Traditional Buttermilk Fried Chicken

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Remember Sunday dinners when you were a kid? Those delicious meals of fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy and corn on the cob do not have to be a distant memory. Make the same memories for your own family with this simple recipe. It is your choice to use either regular chicken pieces with the bone in or to use boneless chicken. Boneless chicken will not take as long to cook but it still benefits from the tasty breading.

Ingredients :

  • 1 broiler or fryer chicken, cut into 8 pieces (you can use boneless chicken breast)
  • 2 cups low fat buttermilk
  • 2 Tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 Tablespoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Flour for dredging
  • Shortening for frying



Place the chicken into a plastic container and pour buttermilk over them until they are covered. Top the container with a lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.

Melt the shortening over low heat until it comes up ⅛ of an inch on the side of a large cast iron skillet. When the shortening has liquefied, raise the temperature to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Oil should not get hotter than this temperature.

Dump your chicken and buttermilk into a colander, letting the buttermilk drain away. In a small bowl, combine salt, paprika, garlic, and cayenne. Season the chicken well with this mixture. Place flour in a shallow bowl and dredge the chicken in it. Shake off any excess.

Place the chicken in the pan, skin side down. Place the thighs in the center of the pan, and arrange the legs and breasts around the edges. The oil should come no higher than halfway up the side of the pan when all the chicken has been added.

Cook the chicken until it is golden brown on all sides. This will take approximately 10 to 12 minutes per side. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature, which should be around 180 degrees when the chicken is done. Always monitor the temperature of the oil every few minutes when you fry on the stove.

Drain the chicken on a baking rack over a sheet pan covered in paper towels. This keeps the skin crisp. If you must keep the chicken warm while another dish finishes cooking, do not put it in a warm oven or the skin will soften. Cover the chicken loosely with foil instead.

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