One of the best parts of living in the South is definitely the food. And this recipe for chicken-fried chicken did not disappoint! I had never worked with buttermilk before, so it was new to us, and we will be using it again because it was delicious.
A few months ago we made a recipe for Southern-Fried Chicken that Justin’s grandma gave me, so I wasn’t sure this would be all that different, but it was. This chicken has a much crispier skin to it (even though it was made with skinless chicken breast) and it has a very different flavor because of the buttermilk. Not to mention the gravy recipes are very different as well. Both recipes are amazing, it just depends on what you are looking for at the time.
I couldn’t find buttermilk already made, so bought some powdered buttermilk and mixed up my own. In the end, I decided that was better since the powder will last much longer in the pantry than a can of milk would, and I don’t have any other recipes right now to use it up. It was really simple to mix the powder with some water and have buttermilk for the recipe.
TIP: Make sure you let the chicken marinate. Trust me on this one! The first time we made this, we loved the meal. The next time I forgot about the time it takes to marinade and made without letting it sit long enough, and it was very bland. When we made it again, and I let it sit overnight, it was delicious. So, don’t forget to let it marinate before cooking!
Step by Step
Start by mixing up your seasonings: paprika, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, and cayenne pepper. I used a fork to combine them together and get any lumps out.
Set that aside, then grab your boneless, skinless chicken breasts and put them on a cutting board and cover with a piece of plastic wrap. Use a meat pounder (or rolling pin, or skillet) to flatten into pieces that are about 1/4″ thick.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg, salt, and 2 tablespoons of the spice mixture. Pour the buttermilk mixture into a large mixing bowl and add the flattened chicken. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or overnight), flipping occasionally.
When you are ready to start cooking, work on the gravy first. Heat the butter in a medium-large skillet over medium-high heat until the butter becomes foamy.
Add the chopped onion and cook for about 4 minutes, or until the onion is soft. If the butter starts to brown, turn the heat down to medium. Then add the garlic and stir for about a minute.
Mix in 2 tbsp of flour and stir constantly until it’s fully absorbed which takes about 1 -2 minutes.
Add the milk while whisking constantly, then the cream and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 3 minutes, and add some salt and pepper, to taste. Lower heat to low to keep warm and stir occasionally.
Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, and the remaining spice mixture in a large bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of the buttermilk mixture from the bag and work it into the flour.
Take the chicken out of the bag, allowing the buttermilk to drip off. Coat the chicken with the flour mixture, flipping over and over until it is thoroughly coated. I also found it helped to use your hands to push the mixture into the chicken a bit to get it to stick. Put the coated chicken on a large plate and repeat with all of the chicken breasts.
Fill a large frying pan or wok with oil and heat over medium-high heat for a few minutes before adding the chicken. Once the oil is warm, put the chicken breasts in being careful to not knock off the breading. Let it cook for about 3-4 minutes without moving, until the bottom is golden brown.
Using tongs, very carefully flip the chicken over. You want to make sure that the breading stays as intact as possible. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, until the bottom is also a golden brown color.
Remove the chicken from the oil and place on a wire rack to allow the excess oil to drip off. Serve the chicken warm covered in gravy, and enjoy! Also, the gravy is delicious on mashed potatoes as a side.
Creamy Buttermilk Chicken-Fried Chicken
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 2 tbsp pepper
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 lb chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp salt
- 3/4 cups flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 4 cups oil ( for frying)
- 2 tbsp butter (unsalted)
- 3/4 cup onion (finely chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Salt & Pepper
- In a small bowl combine paprika, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, and cayenne pepper
- Flatten chicken breasts with meat pounder between two pieces of plastic wrap until about 1/4″ thick
- In a medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg, 1 tbsp salt, and 2 tbsp of spice mixture (reserve the rest for later)
- Place the chicken in the mixture
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (up to overnight), turning occasionally
- When you are ready to cook, heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until foamy
- Add the onion and cook for about 3-4 minutes, until soft
- Add the minced garlic for another 1-2 minutes
- Whisk in the flour, stirring constantly, until it’s fully absorbed
- Pour in the milk and cream and bring to a simmer
- Let the gravy simmer for about 3-4 minutes, until thickened
- Season with salt and pepper, to taste
- Lower the heat to low to keep the gravy warm while frying the chicken, stirring occasionally
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat
- In a large bowl, whisk flour, cornstarch, baking powder, 1 tbsp salt, and remaining spice mixture
- Add 3 tbsp of buttermilk from the bag and work it into the flour
- Remove the chicken from the bag, allowing excess buttermilk to drip off, and coat heavily with the flour mixture
- Set the chicken on a large plate and continue with remaining chicken
- Carefully add the chicken to the oil and fry for 3-4 minutes, until the bottom is golden brown
- Flip with tongs, being careful not to knock off breading, and cook another 2-3 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through
- Place the chicken on a wire rack to allow any excess oil to drip off
- Serve warm with gravy
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