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fried chicken recipe

Southern Buttermilk Fried Chicken Recipe

Steven Pennington
Best crispiest fried chicken instructions. Gluten-Free options.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Marinating the chicken / Overnight 8 hrs
Total Time 8 hrs 22 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Southern/International
Servings 4 people
Calories 310 kcal

Suggested Equipment

Deep Cast Iron Skillet
Deep Fryer



  • 4 cups Buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoon Favorite Hot Sauce It will not make it hot-spicy
  • 1 tablespoon Garlic Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Paprika
  • 1 tablespoon Sea Salt
  • 2 teaspoon Black Pepper

Flour/Dredge Mix

  • 3 cups All-Purpose Flour Cake/Pastry Flour Use 3.5 Cups
  • cup Cornstarch / if using cake or pastry flour no need for cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon Onion Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Paprika
  • 1 tablespoon Garlic Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Fajita Seasoning Optional
  • 1 tablespoon Creole Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Oregano / dried
  • 2 teaspoon Thyme / dried
  • 1 tablespoon Salt
  • 2 teaspoon Black Pepper

Gluten-Free Flour Ingredients

  • 2 cups Rice Flour
  • 1 cup Tapioca Flour
  • cup Cornstarch

Frying Oil

  • 3 cups Peanut Oil / oil amount depends on the size of your fry pan or fryer
  • 1 cup Canola Oil

The Brine Recipe

  • 3 cups Water
  • ½ cup Kosher Salt /use what you have. If using table salt reduce to ⅓ cup
  • cup White Sugar
  • 3 cloves Garlic / crushed or minced
  • 1 whole Onion / sliced
  • 1 tablespoon Black Pepper
  • Optional Adding herbs: Thyme, Rosemary, Oregano 


Step 1: Brine The Chicken

  • To make the best fried chicken possible, performing an overnight brine adds additional moistness to the fried chicken and adds an additional depth of flavor.

Short On Time?

  • The next best is salting the chicken an hour or two before cooking. Simply sprinkle salt on all sides of the chicken. You can use as much salt as you like. Once an hour or two has passed, rinse the chicken pieces off under cold water. Then pat them very dry.

Marinading The Chicken

  • Mix the ingredients together for the buttermilk marinade, then add the cut-up chicken to it.
    Use large freezer bags to store the chicken in and marinate overnight in your refrigerator. Place the freezer bag on a cookie sheet or in a large bowl to help keep your refrigerator clean.
    Minimum marinade time: 1 - 2 hours.

Dredging the Chicken

  • Mix the dry ingredients together for the flour/dredge mix and combine well in a large bowl.
    Next, take each piece of chicken out of the marinade and add it to the flour and make sure it's coated well.
    To make your fried chicken have a thick crust you can repeat the dredging process, twice.

Frying The Chicken

  • Fry oil needs to be between 350 to 375, closer to 375 which is best. The reason it's best is each piece of cold chicken being added to the oil will lower the oil temperature a small amount.
    Cook the chicken until the internal temperature reads 158 degrees on the white meat, and 168 degrees on the dark meat.
    Then allow the chicken to rest for 3-5 minutes. However long you can wait to dive in 😊
  • If using a large skillet or cast iron 🍳, fry the chicken to golden brown and delicious and finish in a 400-degree oven until the internal temperature reads 158 white meat/ 168 dark meat. The oven helps with even cooking.
    Once out of the oven the internal temperature will continue to rise a few degrees to hit your perfect temperature.


Southern Buttermilk Fried Chicken – Works Because Its Simple


  • If you like extra-thick crust-crispiness. Repeat the flouring/dredge process twice before frying.
    The flouring process: Out of the buttermilk marinade, into flour, then back into buttermilk marinade, then into flour one last time before adding to the hot fry oil.
  • You can dredge and flour the chicken and place it on a roasting rack, then into the refrigerator to set up. Some people believe the crust turns out better due to having the extra time to have contact.
  • How to make sure the crispy chicken skin does not fall off on the first bite. Answer: remove the chicken skin first thing. Pull it all off
  • Not ready to eat yet? Store the cooked chicken in a low-temperature oven of 200+ degrees so as not to keep cooking the chicken. Place the chicken on a roasting rack so it does not get soggy.


Serving: 1pieceCalories: 310kcalProtein: 37g
Keyword crispy fried chicken, Southern Buttermilk Fried Chicken
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