Juicy Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Buttermilk Fried Chicken. Nothing conjures images of checked gingham, wicker picnic baskets and Fourth of July fireworks like a perfectly succulent fried chicken drumstick.

Biting through the crispy, salty, perfectly juicy leg is to remember everything that’s right with Southern food. So maybe it’s bad for your arteries, but it sure is good for your soul.

I’m pretty sure there are as many ways to fry a chicken as there are to skin a cat. And I can promise you that every Southerner thinks no one fries chicken like their mama, or in my case, my grandmama. And that’s okay. It doesn’t matter if you brine or don’t brine, deep fry or shallow fry, use salt and pepper or a spice mix. If it’s perfect for you, it’s perfect.

When I decided to write this post, it really struck me how long it had been since I’d properly fried a chicken. In the day and age of LDL, HDL, good cholesterol and bad, I don’t even consider frying food in my home. And yet, in the same breath, I sure as heck have had KFC more than a few times in the last 10 years. I’ll tell you – at least if you’re frying at home you know exactly what went into that chicken, when it was cooked, and where the chicken came from.

I’m not saying you should fry a chicken every week, but then, if I’m honest, no one should be eating at KFC once a week either! Instead, make this a once-a-month Sunday supper. A special treat to conjure up a simpler time.

Deep frying chicken is a step-by-step process that requires some waiting, much like baking a cake and icing it. You must let the chicken rest in brine, then rest again before frying. It may seem silly and over complicated, but it really will produce the tastiest fried chicken. And since you’re only doing this once in a great while, shouldn’t you go all out?

My favorite way to eat fried chicken is cold, straight from the fridge. But my husband can’t abide it – his must be piping hot. I’d love to hear your favorite fried chicken memories. Did your grandma make it for picnics? Do you like to eat cold fried chicken? What’s your favorite side dish to serve with it?


  1. says

    This sounds delish, I have never fried chicken, I always bake it in the oven! I agree though that if you’re going to have fried chicken you’re better off making it at home then at a fast food joint so that you can at least control the quality of your ingredients.

    I wish we had more time to chat at the conference this weekend but look forward to reading more of your blog!

  2. says

    Even though I’m a Kiwi, I have a little obsession with Southern food! I can’t wait to visit and eat beignets and fried chicken and po’boys…

  3. Patti Keil says

    My daughters and brother say that I make the ” best fried chicken” but I always feel it could use some improvement. I think I’m going to try this recipe to see if it’s what I’m craving! I love your site and your recipes <3

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