Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Some friends of ours decided to host a Waffle Dinner a few weeks ago to enjoy some breakfast goodness at supper time. And then it hit us—what goes better with waffles?? Fried Chicken, of course!!! (And yes, perhaps my old haunts of Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles might have influenced some things, too.)

Thus we were on the course to pull together the perfect fried chicken—juicy, crispy, just the right amount of breading, well seasoned, and not the least bit oily. I’ll admit, I was pretty intimidated–I had never tried to make fried chicken before. Between my mom’s deliciously seasoned fried chicken and Popeye’s (don’t hate!), I had no reason to venture out. But apathy in the kitchen leads to no where–so off we went!

We settled on Alton Brown’s recipe for Fried Chicken because we liked the general theory behind his madness—however, we did tweak it because this gal needs her spice and seasonings. I also prefer dark meat with chicken and thus substituted accordingly.

The results? Pretty darn good. Seriously! Because of the buttermilk the chicken was extremely juicy. I also like the fact that his recipe allows for just the right amount of breading/crunch—not too much but not too little. Next time we’ll add more seasoning and hot sauce to the buttermilk as it marinates overnight. We weren’t sure how much would actually soak into the chicken and thus, were pretty conservative on the spice. I’m thinking at least 1/2 cup of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce next time with the milk.  🙂 Word to the wise—and we learned this the hard way–Don’t add Paprika or Cayenne to your dredging flour. It burns! 😦

Chicken waiting to be fried (Post Buttermilk Soak, Seasoning, and Dredging)

Bubbling in the Fryer

Buttermilk Fried Chicken
Adapted from Alton Brown

Chicken, with your preference of cut (we did 8 drumsticks and 8 thighs)
2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt
2 Tablespoons Paprika
2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
1 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Flour, for dredging
Peanut Oil, for frying
*Buttermilk Marinade

For Buttermilk Marinade:
2 Cups low fat buttermilk
2-3 Tablespoons Tabasco Sauce
1 Tablespoon Garlic Salt
1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
½ Tablespoon Black Pepper
½ Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

Place chicken pieces into a plastic container and cover with buttermilk marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.

Fill deep fryer with peanut oil and raise heat to 325 degrees. Drain chicken in a colander. Combine salt, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Liberally season chicken with this mixture. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess. Let chicken sit on racks for 10 minutes to allow the breading to set.

Place chicken skin side down into fryer. In batches, cook chicken until golden brown—about 15-18 minutes or when internal temperature reaches 170-175 degrees for dark meat (165 degrees for white meat).

Drain chicken on a rack over a sheet pan and serve after 10 minutes.



42 thoughts on “Buttermilk Fried Chicken

  1. I was just talking to some friends yesterday about the great combo of chicken and waffles – can you send some over? I’m hungry and had a crazy day….puhleeeeease?

  2. I didn’t know that was your first time making fried chicken! By the looks (and taste) of it, I thought you two have done those many times before. Great call adding spices to the mix.

  3. I’m so jealous of your deep fryer even though I don’t like to fry food very often haha. Your chicken looks amazing. I heard of that Roscoe’s place but never visited while living in Los Angeles.

    1. Thanks so much, Memoria! My confession is that we borrowed our friend’s fryer to fry the chicken since I didn’t have one of my own. Though after using her’s I’ve been scoping out a few to see when I can get a good deal on them! 🙂

      And if you ever do make it to LA, I definitely recommend swinging by Roscoes. You’ll get a tasty meal and hopefully have a few celebrity sitings while you dine there 🙂

  4. Hi

    You mentioned in your headnote that next time you are going to up the spices and hot sauce, you gave the up for the hot sauce 1/2 cup but you did not give the up measurements for the spices.

  5. Hey CC, I stumbled on your lovely site searching for recipes on the Red Boat fish sauce site, little expecting to find chicken and waffles! So where’s the waffle recipe? They look good too… We have the NorCal version of Roscoes here that had a groupon (pay $10 for $20 worth of food), so I ate there last week and am going again on Thursday. I love chicken and waffles! Anyways, I’m bookmarking your site, so many delicious looking recipes

  6. This is a down home formula that I even have used for years, and thought i might share it! The milk marinade is terrific and is such a nutrient. but this can be not a formula that may be done quickly, however the wait is WELL price it!

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  23. I make this using a KFC copycat and also the Alton Brown recipe. A few things to remember is to let it get to room temp as this helps it cook without burning but the real secret that turns it from good to great is a pressure fryer. It really is that much better. I also use MSG…and I don’t listen to the folks saying it is bad as it is perfectly fine and totally safe and makes it taste so much better. If you find your chicken burning before it is done..do not use buttermilk…it makes it darken much faster. If you do use it in the marinade or the brine as I do, just make sure you rinse it. The Alton recipe where you drizzle buttermilk it into the flour makes it burn in little clumps and is just bad. If you want that craggle surface you must let the chicken sit with the flour coating on it for 35 minutes or longer till it gets “tacky”, the flour with look a bit wet on surface and this makes a huge difference, nice crunchy and craggly. I learned how to do this in a Chinese restaurant…their fried chicken was better than Popeyes or KFC’s…peanut oil to fry in…better than shortening.

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