Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

This chicken recipe is a Southern comfort food passed around my family for generations. I still fry it in my grandmother’s cast iron skillet, which is over 60 years old. While you can use any skillet you want, nothing fries Southern Fried Chicken better than a good, heavy cast iron skillet.
Prep Time 12 hours 40 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6 people


  • 1 10-inch cast iron skillet This is not required, but it makes a better end product.


  • 1 whole Fryer chicken Cut into eight pieces.
  • 2-4 cups Buttermilk Enough to completely cover entire chicken.
  • 2 1/2 cups All purpose flour
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Onion powder
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1/4 -1/2 tsp Ground cayene pepper Optional but it adds extra flavor
  • 2 cups Vegetable oil for frying I prefer using a mixture of lard and Crisco, 1/2 pound each.


  • Place chicken pieces in a large bowl and add buttermilk, ensuring the chicken is completely covered. Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 8-12 hours or overnight. If preferred, you can marinate chicken in a gallon-size freezer bag. After marinating, remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let it sit for 30 minutes.
  • Place oil or fats in a large skillet and heat over medium-high to 365° F.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together until well combined flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper.
  • Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • Drain chicken. Working with one piece of chicken at a time, shake off excess buttermilk, but make sure there is still a thin coating. Dredge in flour mixture, pressing the flour mix to adhere to chicken. Place chicken in hot oil, 3-4 pieces at a time. Cook for 5-7 minutes, watching carefully to keep from browning too much. Turn chicken over, cover pan with lid, and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
  • Remove chicken from oil and, place in a single layer on a baking sheet, and fry remaining pieces. Once all of the chicken is done, place in a preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. This finishes cooking the chicken through. 
Keyword fried chicken