This Buttermilk Fried Chicken is a delicious recipe that combines tender, juicy chicken drumsticks with a crispy, flavorful coating. This classic comfort food, perfect for family dinners or gathering with friends, offers a mouth-watering blend of spices and a buttermilk marinade that ensures each bite is succulent and savory.
Indulge in the ultimate comfort food with this Buttermilk Fried Chicken Recipe. It's not just a dish; it's a journey into the heart of traditional Southern cuisine.
This recipe is a testament to the timeless appeal of perfectly fried chicken, offering a golden, crispy exterior with a moist and tender interior.
Buttermilk Fried Chicken has roots deep in Southern American cooking, often gracing tables at family gatherings, Sunday dinners, and festive occasions.
Its versatility and crowd-pleasing nature make it ideal for everything from casual backyard barbecues to celebratory events. The history of frying chicken in buttermilk batter dates back generations, showcasing a perfect blend of simplicity and flavor that has stood the test of time.
What You'll Love About This Recipe
- Flavorful Marinade: The buttermilk and spices tenderize the chicken and infuse it with rich flavors.
- Crispy Texture: A perfectly golden crust that's irresistibly crunchy.
- Versatility: Great for any occasion, from a simple family dinner to a large gathering.
- Easy to Make: This recipe is straightforward, even for beginners.
Chicken Drumsticks: Choose plump, fresh drumsticks for the best flavor and tenderness.
All-Purpose Flour: The base of your crispy coating.
Buttermilk: Acts as a tenderizer and adds a tangy depth to the chicken.
Spices (Paprika, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder): A blend that provides warmth and savory notes.
Salt and Pepper: Essential for seasoning.
Vegetable Oil: For frying, ensuring a crispy, golden exterior.
- Deep Fryer or Deep Pot: Ideal for even frying; a deep skillet can also be used.
- Mixing Bowls: For marinating and coating the chicken.
- Tongs or Slotted Spoon: For safely handling the chicken in hot oil.
- Meat Thermometer: To check the chicken is cooked to the right temperature.
Preparing the Chicken for Marinade: Start by thoroughly rinsing your chicken drumsticks and patting them dry with paper towels. This step is crucial for ensuring the buttermilk adheres well to the chicken.
Marinating Process: Place the chicken in a large bowl. Pour the buttermilk over the chicken, ensuring each piece is well coated. Season with half of the allotted salt and pepper.
Toss gently to mix. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the chicken for a minimum of 2 hours. This marinating time allows the buttermilk to tenderize the chicken and infuse it with flavor.
Preparing the Seasoned Flour: In a separate bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and the remaining quantities of salt and pepper. This mixture will create the seasoned flour coating that gives your chicken its deliciously crispy exterior.
Coating the Chicken: Remove the chicken from the buttermilk, allowing the excess to drip off. Roll each drumstick in the seasoned flour mixture. Ensure each piece is thoroughly coated, pressing the flour mixture onto the chicken to create a consistent, crispy layer.
Frying the Chicken: Heat the vegetable oil in a deep fryer or a large, deep pot to a temperature of 350-375°F (175-190°C). Once the oil is hot, carefully place the coated chicken pieces into it.
Fry the chicken in batches to avoid overcrowding, which is essential for achieving an evenly cooked, crispy crust. Fry the chicken for approximately 12-15 minutes, until each piece is golden brown and crispy, and the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).
Draining the Fried Chicken: Use a slotted spoon to carefully remove the fried chicken from the oil. Place them on a plate lined with paper towels to drain off any excess oil. This step helps in maintaining the crispiness of the chicken.
Serving: Allow the fried chicken to cool slightly before serving. This rest period lets the chicken settle and makes it easier to handle. Serve your delicious buttermilk fried chicken with your choice of sides and enjoy the perfect blend of crispy, flavorful crust with tender, juicy meat inside.
Seasoning the Flour: Don't be afraid to adjust the seasoning in your flour mixture to suit your taste. Experimenting with different herbs and spices can add a unique twist to your fried chicken.
Resting the Coated Chicken: Let the flour-coated chicken rest on a wire rack for about 10 minutes before frying. This helps the coating adhere better and not fall off during frying.
Checking Oil Temperature: Use a cooking thermometer to ensure the oil is at the correct temperature. Consistent temperature is key to achieving a crispy, golden exterior without absorbing too much oil.
Batch Frying: Fry the chicken in batches to maintain the oil temperature and avoid overcrowding, which can lead to uneven cooking.
Draining Excess Oil: After frying, let the chicken drain on a wire rack over a baking sheet rather than paper towels. This prevents steam from making the crust soggy.
Adding Flavor with Marinade: Enhance your marinade with additional spices or herbs for more flavor complexity. Ingredients like mustard powder, cayenne pepper, or even a dash of hot sauce can add a nice kick.
- Spicy Version: Add cayenne pepper or hot sauce to the marinade.
- Herb-Infused: Mix in dried herbs like thyme or oregano for an aromatic twist.
A great substitution for buttermilk, especially if you don't have it on hand, is to make your own sour milk. Here's how you can do it:
- Lemon Juice or White Vinegar: Measure 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar into a measuring cup.
- Milk: Add enough milk to the lemon juice or vinegar to make 1 cup. You can use whole milk for the best results, but 2% milk will also work.
- Stir and Let Stand: Stir the mixture and let it stand for about 5 to 10 minutes. The acid from the lemon juice or vinegar will begin to curdle the milk, creating a buttermilk-like effect.
This homemade buttermilk substitute works well in recipes that call for buttermilk, providing a similar tang and acid content that helps in tenderizing meats or activating baking soda in baked goods.
Refrigerator: Cool the chicken completely before storing it in an airtight container. This will help maintain its crispiness. Reheat in an oven or air fryer to restore the crunch.
Freezer: Wrap the chicken individually in foil and then place it in a freezer-safe bag. This method helps preserve the flavor and texture for up to 2 months.
Reheating: To recapture the original crispiness, reheat the chicken in a preheated oven at 350°F for about 10-15 minutes. Avoid microwaving as it can make the crust soggy.
This Buttermilk Fried Chicken recipe brings a burst of flavors - a tangy buttermilk marinade and a savory, crispy crust that's simply irresistible.
- 6 chicken drumsticks
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Rinse drumsticks and pat dry.
- Place in a bowl. Pour over buttermilk. Add half of the salt and pepper.
- Ensure chicken is coated, then cover and chill for at least 2 hours.
- In a seperate bowl, mix the flour, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, remaining salt, and remaining pepper.
- Take marinated chicken out of the buttermilk, letting excess liquid drip off.
- Roll drumsticks in seasoned flour, ensuring completely coated.
- Press the flour onto chicken for a crispy coating.
- Heat vegetable oil in a deep fryer or a deep pot to 350-375°F (175-190°C).
- Carefully place coated chicken in the hot oil, a few at a time – make sure not to overcrowd the fryer.
- Fry for 12-15 minutes until golden brown, crispy, and cooked inside. Chicken should reach 165°F (74°C) inside.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove fried chicken from oil and place them on paper towels.
- Let cool slightly before serving.
- Enjoy your buttermilk fried chicken with your favorite sides!