Real Southern Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Skip Davis


We have been doing "yard bird" this way since time began. The buttermilk permeates the meat and helps to tenderize as well as keeping it juicy. If you have never had chicken this way, treat yourself and your family to a Southern food staple.


★★★★★ 3 votes

A family of 4
10 Min
25 Min


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  • 1 large
    3 to 3-1/2 pound fryer,cut into pieces
  • 2 c
  • 1 large
  • 1/4 c
    fresh mixed, chopped herbs(parsley,tarragon,thyme) or a teaspoon each of dried herbs
  • 1/2 tsp
  • 1/2 tsp
    cayenne pepper powder

  • 2 c
    all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp
    garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp
    onion powder
  • 1 tsp
    cayenne pepper
  • ·
    salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 c
    high smoke point oil such as canola or peanut

How to Make Real Southern Buttermilk Fried Chicken


  1. Soak chicken overnight (at least 8 hours and up to two days) in buttermilk with onions, herbs, paprika, and cayenne pepper. (Good results are also gotten from soaking chicken in plain yogurt instead of buttermilk).
  2. Drain in colander, leaving some herbs on the chicken. In a large, sturdy paper or plastic bag, mix flour with seasonings. Meanwhile, heat 2 cups oil in a large cast iron skillet on medium high heat until a pinch of flour starts to sizzle when dropped in the hot oil (but not so hot that the oil is smoking). Remember to keep a pan lid close by. Have a kitchen fire extinguisher available too.
  3. Place chicken pieces in bag with seasoned flour and shake until thoroughly coated. Set coated pieces aside on a cooling rack for 10 to 15 minutes for breading to dry a little. Add chicken to hot oil in pan and fry on one side for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown. Use tongs to turn the pieces over and fry for another 10-12 minutes, again until golden brown.
  4. Important: Keep the oil hot enough to fry the chicken, but not so high that it burns the coating. On my electric stove, I have to alternate the settings between High & Medium High several times while cooking.

Printable Recipe Card

About Real Southern Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Course/Dish: Chicken
Other Tags: Quick & Easy, For Kids

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