Menu
Appetizers / Chicken / Dinner Ideas / Holidays / Lunch / Patriotic Recipes

Crispy Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Buttermilk Fried Chicken is such a treat! This version uses all dark meat for the juiciest result, and a crispy-crunchy buttermilk coating that’s so flavorful and satisfying.

A Basked of Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Lime Wedges Inside

Crispy Buttermilk Fried Chicken

This old fashioned buttermilk fried chicken recipe will deliver a hot and juicy heap of sizzling chicken pieces. They’re all golden-brown, crispy, and seasoned to perfection.

I love this mouthwatering chicken dinner idea on weeknights with fries, or on Sunday evenings wish mashed cauliflower and biscuits. That’s the great thing about fried chicken, you can dress it up or down. 🍽

Three Pieces of Buttermilk Fried Chicken Garnished with Chopped Parsley

Fried Chicken Ingredients

This ingredient list might seem daunting at first, but don’t be intimidated. It’s really a very simple trio: the chicken, the flour mixture, and the buttermilk mixture.

For the Chicken

  • Oil: You’ll need a generous amount of your preferred oil for deep frying. Regular vegetable oil is fine, or you can go with peanut oil, coconut oil, lard, etc. Make sure it’s an oil that can withstand high heat, and that you have enough to pour about two  inches worth into your pot, Dutch oven, or deep skillet.
  • Chicken Drumsticks & Thighs: For this recipe, you’ll need four bone-in drumsticks and four bone-in thighs. You can use skinless or skin-on, it’s up to you! Skin-on adds more flavor to the recipe.
  • Herbs: For a garnish, I like to use freshly chopped parsley or other fresh herbs that I have on hand.

For the Flour Mixture

  • Flour: A cup of your favorite flour forms the base of the crispy coating. Gluten-free flour works fine here, and some cooks even use almond flour. I find that all-purpose flours give the best results. 
  • Baking Powder: A teaspoon of baking powder gives a light and crispy finish to the dish.
  • Spices: I use a combination of smoked paprika, garlic and onion powders, cayenne pepper, thyme, and parsley to season the flour mixture.
  • Salt & Pepper: To taste.

For the Buttermilk Mixture

  • Buttermilk: You’ll need 3 cups of buttermilk for soaking the chicken.
  • Salt and Pepper: Cracked black pepper, rather than ground, helps boost the flavor here.
  • Garlic Powder and Thyme: These essential seasonings bring out the best in the chicken.
Eight Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks in a White and Blue Pan Surrounded by Herbs, Spices and Buttermilk

Why Is the Chicken Soaked In Buttermilk?

  • Soaking chicken pieces in buttermilk is a way of accomplishing two important goals: first, you’re adding a wonderful depth of flavor, thanks to the fatty, tangy taste of the buttermilk.
  • Second, the slight acidity in the buttermilk actually tenderizes the chicken by breaking down some of the protein structures before cooking. The result? Fried chicken that has body, but also tenderness.
A Bowl of Buttermilk Fried Chicken Next to a Container of Fresh Parsley

How to Make Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Making this chicken is very easy. Be sure to have a large roasting pan, sheet pan, or platter lined with paper towels so that when you remove the pieces, you have a plate ready to put them in. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve accidentally forgotten this step and had to rush around the kitchen getting things ready at the last minute!

  • Marinate Chicken: Combine all the ingredients for the buttermilk mixture in a bowl. Add the chicken pieces and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for at least 6 hours.
A Pan of Chicken Drumsticks Coated with Spices and Buttermilk
  • Dredge Chicken in Flour Mixture: When ready to cook, place all the flour dredging ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk until combined. Take one piece of chicken at a time from the buttermilk, and dredge in the flour mixture. Repeat the process until all the chicken pieces are coated.
The Flour Mixture Ingredients in a Glass Bowl
  • Fry Chicken: Pour the vegetable oil into a deep skillet, Dutch oven or pot. Heat to 350°F. Add the chicken pieces in batches and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken registers at 165°F. Turn the chicken halfway through cooking.
A Piece of Fried Chicken Resting Beside Two Lime Slices
  • Serve: Once the chicken is cooked through and golden brown, remove it from the oil and place it on paper towels to drain. Serve immediately, or keep warm in an oven until ready to serve.

Enjoy!

Tips for the Best Fried Chicken

Here are my best tips for getting the perfect platter of deeply golden fried chicken. I can’t wait for you to give this amazing recipe a try!

  • Buttermilk Substitutions: If you don’t have (or don’t want to use) buttermilk, there are a few other great options! You can “sour” your preferred milk, from regular whole milk to soy, almond, or coconut milk, by adding a teaspoon or so of lemon juice or vinegar to each cup of milk. Easy! You can also use plain yogurt or sour cream, thinning it with water as needed.
  • Double-Dredge: To make your chicken as crispy as possible, give it two coats of the dredging mixture. Remove from the buttermilk and coat with flour; then dip in a fresh bowl of buttermilk, or beaten egg, and dredge a second time in the flour mixture.
  • Don’t Let the Oil Get Cold: Keeping the oil hot is very important. It should stay between 350°F and 375°F, which is another good reason not to crowd the pan! That brings down the temperature.
Fried Chicken in a Dish Lined with A Piece of Parchment Paper

Serving Suggestions

Fried chicken is one of those fantastic dishes that goes with seemingly everything! The following recipes are some of my favorite things to serve it with.

  • Fries: I love fries anytime, with anything! And these lovely Air Fryer Parmesan Zucchini Fries are like a party in your mouth, especially when paired with buttermilk fried chicken!
  • Mashed Cauliflower: In addition to the mashed cauliflower recipe I mentioned earlier, this Instant Pot Loaded Mashed Cauliflower would be amazing with fried chicken!
  • Pasta Salad: The queen of potlucks everywhere, Macaroni Salad is fresh, easy, satisfying, and goes perfectly with hot fried chicken. Yum!
A Piece of Fried Chicken Resting Beside Two Lime Slices

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

This fried chicken is easy to store, if you somehow have any leftovers! You can refrigerate or freeze them, depending on how long you want to store your chicken.

  • To Refrigerate: Place cooled leftover fried chicken pieces in shallow food-storage containers. They will keep refrigerated for up to 4 days.
  • To Freeze: Wrap individual pieces well in plastic wrap, and then place in freezer bags. They will keep frozen for up to four months.
  • To Reheat: Thaw the chicken overnight in the refrigerator (if frozen). Place the chicken on a wire rack in a sheet pan or roasting pan, and bake at 375°F until heated through. You can also do this in an air fryer or toaster oven.
A Basked of Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Lime Wedges Inside
Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Fried chicken uses all dark meat for the juiciest results, and a super crispy-crunchy buttermilk coating that’s flavorful and satisfying!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Marinating Time6 hrs
Total Time7 hrs
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: buttermilk fried chicken recipe, chicken drumsticks recipe, chicken legs recipe, easy fried chicken recipe, how to make fried chicken
Servings: 8

Equipment

  • Stove

Ingredients

For the Buttermilk Mixture

  • 3 cups buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

For the Chicken

  • 4 chicken drumsticks
  • 4 chicken thighs

For the Flour Mixture

Instructions

  • Combine all the ingredients for the buttermilk mixture in a bowl.
  • Add the chicken pieces to the buttermilk mixture and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for 4 to 6 hours.
  • When ready to cook, place all the Flour Mixture ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk until combined.
  • Remove one piece of chicken at a time from the buttermilk mixture, and dredge in the flour mixture.
    Repeat the process until all chicken pieces are coated.
  • Pour the vegetable oil in a deep skillet, large pot, or Dutch oven. The oil should be about 1.5 to 2 inches deep in the skillet.
    Set the skillet over medium-high heat and heat the oil to 350°F. If possible, use an instant read thermometer to check the temperature.
  • Add the chicken to the hot oil in batches, and cook until the internal temperature of the chicken is 165°F, about 15 minutes. Flip the chicken halfway through cooking time.
  • Once chicken is cooked through and golden brown, remove from the oil and place on paper towels to drain.
  • Serve immediately, or keep warm in an oven until ready to serve. Garnish with fresh chopped herbs.
  • Notes: For best crunchy results, repeat the coating process for each piece twice to ensure the chicken pieces are properly coated.

More Chicken Recipes

Chicken is a fool-proof main dish, and these recipes offer new ways to enjoy the versatile meat!

12 Comments

  • Patricia @ Grab a Plate
    Jan 24, 2021 at 3:26 pm

    5 stars
    Makes my mouth water just looking at it – This looks better than restaurant fried chicken! Perfet!

    Reply
    • Katerina Petrovska
      Jan 25, 2021 at 4:28 pm

      Thank YOU! I hope you enjoy it! 🙂

      Reply
  • Allyson Zea
    Jan 24, 2021 at 7:15 pm

    5 stars
    Wow this was so crispy and delicious! Thank you

    Reply
    • Katerina Petrovska
      Jan 25, 2021 at 4:28 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! Thank YOU! 🙂

      Reply
  • Catalina
    Jan 24, 2021 at 8:57 pm

    5 stars
    I am so curious to try this fried chicken! It looks so crispy!

    Reply
    • Katerina Petrovska
      Jan 25, 2021 at 4:27 pm

      I hope you enjoy it! Thank YOU! 🙂

      Reply
  • Beth
    Jan 25, 2021 at 10:24 pm

    5 stars
    This looks so crispy and delicious! I can’t wait to give this a try!

    Reply
    • Katerina Petrovska
      Jan 26, 2021 at 2:51 pm

      Thank YOU! I hope you enjoy it! 🙂

      Reply
  • Cathy
    Jan 26, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    This turned out so crispy and delicious!

    Reply
    • Katerina Petrovska
      Feb 2, 2021 at 4:33 pm

      Thank YOU! I’m glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

      Reply
  • Sandra
    Jan 26, 2021 at 4:04 pm

    5 stars
    Everyone at my house loved it! Can’t wait to make it again!

    Reply
    • Katerina Petrovska
      Feb 2, 2021 at 4:33 pm

      That’s great! I am very glad everyone enjoyed it! Thank YOU! 🙂

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Recipe Rating