quickly). When the oil is hot, I put in each piece making sure there is room between them to fry evenly. IF the pieces are larger, I finish them in the oven. The key, I’ve found, is keeping the burner on low heat rather than medium, which I found just burns the outside quicker. Good Luck ~ I know you’ll master this one!! :-)
Same happened to me! Every time I try frying chicken the inside never gets done…. what am I doing wrong???
You’re not alone, Olivia! Others here have reported similar results. Frying can be tricky but working through these issues is SO worth it! It’s possible that the chicken is coming straight from the fridge, cold, and going right into hot oil. It is possible the oil temperature is too high–if you have a thermometer for this, I highly recommend it. Also, you can also check the chicken’s internal temperature (aim for 165°F) before you commit to eating it. Let us know how it goes! Thanks!
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.
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!
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