Buttermilk Fried Boneless Chicken


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves:


Appears in

My Street Food Kitchen

My Street Food Kitchen

By Jennifer Joyce

Published 2015

  • About

I love fried chicken but it can be an onerous job waiting for each batch to fry for 20 minutes in the hot oil. If you make it with boneless meat, it only takes about 5-7 minutes for each batch and you still get to enjoy the flaky, spiced buttermilk crust. Dark meat works best and you can leave the skin on or take it off depending on what you like. Use garlic, thyme and lemon zest ‘dry brine’ the night before to lock in the juices and heighten the flavour and then dip the chicken in the buttermilk and spiced flour. It’s delicious cold or hot served as pictured with Tuscan Kale Caesar Salad and ice-cold beer.

Preparation: 30 Minutes, Plus 12-24 Hours Marinating
Cooking: 30 Minutes


  • 12 small boneless chicken thighs (skin is optional)
  • 300 ml (10½ fl oz) buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) peanut (groundnut) oil, for frying

Dry brine

  • 2 lemons, zest finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
  • 3 garlic cloves, halved
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Spiced flour

  • 100 g ( oz/ cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ½ teaspoon onion salt
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder


To make the dry brine, combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Add the chicken, toss to coat well, then cover and refrigerate for 12-24 hours. One hour before cooking, remove the chicken from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature.

To make the spiced flour, combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Add a good grind of black pepper and mix well.

Put the buttermilk and egg in another bowl and lightly beat with a fork until well combined.

Fill a deep frying pan or heavy-based medium saucepan with the peanut oil and place over medium-high heat until a cube of bread dropped in the oil sizzles in 20 seconds. Line a tray with paper towel and preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) or 180°C (350°F) fan forced.

While the oil is heating, start to coat the chicken. Dip it in the buttermilk first and then roll it in the spiced flour and place it on a separate tray. Use one hand for dipping in buttermilk and the other for rolling in spiced flour so you don’t end up with two hands that look like white gloves. It’s a bit messy, so halfway through you might need to wash your hands.

Taking care not to overcrowd the pan, fry 4 pieces of chicken at a time for 5-6 minutes, turning regularly with tongs so they cook evenly on all sides. Bigger pieces may take a minute longer. Drain the chicken on the paper towel, then place it in the oven on a clean tray to keep warm. Continue frying until all the pieces are finished. Serve with wedges of lemon to squeeze over. Instead of the Tuscan Kale Caesar Salad pictured, you could serve the chicken pieces with Celeriac Slaw, Garbage Salad or Coleslaw.