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Recipe  •  26 May 2023


Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Mouth-watering fried chicken.

I’ve studied fried chicken for more than a decade, and I believe it’s an inherently perfect food, hitting on all the most delicious flavors and textures when properly executed.

Serves: 4-6
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins


  • 3½lb (1.6kg) bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces
  • 4 cups (960ml) high-heat cooking oil, for frying
  • kosher salt, to taste


  • 2 cups (480ml) buttermilk
  • 1 cup (240ml) dill pickle juice
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp kosher salt


  • 1½ cups (180g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (76g) potato starch
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp white pepper
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp MSG (optional)


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the brine. Add the chicken, making sure each piece is fully submerged. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 6 hours.
  2. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with a wire cooling rack. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). In a large Dutch oven, begin heating the oil to 425°F (220°C) over medium-high heat. (The oil temperature will drop once you add the chicken.)

  3. In a large bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the dredge. Add 3 tablespoons of the buttermilk marinade and use your fingers to mix it around, creating small clumps.

  4. Shake any excess buttermilk from each piece of chicken and coat the chicken in the dredge mixture, pressing each piece to make sure the dredge sticks. Give each piece a vigorous shake and then press once more into the dredge to fill any hidden cracks you may have missed. Shake once more and place the chicken on the prepared wire rack. As you dredge each piece of chicken, more and more clumps will form in the batter. Continue to break these apart into smaller bits with your fingers.

  5. Working in batches, carefully add the chicken to the hot oil, making sure to add the pieces such that they don’t stick to the bottom or one another. Adjust the heat to maintain the oil temperature at 325°F (160°C) while frying. Let the chicken fry, untouched, for 5 minutes, then rotate and fry until golden brown on all sides, about 4 to 5 minutes more.

  6. Transfer the chicken to the wire rack. (The same one used previously—it’s going in the oven, which will kill any bacteria.) Sprinkle immediately with salt. Place in the oven and cook for 5 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).

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