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Buttermilk Fried Chicken

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Marinating the chicken in buttermilk makes the meat moist and flavorful. Chicken breasts cook faster than other parts, so fry them separately in the last batch.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8

Source: Everyday Food, June 2004

Ingredients

  • 2 cups low-fat buttermilk
  • Coarse salt
  • 3 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 whole chickens (2 1/2 to 3 pounds each), each cut into 10 serving pieces (wings, thighs, drumsticks, and 4 breast pieces)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups vegetable oil

Directions

  1. In each of two 1-gallon resealable plastic bags, combine 1 cup buttermilk, 1/2 tablespoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, and half the chicken pieces. Shake to coat, refrigerate up to 2 days.

  2. In a large shallow bowl, whisk flour with 2 tablespoons salt and remaining 2 teaspoons cayenne. Dredge chicken pieces one at a time in mixture, shaking off excess.

  3. In a 12-inch cast-iron skillet (or other heavy-bottom skillet), heat oil to 350 degrees on a deep-fry thermometer (or until a pinch of flour sizzles when dropped in the oil).

  4. Carefully add 1/2 of the chicken. Cook 10 minutes: turn chicken with tongs. Cook until golden brown, the juices run clear, and internal temperature is 165 degrees about 10 minutes more. Transfer to a rack to drain. Season with salt, if desired.

  5. Return oil temperature to 350 degrees. Repeat with remaining chicken.

Variations

For fried chicken with less fat and fewer calories, remove the skin before marinating.

Cook's Notes

A deep-fry thermometer is the best way to monitor the temperature of the oil. Adjust burner heat during cooking to maintain a steady temperature.

Reviews Add a comment

  • convoycoyote
    25 SEP, 2011
    how many reviews must i give to be in this site ????????
    Reply
  • convoycoyote
    25 SEP, 2011
    cant print recipes for my use !!!! what good is that ? LOUSY SITE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Reply
  • GiveMeGourmet
    26 JUN, 2010
    Best fried chicken one can make. It's been a 4th of July tradition since the recipe was published t in Martha's magazine, I believe it was around 10 years ago. Thanks for such a great comfort food recipe!!
    Reply
  • MS11185160
    24 FEB, 2009
    Boy oh boy was this chicken great! I used Canola oil and it turned out just right with Zero spattering. I Ithink my big cast iron skillet contributed to the phenomenal end result. The left-overs were even better served cold the next day for lunch. I served with collard greens, black-eyed peas, and garlic mashed potato. (and a sweetened southern-style iced Barry's tea)
    Reply
  • chefem
    29 AUG, 2008
    jo68 the technique is when you put the chicken into the hot oil.. put it away from you, so in case it splatters, the oil splatters away from you , hope that helps
    Reply
  • fcdean
    29 AUG, 2008
    I have tried this recipe. It's very good. As far as the oil I use peanut oil, it doesn't crackle and pop when you add the chicken and it has the lowest smoking point and is better for you than canola.
    Reply
  • salanie
    29 AUG, 2008
    I agree with comment number 3. If you cook to only 165 degrees, the meat will still be very pink near the bone. Yuck, I don't eat "pink" chicken.
    Reply
  • jo68
    29 AUG, 2008
    I'll try this for sure, frying with 2 cups hot oil may not be easy for beginner cooks though, safety issues here. Joannabanana
    Reply
  • jo68
    29 AUG, 2008
    I'll try this for sure, frying with 2 cups hot oil may not be easy for beginner cooks though, safety issues here. Joannabanana
    Reply
  • foodfoodgirl
    29 AUG, 2008
    Boneless chicken should be cooked to 165F but if you use bone-in chicken such as drums, you need to cook to an internal temperature of 180F. I'm a food scientist who works in R
    Reply