Buttermilk Fried Chicken Recipe

Yields: 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes (plus marinating time)
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes


For the Marinade:

  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce (like Frank’s RedHot)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the Dredge:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, for extra spice)

For Frying:

  • 1 quart vegetable oil, peanut oil, or canola oil (enough to generously cover the chicken)
  • 4 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (breasts, thighs, drumsticks, wings)


  • Large bowl
  • Large resealable plastic bag
  • Cast iron skillet or heavy-bottomed pot
  • Deep-fry thermometer
  • Wire rack
  • Baking sheet lined with paper towels


  • Prepare the Chicken: Rinse and pat dry the chicken pieces.
  • Make the Marinade: In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, hot sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken pieces, ensuring they are completely coated in the marinade.
  • Marinate: Cover the bowl or transfer the chicken and marinade to a resealable plastic bag. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight for maximum flavor and tenderness.
  • Make the Dredge: In a large bowl or resealable plastic bag, combine the flour, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper (if using).
  • Heat the Oil: In a cast-iron skillet or heavy-bottomed pot, pour in enough oil to come about halfway up the sides. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 350°F (175°C) on a deep-fry thermometer.
  • Dredge the chicken: Remove the chicken pieces from the buttermilk marinade, allowing excess liquid to drip off. Working in batches, dredge each chicken piece in the seasoned flour, coating evenly and shaking off any excess.
  • Fry in Batches: Carefully add several pieces of chicken to the hot oil, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Fry for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) for white meat or 175°F (79°C) for dark meat. Adjust the heat as needed to maintain the oil temperature.
  • Rest and Drain: Transfer the cooked chicken to a wire rack set over a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain excess oil.
  • Serve: Serve hot and enjoy your delicious, crispy buttermilk fried chicken!


  • Don’t overcrowd the pan: This lowers the oil’s temperature and can result in soggy chicken.
  • Double Dredge: For an extra-crispy coating, dredge the chicken in the flour mixture, dip back into the buttermilk, and then dredge in the flour again.
  • Spice it up: Add your favorite spices like chili powder or smoked paprika to the dredge for more flavor variations.


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