I had bought a quart of buttermilk my last shopping trip (I’m lucky enough to have a local dairy that still does glass bottles) with a few ideas for its use bumping around my head. Sometimes I just see an ingredient and will grab it and let inspiration hit later.
This grocery trip – they were out of my normal boneless skinless chicken breasts but had whole cut up chicken at a great price and I thought – well… that can’t be too hard to find a recipe for.
Then I remembered the buttermilk – and that settled it. Fried chicken!
All the parts soaked in a spiced buttermilk bath for a full day before being coated, fried, and baked (so I spend as little time over a bubbling pan of oil as possible.)
The chicken was the most moist and flavorful I’ve ever made – and it was the first time I’ve ever done bone-in chicken OR deep fried chicken. I was surprised to find I liked the white meat more (as normally I’m a dark meat person) for this preparation method. Leftovers heated right back to crispy the next day.
I served it with – what else – homemade mashed potatoes and corn.
My apologies for the funky picture – this is the only good one I got. I REALLY need to demo my kitchen and redo it with better lighting – I often cook late late at night due to my working hours and my kitchen just has the worst lighting (or lack thereof). Be assured, when I DO go to demolish this place it will be a post as well.
1 (3 1/2 pound) bone in chicken, cut into 8 pieces
or 4 bone in chicken breasts
2 cups buttermilk
1 T Salt
2 T smoked paprika
2 T Freshly ground pepper
4-6 cloves of garlic peeled and smashed
1 cup self-rising flour + spices to taste (I often add some more fresh ground pepper, garlic powder, and maybe some hot pepper powder if I want some heat)
Vegetable oil, for frying
Mix buttermilk, garlic and half the salt, pepper, and paprika in a bowl. Add chicken, making sure it is thoroughly coated and covered, and place in fridge overnight.
The next day…
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat 1-2 inches of vegetable oil in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 360.
Note: A thermometer is VERY important for deep frying. You will learn this the hard way otherwise. If the oil is not hot enough (and eyeballing it for temperature before you have TONS of deep-frying experience is not suggested) then you end up with a soggy greasy coating, too hot and you get a scorched inedible mess.
Mix flour with your choice of spices in a shallow bowl. Remove chicken from buttermilk, allowing it to lightly drip off, then roll in flour to coat.
Working in batches, carefully place several pieces of chicken in the oil and fry for about 3 minutes on each side until the coating is a light golden brown (it will continue to brown in the oven). Don’t crowd the pieces as it will lower the oil temp too much and not crisp.
Remove the chicken from the oil and place each piece on a metal baking rack set on a sheet pan. This gives space under the chicken so the residual oil can drip off and it’s not sitting and getting soggy in the fat. Allow the oil in the pan to return to 360 degrees F before frying the next batch. When all the chicken is fried, bake for 30 to 50 minutes, until the chicken is no longer pink inside. Serve hot.