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Southern Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Adapted from Mad Hungry


  • 1 quart buttermilk or milk
  • 2 tablespoons Tabasco or other hot sauce
  • about 4 chicken breast halves
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt plus a little more for sprinkling
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil


  1. In a 9x13 baking dish or gallon sized Ziplock bag, stir together the buttermilk and Tabasco. Place the chicken in the liquid mixture and leave as long as possible. (I soaked the chicken overnight. Place in refrigerator.)
  2. In a plastic or paper bag combine the flour, salt, pepper, and cayenne.
  3. Shake the chicken pieces two to three at a time, in the flour. Repeat with the remaining chicken.
  4. In a skillet heat one half inch of oil over medium high heat. Test with a tiny bit of chicken. If it bubbles immediately, it is hot enough.
  5. Place the chicken into hot oil. Distribute as many pieces as will fit in a single layer in the pan, leaving one half inch between pieces. Leave to fry undisturbed for about seven minutes. Lower the heat as necessary to prevent excess browning. The oil should continue to bubble steadily. Turn the pieces and cook for an additional seven to ten minutes.
  6. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Repeat process to cook remaining chicken. To keep first batch warm, place on a rimmed baking sheet in a 200 degree oven.

Recipe Notes

-The original recipe calls for two cups of oil. I followed Leisa's method and used only about a quarter to a half inch of oil in the bottom of the pan.
-I used four Costco boneless chicken breast halves. (Found in freezer section.) I sliced each one in half for eight small pieces total.
-This was delicious served cold as a leftover the next day.