Buttermilk fried chicken isone of the most popular dishes across the States. Crispy on the outside, and succulent and juicy on the inside, it's the go-to finger food that transcends cultures and generations.
Homemade crispy fried chicken is a dish of beauty that can be elevated to even greater heights of flavour and texture with a little help from some buttermilk marinade. Marinating the chicken pieces in slightly sour buttermilk works wonders in making the meat extra tender, as well as enriching the final flavour of the perfect piece of crispy chicken.
Making buttermilk crispy fried chicken is easy when applying a few simple rules - like marinating the chicken for long enough, double dredging, getting the frying oil up to temperature, and ensuring that your chicken is perfectly cooked through.
Once you've mastered making the perfect buttermilk fried chicken, there's no reason you need ever reach for a family bucket again.
Find out how to make buttermilk fried chicken below.
Gordon Ramsay's Buttermilk Fried Chicken Recipe
Gordon Ramsay gives buttermilk fried chicken a three-Michelin-starred makeover in the video recipe below, with some added aromatics.
Ramsay's top tip - to get extra crunchy chicken, double dredge your chicken.
Easy Buttermilk Fried Chicken Recipe
To make simple buttermilk fried chicken you'll need buttermilk, all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, black pepper and vegetable oil for frying.
Firstly, and most importantly, marinate chicken pieces in buttermilk seasoned with salt and pepper and leave them to soak in a covered bowl in the fridge for 24 hours, or at least an hour.
Toss chicken pieces in a large bowl of seasoned flour.
Shake off excess flour and fry the pieces of chicken skin-side down, in batches, in hot oil (350 degrees), for about 5 to 15 minutes, covered by the lid. Wings should take 10 to 15 minutes, drumsticks 15 to 20 minutes, breasts and thighs 20 to 25 minutes.
Turn the chicken pieces half way through cooking until they are cooked through and a deep golden brown.
Remove and place the chicken pieces on a rack to drain and rest, then sprinkle with salt and serve warm or at room temperature.
Temperature check points
Before deep-frying the chicken pieces, make sure that the frying oil reaches a temperature of between 350°F and 375°F. Fry the chicken in batches so as to not reduce the oil temperature too drastically and ensure that your chicken cooks perfectly.
Use a temperature probe to double-check when your chicken pieces are cooked thoroughly. The interior of the chicken should reach 170°F.
Tenders are the soft strip of breast meat found on the underside of the chicken breast, and work well for crispy homemade fried chicken too. The white meat fries quicker and is great for dipping in sauces.
Buttermilk Fried Chicken Tenders
Chicken tenders can also be given the buttermilk marinade makeover, and are a great alternative for kids or people who prefer white meat. Here's how to make them as crispy as you like, without letting the meat dry out.
What Does Buttermilk do for Fried Chicken?
Buttermilk is slightly acidic and has enzymes that help to tenderise the chicken, without toughening it up, by breaking down some of the proteins in the meat, resulting in tender and flavoursome fried chicken.
Do I Have to Use Buttermilk?
If you don't have any buttermilk you could substitute it with plain yogurt or milk, with a dash of lemon juice or vinegar to give it an acidic twang.
How Long Should I Marinate the Chicken in Buttermilk?
To allow the chicken to really benefit from the buttermilk, aim to marinade for 24 hours, and a minimum of at least one hour.
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