Buttermilk Fried Chicken
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.
- 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
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.
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.
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).
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.
Return oil temperature to 350 degrees. Repeat with remaining chicken.