This Buttermilk Fried Chicken recipe is packed with all the tips you need to make EXTRA crispy fried chicken. Once you give this a go, you won’t have it any other way!
Oh boy, is this post a long time coming. I’ve been testing out this fried chicken recipe for a loooooong time, and I’m super excited to finally share with you the tried, tested and perfected recipe! Follow me…
I hope we’re all in agreement that the best fried chicken is mouthwateringly tender on the inside, tooth shatteringly crispy and flakey on the outside and bursting with flavour all over. This recipe will give you exactly that. I’ve packed this post with everything you need to know in getting perfect fried chicken, so let’s start right at the beginning.
What cut of chicken to use for fried chicken?
I always get a whole chicken and cut it up, just because I like the variety. This post is already going to be lengthy as it is, so I won’t add a tutorial on how to do it, but if you don’t know how to cut a whole chicken for fried chicken then check out this video. From this, you’ll get 10-12 pieces of chicken (depending on if you split the wing in two or not, here I do).
Best chicken to use for deep frying?
If you opt not to use a whole chicken, just use a variety of different cuts i.e half thigh half drumstick. Just make sure you use bone in skin on chicken. This will result in the crispiest/juiciest fried chicken. I love drumsticks because they’re the easiest to eat, but thighs and wings are also a classic choices. If you’re doing breast as well just make sure you dice in half (keep on the bone) otherwise it’ll be too big to properly cook.
Deep Pot & Tongs (for deep frying)
Large Mixing Bowl & Cling Film (for marinating)
Curved Tray or Large Flat Bowl (for dredging chicken)
Sharp Knife & Chopping Board (if dicing up whole chicken)
Cooling Rack & Paper Towels
3.3lb / 1.5kg Whole Chicken, divided (or individual bone in skin on pieces – see notes)
3–4 cups / 750ml – 1litre Vegetable Oil, or as needed for deep frying (see notes)
2 cups / 500ml Buttermilk
1 tsp EACH: Paprika, Cayenne Pepper, White Pepper, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Salt
2.5 cups / 375g Plain/All Purpose Flour
1 tbsp Paprika
2 tsp EACH: Oregano, Baking Powder
1.5 tsp Salt, plus extra to sprinkle at the end
1 tsp EACH: Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Cayenne Pepper
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
In a bowl, combine the wet mix with your chicken, ensuring it’s fully coated by the marinade. Cover and allow to marinate in the fridge for an absolute minimum of 4 hours, but the longer the better (up to 24hours). Remove at least 30mins before you intend to use it to bring to room temp (important – frying cold chicken causes it to seize up and go chewy).
Meanwhile, combine all of your dry mix. I find this easiest in a small tray, but you can also use a shallow bowl. Dip a piece of your chicken into the mix and fully coat. Really make sure you get the mix in every part of the chicken, this will give you those ‘flaky’ parts which make the chicken extra crispy. Place on a tray and repeat with the remaining chicken.
Heat up enough oil to comfortably cover the depth of your largest piece of chicken. Drop a piece of mixture in, if it slowly sizzles to the top you’re good to go. You want the oil to be approx 175C/350F – 180C/356F. The temp will drop when the chicken hits the oil, and that’s okay, just try to maintain a heat of around 320F/160C. A medium heat should obtain this.
In batches of 3 (4 max) gently place your chicken in the oil. Deep fry for 6-8mins on each side or until deep golden and white through the centre (see notes). If you’re not confident deep frying just test with one piece first.
Place each piece on a wire rack with paper towels underneath when finished and sprinkle with salt to draw out the last bit of moisture. The chicken should be piping hot with the juices running clear. In all circumstances the chicken internal temp 165F/75C (take into consideration it continues cooking slightly once out the oil).