Fried Buttermilk Marinated Chicken


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Apples for Jam

Apples for Jam

By Tessa Kiros

Published 2010

  • About

My friend Anabelle told me about this β€” that the buttermilk makes the chicken really soft and this is the way a lot of proper fried chicken is cooked in the American deep south. You will need to marinate the chicken for 12–24 hours (the longer the better). This dish has a very honest and simple flavour at the end so you might like to add some extras β€” adults might appreciate some chilli and extra herbs mixed into the paprika flour. You can also do this with skinless chicken breasts β€” just flatten them out a bit, fry them in the same way and serve them in hamburger buns with lettuce and mayonnaise. Or you could cut the breast into strips, then you might like to make a dip with a bit of mustard, honey, some lemon and salt if your family like to dip into sauces. I like to serve this with the potato and yoghurt salad and also the cabbage salad with oranges and lemons.


  • 1 chicken, cut into 10 pieces, with skin
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
  • 2 rosemary stalks
  • 450 ml(16 fl oz) buttermilk
  • about 125 g(4Β½ oz/1 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • light olive oil, for frying
  • lemon wedges, for serving


Put the chicken pieces in a large bowl. Add the garlic and rosemary, sprinkle with a teaspoon of fine salt and pour in the buttermilk. Turn the chicken over to coat well β€” it needs to be covered by the buttermilk. Cover with plastic wrap and put into the fridge for at least 12 hours, even for over 24 hours. Turn the chicken once or twice to distribute the flavours.

Pour into a colander to drain (you don’t need to keep the buttermilk marinade). Put the flour on a plate and add the paprika and about 1 teaspoon of fine salt. Add pepper, if you like, and mix everything together.

Pour at least 5 cm(2 inches) of oil into a large frying pan over medium heat. Heat until the oil is hot. Pat the chicken in the flour to coat it on all sides, making sure that all the nooks and crannies are covered. Add the chicken to the hot oil and fry until it is crispy and golden. If the chicken seems to be browning too quickly, turn down the heat a little. It is important that the chicken is cooked right through to the bone β€” use tongs to turn the pieces over a couple of times until you are satisfied that they are deep golden and cooked through. Lift out onto a plate lined with kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil. Serve immediately, with a sprinkling of salt and some lemon wedges to squeeze over the top.