Buttermilk Fried Chicken

*Buttermilk substitute recipe included

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Ingredients Photo By Allison of Culinary Cupcake
Buttermilk Fried Chicken Photo By Allison of Culinary Cupcake

Despite its name buttermilk contains no butter. Originally, buttermilk was the liquid left behind after churning butter. Now in modern times it is homogenized and cultured. Buttermilk is enjoyed in many countries as a drink or as an ingredient in fun foods. It is key in this recipe because the lactic acid in the buttermilk helps tenderize the chicken.

Buttermilk fried chicken can elicit fond memories. The smell reminds us of picnics, BBQs, and warm summertime fun. Buttermilk fried chicken is a wonderful food for picnics outdoors because of it can be easily packed and can be eaten hot or cold. This recipe is great because it has very few ingredients, and with a little patience you will have juicy buttermilk fried chicken!

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Recipe

Serves 4

Prep Time 15 min Marination Time 4-8 hours Cook Time 12 min Bake Time 30 min


4 pounds of chicken pieces, skin on. (One whole chicken should make about 8 serving pieces.)

1 quart buttermilk (substitute recipe at the bottom)

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Vegetable oil frying


Place chicken pieces in a large bowl and pour the buttermilk. Make sure all the pieces are thoroughly covered. Wrap or cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, overnight preferred (8 hours).

Preheat the oven 350 F degrees.

Take a large bowl and fill with flour, salt, and pepper. Use a whisk or fork to incorporate. Get the chicken out from the refrigerator, take chicken out of the buttermilk, and cover thoroughly with the flour mixture.

Pour the oil into a large heavy-bottomed pan or stockpot. Make sure the oil has a depth of about 1 inch and heat on medium-high until little bubbles start to surface.

Work in batches and make sure not to overcrowd the pan/pot. Carefully place several chicken pieces into the oil and fry about 3 minutes on each side until a light golden brown. Remove chicken from oil and place in a glass 13×9 inch casserole dish or metal baking rack set on a sheet pan. The chicken will continue to cook in the oven.

When all the chicken pieces are fried, bake 30-40 minutes until the inside of the chicken is no longer pink. Serve hot.

Chicken is safe to eat when the internal temperature is 165 F

Many people do not have buttermilk lying around at home, thus a substitute can be created.

Buttermilk Substitute Recipe


1 quart milk

4 tablespoons white vinegar or 4 tablespoons lemon juice


Place all ingredients in a large bowl and stir. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes. Use in any recipe that asks for buttermilk.

Note: This recipe will not work with any non-dairy milk substitutes. You must use dairy milk.


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