Crispy Buttermilk Fried Chicken


With this especially crispy and tender buttermilk fried chicken, Grace Parisi has perfected one of our all-time favorite things to eat. A buttermilk marinade with a touch of cayenne ensures juicy meat, while a flour dredge spiked with garlic and onion powder delivers a crunchy, flavorful crust in every bite.

Active Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs
6 servings


Buttermilk Soak

  • 3 cups buttermilk

  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

  • 4 pounds chicken parts, including medium chicken wings, thighs, and drumsticks

Flour Dredge

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • Vegetable oil, for frying


  1. In a large bowl, combine the buttermilk with the salt, black pepper, and cayenne.

  2. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Let stand at room temperature for 2 hours or refrigerate for 4 hours.

  3. In a large, resealable plastic bag, mix the flour with the onion powder, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, and cayenne, and shake to combine.

  4. Set a rack on a baking sheet. Working with one piece at a time, remove the chicken from the buttermilk soak, letting the excess drip back into the bowl. Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture, pressing so it adheres all over. Transfer the coated chicken to the rack and let stand for 30 minutes.

  5. In a deep skillet, heat 1 inch of the oil to 350°F. Set another rack over a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Fry the chicken in batches, maintaining the oil temperature at 315°F; turn once, until golden and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of each piece registers 160°F, 15 to 18 minutes.

  6. Transfer the chicken to the rack and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

    Crispy Buttermilk Fried Chicken
    William F. Dickey II

Suggested Pairing

Wine or Beer

Sparkling wine and fried chicken work well together. Try a Prosecco from northern Italy, which has a soft fruitiness, like the citrusy NV Mionetto Brut. Or drink a crisp pilsner like the pleasantly bitter Victory Prima Pils or the more delicate Pilsner Urquell.

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