Buttermilk fried chicken

Buttermilk fried chicken

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(12 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 30 mins - 40 mins plus at least 12 hrs marinating

A challenge

Serves 4 - 6
Follow this step-by-step recipe for foolproof fried chicken - dip in buttermilk batter for a golden, seasoned crust and sweet, tender chicken

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving (6)

  • kcal476
  • fat20g
  • saturates6g
  • carbs37g
  • sugars3g
  • fibre2g
  • protein36g
  • salt2.6g
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  • 10 chicken pieces (about 1¼kg/ 2lb 12oz), on the bone, skin on (use a mixture of thighs and drumsticks)



    While it's the traditional Christmas bird, turkey is good to eat all year round, though…

  • 300ml buttermilk (see tips to make your own)
    Buttermilk pancake mixture in bowl with whisk



    There are two types of buttermilk. Traditional buttermilk is a thin, cloudy, slightly tart but…

  • 1 large egg



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

  • 1-2 litres groundnut oil
  • grilled corn on the cob, to serve (optional)
  • skinny fries, to serve (optional)
  • coleslaw, to serve (optional)

For the dry brine

  • zest 2 lemons



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • 1 tsp chopped thyme


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • 1 tsp paprika



    A spice that's central to Hungarian cuisine, paprika is made by drying a particular type of…

  • 1 tsp onion salt
  • 1 tsp garlic granules
  • 1 tsp flaky sea salt

For the spiced flour

  • 225g plain flour
  • 2½ tbsp cornflour
  • 2¼ tsp garlic granules
  • 2¼ tsp salt
  • 2¼ tsp chilli powder


  1. Put all the dry brine ingredients in a large dish. Add the chicken, toss to coat well, then cover and chill for 12-24 hrs.

  2. Put all the spiced flour ingredients in another dish or a large bowl, add a good grind of black pepper and combine well.

  3. Put the buttermilk and egg in another bowl and lightly whisk until well combined.

  4. Start to coat the chicken. Using one hand, dip the pieces in the buttermilk, making sure they are completely coated.

  5. Using your other hand, roll the chicken in the spiced flour until covered all over.

  6. Place the chicken on a wire rack with a baking tray underneath. Now you’re ready to start frying.

  7. Fill a deep cast-iron frying pan or heavy- based medium saucepan half full with oil and heat until the temperature reaches 170C on a cooking thermometer. Put a wire rack on a second tray, ready to drain the fried chicken.

  8. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Place 3-4 pieces of chicken into the hot oil. Don’t overcrowd the pan. Cook for 10-12 mins. Poke your thermometer into the meat next to the bone – it will be cooked when it reaches 73C.

  9. The oil temperature will drop when you add the chicken – adjust the heat to keep it steady at 140C during the cooking process. Once cooked, transfer to the clean wire rack and keep warm in the oven. Bring the oil back to 170C before cooking the next batch. Serve with your choice of sides.

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Comments, questions and tips

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16th Jan, 2016
This was really good! Didn't have a digital thermometer, so was bit nervous when deep-frying. Husband said chicken was cooked, but could have done with extra couple of minutes. Flavour was good, although added a few sprinkles of cayenne pepper to guarantee a kick! Would make again, as enjoy making meals where some prep is done in advance. Came out lovely and crispy and just like picture!
juliaprior's picture
18th Dec, 2015
This went down a storm in our house. Kids really loved it. The chicken was lovely and crispy, much nicer than take away. It was a little fiddly to make, and I was bit nervous of deep frying as I don't usually do it! However, the result was worth the effort, great to have as an occasional Saturday evening treat, when you have time to do it. I like the idea of spicing it up a bit as mentioned in a previous comment, might not be so popular with the children though!
21st Nov, 2015
This is a great recipe and the buttermilk makes a tasty coating for the chicken. By the way, I also use skinless chicken breast, cut into large pieces and it works just perfectly. However, the first time I made it, I found the seasoning a little bland so adjusted it as below for a bit more of a "kick". I skipped the thyme from the dry brine seasoning and along with the other ingredients, added 1 teaspoon chilli flakes 1 teaspoon chicken salt 1 teaspoon lemon pepper 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper If you really want to crank up the heatd, stir in a couple of teaspoons of Tabasco into the buttermilk before cooking!
Shaggy Potter's picture
Shaggy Potter
15th Sep, 2015
I use recipes from this site regularly and am not disappointed but this is the exception. Not much flavour, very oily and messy. I apologised to the kids afterwards.
31st Aug, 2015
I did this according to instructions, and it was a bit of a fiddle, but it was great. Crisp outside and well textured and moist inside. I couldn't do it in deep fat, but shallow fat seemed to work well. It also froze OK.
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