Buttermilk Fried Chicken Recipe

South buttermilk fried chicken

The Spruce

  • Total: 6 hrs 25 mins
  • Prep: 6 hrs
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Yield: 8 Pieces (4 servings)

Traditional southern fried chicken recipes are simply chicken dusted in flour and fried crisp, but this delicious variation uses a buttermilk bath for a tangy twist. This buttermilk fried chicken is great hot, but also makes a wonderful picnic item served cold.


  • 3 1/2 pounds chicken (cut into 8 pieces)
  • 2 1/2 quarts peanut oil (or vegetable shortening, for frying)
  • For the Marinade
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground dried herbs (or poultry seasoning)
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • For the Seasoned Flour
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for buttermilk fried chicken
    The Spruce 
  2. Add the marinade ingredients to a bowl and whisk together.

    Add marinade ingredients to a bowl
    The Spruce 
  3. Add the chicken parts and toss to coat well.

    Add chicken parts
    The Spruce
  4. Cover with plastic wrap, making sure the chicken is submerged. Refrigerate for 6 hours. You can go overnight if desired.

    Cover with plastic wrap
    The Spruce
  5. Mix together the seasoned flour ingredients in a large baking dish.

    Mix together flour
    The Spruce
  6. Drain the chicken pieces and toss into the flour.

    Drain chicken pieces
    The Spruce
  7. Using your hands or tongs, toss to coat the chicken completely with the flour mixture. Shake off and reserve on a plate.

    Coat chicken with flour
    The Spruce
  8. Heat the peanut oil, or vegetable shortening, in a heavy Dutch oven to 350 F.

    Heated oil
    The Spruce
  9. Carefully add the chicken and fry for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown and you have reached an internal temperature of 180 F.

    Fry chicken
    The Spruce
  10. Allow to drain on a wire rack for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

    Allow to drain
    The Spruce 
  11. Serve and enjoy!


  • You can also fry the chicken in a heavy cast iron skillet, filled halfway up with oil. Using this method you need to fry for 10 minutes, turn over, and continue cooking until done.