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.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8
Recipe continues below this recipe video

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.

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