The best crispy buttermilk fried chicken

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Do you love crispy buttermilk fried chicken but you can’t seem to get the recipe right? Chicken is a household staple, but fried chicken can be hard to really nail! When you’re looking for a Goldilocks-level of fried chicken goodness, here is the best buttermilk fried chicken recipe you will ever need. People will love your buttermilk fried chicken tenders and ask you to make this recipe for every picnic, potluck or barbecue!

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Fried chicken recipe

Making the best buttermilk fried chicken starts with a quality recipe. This particular recipe uses only the finest ingredients to produce juicy, flavorful chicken with a super crispy outside, that will have your family and friends asking for more. So, if you’re looking for a truly mouth-watering dish, give this buttermilk fried chicken recipe a try. You won’t be disappointed!

Since I grew up in a large family, everything arrived in bulk! With so many mouths to feed, it appeared that my mother spent the majority of her day either at the market or cooking. To save money, my mother prepared meals that were both cheap and simple to prepare. It may appear difficult, but it’s far easier than most people believe.

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You can probably guess that one of our favorite meals growing up was mom’s buttermilk batter fried chicken. On the block, she had the greatest buttermilk fried chicken recipe! She even won a few ribbons for her crispy, hearty and lip-smacking double dipped fried chicken in her day. I’ve spent some time trying to figure out her recipe, and of course, I’ll never make it the way she did but I’ve come pretty close.

One thing I like to mention about this recipe is that it is easy and customizable. I’ve had a lot of people say that they are worried about making something like buttermilk fried chicken. I think we can all say the word “fried” sounds a little daunting. It’s like an unspoken term in the world of home chefs because it sounds so forbidden and unachievable. Let’s put an end to that! We don’t have to fear the fried foods—it just takes a little practice.

What makes fried chicken taste so good?

It’s the crunchy, crispy crust that makes us want to lick our fingers clean. But not all fried chicken is created equal—some are too greasy, some don’t have enough flavor, and some just don’t turn out right. That’s why it’s important to use a buttermilk marinade for your chicken before frying. Not only does it add flavor, but it also helps to tenderize the chicken and keep it moist throughout the frying process.

As a bonus, this recipe uses a double-dip method.

How to make the best buttermilk fried chicken

In my opinion, what sets good fried chicken apart from outstanding fried chicken is based on two things:

1) The spices you put in your flour, which are used to coat the chicken and

2) The level of crispness you can achieve from your fried chicken. Here’s the thing about crispness: It’s all about how much flour mixture is on the chicken when you lower it into the hot oil. There’s a common misconception that fried chicken gets crisp based on how long it is fried. So let’s debunk that myth right here, right now. You don’t need to go crazy with frying your chicken just to crisp it up. All you need to do is double dip.

Buttermilk chicken tenders on a white plate next to a bowl of barbecue sauce

What is double dipping?

You’re probably thinking I sound totally crazy and a little barbaric for bringing up the much-hated habit of double dipping. Don’t worry, though—we’re talking about a different kind of double dipping. Double dipping was my mom’s secret weapon for cooking up a killer fried chicken—and it was her secret to winning those ribbons at the country fair every year!

Double dipping simply means dipping the chicken into the buttermilk, then dipping it into the flour and repeating the process one more time. Rather than a quick dip into the buttermilk and then flour, we’re coating the chicken one more time to give it a crisp edge all over. It just makes a world of difference in the flavor and the crunch factor, which is pretty important if you ask me.

I know when I’m craving fried chicken, I’m emphasizing the fried. I want crunchy and crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside. That’s why you double dip. Keep this technique in mind when you’re making this recipe. It’s simple, takes virtually no time, and makes a huge difference in the taste and crunch of your chicken.

What ingredients do I choose for this buttermilk fried chicken?

For this recipe, you can use any chicken pieces such as chicken breasts, thighs, wings or drums but I decided to use chicken tenders. It’s faster and easier to use tenders because they’re pre-cut. Plus, I like knowing the sizes will be similar. It’s up to you, though! To make things even yummier I use full-fat buttermilk. This boosts the flavor and locks in the buttermilk taste. Although, if you want lower calories for your fried chicken, you can use fat-free and it will still be delicious. I used self-rising flour as that’s what I had on hand but if you don’t, just mix 1 cup all-purpose flour with 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon fine salt. That gets the job done just as well!

The recipe calls for sweet paprika because I usually make my recipe with it. My daughter isn’t a fan of spicy food and I wanted her to be able to serve this recipe, too. But if you and your family enjoy spicy flavoring, go for the hot paprika! It adds a nice kick to the traditional flavor combo.

Buttermilk fried chicken tenders

What does buttermilk do to chicken?

Buttermilk is key for making fried chicken because it tenderizes the meat and adds a delicious flavor. It also helps to create a crispy coating on the outside of the chicken. Buttermilk is made by adding lactic acid to milk, which gives it a sour taste. This is why buttermilk can be used as a marinade as well — it helps to break down the tough proteins in chicken, making it more tender.

Does buttermilk change the taste of chicken?

Yes, buttermilk does change the taste of chicken. It makes it more tender and adds a delicious flavor. It also aids in the formation of the crispy crust on the outside of the chicken, thus changing the overall taste and texture.

What is the best substitute for buttermilk in a fried chicken recipe?

If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can use yogurt.  Simply add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup of plain yogurt. Let it sit for 5 minutes, then whisk it until smooth. This will work just as well in the recipe!

Should you soak chicken in salt water before frying?

Some fried chicken recipes call for soaking the chicken in salt water before frying, but it is not necessary for this recipe. The buttermilk marinade in this recipe already helps to tenderize and add flavor to the chicken. Soaking the chicken in salty water can also make it too salty and affect the overall taste of the dish. Stick with just using the ingredients and instructions in this recipe!

How do I make my fried chicken crispy?

To get this recipe super delicious, I mix the chicken, buttermilk and 1 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Then I cover and refrigerate it for one hour. When heating the oil, make sure you take your time with it. It’s important to heat the oil really well before proceeding to fry the chicken. This will truly make the difference between crispy chicken and soft chicken. Then, heat 1 inch of vegetable oil in a large deep skillet (or in a deep fryer) over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 360 degrees. Double coating and dipping the chicken also plays a very important part in this.

Fry, turning occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through, for about 15 minutes (adjust the heat as needed) and keep an eye on the chicken so it doesn’t cook too much! Sometimes you have to use your judgment on this, but a good rule of thumb is 15 minutes while flipping occasionally. Everyone likes a different level of crispy, so do what you (and your family and friends) prefer.

Can you bake buttermilk chicken?

Yes, you can bake your buttermilk chicken! Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Place chicken in a greased baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear.

Can you air fry buttermilk chicken?

Yes, you can air fry your buttermilk chicken! Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Place chicken in the basket of the air fryer. Cook for 10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear.

Can you freeze buttermilk chicken?

Yes, you can freeze your buttermilk chicken! Place chicken in a freezer safe bag or container. Freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Cook according to recipe instructions.

Whether you choose to bake, air fry, or fry your buttermilk chicken, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this delicious recipe! For those of you who are looking to make a different chicken dish (fried or not fried), I have a few other chicken recipes up my sleeve. I’m a big fan of unique flavor combos, so I’ve been loving these recipes lately. Try them out and let me know what you think!

What goes well with fried chicken?

The fried chicken is the entrée, but don’t forget about some sides! I like to whip up a side of roasted potatoes with mushrooms or sweet potato fries to go with the meal. There are so many delicious things that go with fried chicken! Here are a few of my family’s favorites:

Tell me if you have any other side recommendations for this recipe!

Ready to get started? I promise you if you follow the steps in this buttermilk fried chicken, you are going to have people doing two things. They are going to beg you for the recipe and they will ask you to make/bring these buttermilk chicken tenders to every potluck, school function, BBQ, picnic or any other event when you are expected to bring food!

Recipe for the best Buttermilk chicken

Buttermilk fried chicken recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 pounds of chicken tenders (I am too lazy to cut a chicken!!)
  • 3 cups buttermilk
  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • spices: 1/2 tablespoon salt, 1/2 tablespoon sweet paprika, 1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 tablespoon Lowry’s Season Salt
  • Vegetable oil for frying

You’ll also need a non stick pan or skillet or a deep fryer.

Directions:

  1. Toss the chicken, buttermilk and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
  2. Pour 1 inch of vegetable oil in a large deep skillet (or in a deep fryer) and heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 360.
  3. Mix the flour and spices in a shallow bowl. Remove one tender from the buttermilk, shake off the excess and roll in the flour mixture. Shake off the excess flour and lay on a plate. Repeat the process until all pieces of chicken are double coated. (We’re double dipping, remember?!). Cook in batches without overcrowding.
  4. Place chicken into the hot oil and fry, turning occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through, about 15 minutes (adjust the heat as needed).
  5. Drain on paper towels. Keep leftovers in the fridge in an air tight recipient. For reheating leftovers, place chicken pieces in an oven or air fryer for a few minutes.

There’s nothing quite like homemade fried chicken. And this buttermilk fried chicken recipe is the best of the best. Tender, juicy chicken coated in a crispy, flavorful batter – it’s sure to be a hit with your family and friends! So why not give it a try today? You won’t be disappointed!

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Crispy double dip buttermilk fried chicken

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Buttermilk Fried Chicken recipe

Do you love crispy buttermilk fried chicken but you can’t seem to get the recipe right? When you’re looking for a Goldilocks-level of fried chicken goodness, here is the best buttermilk fried chicken recipe you will ever need!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: best buttermilk fried chicken, buttermilk chicken, buttermilk chicken tenders, buttermilk fried chicken, buttermilk fried chicken recipe, crispy fried chicken, fried chicken
Servings: 4 people
Author: Petro

Ingredients

  • 3-4 pounds chicken tenders
  • 3 cups buttermilk
  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon Lowry's Season Salt
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Instructions

  • Toss the chicken, buttermilk and 1 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate, 1 hour.
  • Heat 1 inch of vegetable oil in a large deep skillet (or in a deep fryer) over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 360.
  • Mix the flour and spices in a shallow bowl. Remove one tender from the buttermilk, shake off the excess and roll in the flour mixture. Shake off the excess flour and lay on a plate. Repeat the process until all pieces of chicken are double coated. Place in chicken into the hot oil and fry, turning occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through, about 15 minutes (adjust the heat as needed). Drain on paper towels.
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about petro

ABOUT PETRO

Hi, I’m Petro, author and founder of Easy Peasy Creative Ideas. Sewist, crafter, avid DIY-er, foodie, photographer, homemaker and mommy to one. I’m an expert at coming up with quick, clever sewing tips, recycling crafts and simple, easy recipes! You can find my ideas featured in reputable publications such as Country Living, Good House Keeping, Yahoo News, WikiHow, Shutterfly, Parade, Brit & Co and more. Thanks for stopping by and hope you’ll stay for a while, get to know me better and come back another time. Stick around for real fun projects! Read more…

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34 Comments

  1. I have been looking for this recipe forever! Most buttermilk deep fried recipes are for bone in and skin on. I will be using this tomorrow for dinner. I usually use both breast and thigh pieces. Thank you

  2. This is so yummy. Thank you. This is the first time ever that the breading stayed on and they really are good.

  3. Hey I just tried making this and I had trouble keeping the breading on the chicken, it fell off most of the pieces. I used full chicken breast, could that be why?

    1. Hi Megan. Thanks so much for your interest in my recipe, it just makes my day! Have you used the whole chicken breast, without cutting in strips? That might be the reason. This works best with smaller pieces like chicken tenders. Make sure you keep the chicken and buttermilk mixture in the fridge for at least one hour and then shake off the excess, but not too much, you want it well coated. Dry the chicken with a paper towel before tossing with the buttermilk, especially if it seems too wet or watery. Also double dipping might work well (dip in buttermilk, cover in flour then dip again in buttermilk and cover in flour one more time), especially if your buttermilk recipe is not too thick. Hope that helps. Let me know how these worked out for you.

  4. Looks so good. Just like my grandma used to make. Can’t wait to try your recipe. Pinned & shared.
    Thanks for linking up with us @DearCreatives party!

  5. Thanks so much for linking up at The Pretty Pintastic Party, and for pinning the features!
    We love your recipe so much we have decided to feature it at the party this weekend! We hope you’ll join us, grab a badge, and link up some more fabulous posts!

  6. This is a wonderful recipe. I love buttermilk chicken. I think I will give this recipe a try on some drumsticks this weekend!

  7. Yum! I love fried chicken! Thanks for sharing this recipe with us at the Merry Monday link party. Hope to see you again next week. Sharing your post on Twitter!

  8. OMG, yum! Chicken is a staple in my house so I am constantly looking for new recipes to add into the rotation. Gonna give this a try! Thanks for sharing at Merry Monday, hope to see you again next week!