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Close up photo of buttermilk fried chicken on a white plate on a teal napkin.
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5 from 10 votes

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Buttermilk Fried Chicken marinates in seasoned buttermilk and gets coated in a seasoned flour mixture before getting fried on the stovetop! Only 15 minutes of prep is needed for this crispy, crunchy chicken!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Chill Time1 hr
Total Time2 hrs
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 325kcal


  • Meat thermometer
  • Candy Thermometer
  • Deep frying pan



  • Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl. Add salt, pepper, garlic, dried mustard, paprika, and sage. Stir to coat the chicken evenly. Pour the buttermilk over the seasoned chicken. Stir well to coat the chicken.
  • Refrigerate this mixture for at least 1 hour, but the longer you marinate, the more tender it will be. It may be left overnight as well.
  • In a shallow dish, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, garlic powder, paprika, basil, thyme, onion powder, and cayenne pepper.
  • Heat the oil to about 340°F. You want to be able to fry the outside to a crisp golden brown without burning while still cooking the chicken all the way through!
  • Remove each piece of chicken from the marinade, put it into the shallow dish with the flour mixture and toss. Make sure the whole surface of each piece of chicken is coated very well.
  • Place the chicken pieces into the oil. You may cook 4 or 5 pieces at a time, but don’t crowd the chicken. Turn as necessary and fry until golden brown. It will take about 15 minutes for each piece to cook. Make sure each piece is fully cooked - the internal temperature should be 170°F. I recommend keeping a candy thermometer in the oil as you cook, the temperature might crop some as you place in the cold chicken so you will need to adjust the heat according to stay around 340°F.
  • Allow the chicken to drain on a wire rack to help the chicken stay crispy.


  • It may take some test pieces to find the temp that cooks the chicken golden on the outside and fully cooked on the inside.
  • Storage Instructions: Buttermilk fried chicken will keep for 3-5 days in the fridge. It is best reheated in the oven (325 for 10 minutes or until heated through) or the air fryer (325 for about 5 minutes). It may be frozen for up to 3 months. Then, to reheat, bake from frozen for about 15 minutes at 450 degrees.
  • I don’t have a candy thermometer - how will I know that the oil is at right temperature? If you stand a wooden spoon in the oil, the oil should bubble around the handle at the bottom of the pot and float up. If the oil is too hot, the oil will bubble vigorously. If the oil is not hot enough, there will just be a few bubbles coming up.
  • I don’t have any buttermilk - what can I substitute? Place 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice into a measuring cup. Then fill the cup up to the 2-cup measurement with milk. Allow this to sit for 10 minutes, and then use it in the recipe.
  • I find that the chicken is looking burnt on the outside, but is not cooked inside - what can I do? Turn down the heat on your oil - it is too hot.
  • I don’t have baking powder - can I substitute baking soda? No, these are very different. If you don’t have baking powder, then just leave that out.
  • Can I substitute skinless chicken? Yes! This recipe works really well with skinless chicken!
  • Can I make this chicken in the oven? I find that this recipe doesn’t work as well in the oven. Oven-fried chicken is better with panko or corn flakes to give it the crispy crust that the deep frying gives this chicken. However, you can bake it in an air fryer if you like. Just spray the floured chicken with some oil and bake it at 360 for about 15 minutes (turn it over halfway through the cooking time).


Calories: 325kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 1588mg | Potassium: 618mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 922IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 304mg | Iron: 4mg