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Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

While you are frying the chicken, make sure the temperature of the oil hovers between 280 and 325 degrees (the temperature of the oil will drop from 375 when you add the first batch), keep it from getting too hot. You want the chicken to be cooked all the way through without burning the outside. This can take practice.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours to Overnight plus 20 mintues
  • Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons Essence
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 2 cups flour
  • Peanut oil, for frying


  • Combine the salt, Essence and sugar in a large plastic container or non-reactive stockpot. Add the buttermilk and stir to completely dissolve the salt and sugar. Immerse the chicken, cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.

  • Combine the flour and remaining 2 tablespoons Essence in a medium brown paper bag; shake to combine.

  • Heat 6 inches of oil to 375 degrees F in a large cast iron skillet or Dutch oven.

  • Remove the chicken from the buttermilk and shake to remove excess. Add the chicken in batches to the flour and shake to completely coat. Remove and shake to remove excess flour. Place on a wire rack set over a baking sheet to rest until ready to fry.

  • Fry the chicken in batches, skin-side down, until golden brown and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Turn and fry until golden brown on the second side, about 8 minutes longer. Remove and drain on paper towels.

  • Note: An even oil temperature is key to the success of this recipe; a clip-on candy/deep-fry thermometer should be kept in the pot at all times, so that you can monitor the temperature accurately.

  • Serve hot or at room temperature.

Recipe Details