Best Ever Buttermilk Fried Chicken
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Buttermilk Marinade:
  • 1 3- to 3½ pound chicken cut into pieces, or about 10 pieces of your choice
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
Flour and Cornmeal Coating:
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground pepper
For the Buttermilk Fried Chicken:
  • 6 cups canola oil
For the Buttermilk Marinade:
  1. Whisk together the marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Add the chicken pieces and coat well. Store in an air tight container in the fridge for at least 3 hours or up to two days.
For the Flour and Cornmeal Coating:
  1. Whisk together the coating ingredients in a large bowl. Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade (do not drain off excess marinade) and dredge in the coating one piece at a time. Coat well, covering all the nooks and crannies. Set aside on a plate. Reserve extra coating.
For the Buttermilk Fried Chicken:
  1. Fill a large heavy-bottomed pan about halfway with canola oil (may be more or less than 6 cups). Heat the oil to 350F over medium heat, which will probably take 8 to 10 minutes. Be patient. You want this nice and hot. With tongs, carefully place the chicken skin-side down in the oil and fry the chicken in batches so they don't crowd the pan. Fry each piece for 7 to 8 minutes per side (wings will take less time). Once cooked on both sides the chicken will be dark brown and crispy.
  2. Be careful when removing the chicken from the oil. It will be very hot. Drain the chicken on a paper-towel-lined sheet pan. After your first batch, the temperature of the oil will dip so bring the temperature back up to 350F before adding the second batch. If the chicken has absorbed the coating before being fried dip it back in the coating before frying. Fry the remaining pieces. Allow the chicken to rest at least three minutes before serving.
Recipe by Katherine Martinelli at