Buttermilk Fried Chicken

A buttermilk marinade will result in tender, juicy chicken. You can choose to heat up your fried chicken or not, depending upon your preference, with the variations.
  • 3 pounds frying chicken pieces
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (or to taste)
  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups Crisco (or other vegetable shortening)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
At least 3 hours (and up to 12 hours) before frying your chicken, combine the buttermilk with half the salt and pepper. Pour mixture over chicken pieces, turn all pieces to coat well, and refrigerate.

Melt the shortening in a heavy skillet over high heat. While the shortening is melting, mix the flour and other half of the salt and pepper. Drain marinade from chicken pieces. Using either the paper bag or shallow dish method, coat the chicken pieces in the flour mixture, shake off the excess, and place in a single layer on a sheet of waxed paper.

When the melted shortening reaches a temperature of 360°F on a frying thermometer, carefully place the chicken pieces, skin side down, starting with the dark meat, in the center of the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium-high, and cover loosely. Cook for 15 minutes or until chicken is dark golden.

Lower heat to medium and remove cover. Turn the pieces over carefully and cook, uncovered, for another 15 minutes.

Remove chicken pieces, and drain on paper towels. Serve hot with Cream Gravy, or refrigerate and take with you on a picnic.

Recipe editor

Variations: Add 1 teaspoon tabasco or your favorite hot sauce to the buttermilk marinade; OR 1 or 2 pickled jalapeños with a few tablespoons of their juice.

Note: For a related article, see Perfect Fried Chicken.

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