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Buttermilk Fried Chicken




  • 1 three-pound fryer, cut into pieces
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs
  • (parsley, tarragon, thyme)
    or a teaspoon each of dried herbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion salt

Flour Mixture:

  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper

Cooking Oil:

  • 2 cups grapeseed oil, or other high smoke-point
    oil such as canola oil, or peanut oil


Soak chicken overnight (at least 8 hours) in buttermilk with onions, herbs, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Drain in colander, leaving some herbs on chicken. In a large sturdy paper or plastic bag, mix flour with seasonings.

Heat 2 cups oil in a large, heavy- bottomed skillet on medium high heat until a pinch of flour starts to sizzle when dropped in hot oil (but not so hot that the pan is smoking). Remember when working with hot oil, always have a pan lid close by.

Place chicken pieces in bag of flour mixture and shake until thoroughly coated. Add chicken to hot pan and fry on 1 side for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown, and then use tongs to turn the pieces over and fry another 10-12 minutes, again until golden brown.

Use tongs to remove chicken from pan. Place on rack over a cookie sheet or broiling pan for the excess oil to drain. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4.

Appeared in print 9/23/09

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