buttermilk fried chicken

  • 1 x 1.8kg chicken, rinsed and patted dry
  • 600ml buttermilk 
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying 
  • 2 cups (300g) plain flour 
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin 
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder 
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt flakes 
  • ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper 
  • whole-egg mayonnaise and store-bought chilli sauce, to serve
  1. To joint the chicken, place breast-side up on a board and cut around the legs with a sharp knife. Pull the leg away from the body, exposing the bone and cut the leg off. Cut the thigh from the drumstick at the joint. Use kitchen scissors and cut the chicken in half along the breastbone. Turn over and cut out the backbone. Cut the wing from the breast at the joint. 
  2. Place the chicken and buttermilk in a large bowl, toss to coat and refrigerate for 30 minutes to marinate. 
  3. Fill a large saucepan two-thirds full with oil and place over medium heat until the temperature reaches 180°C on a deep-frying thermometer. 
  4. Place the flour, paprika, cumin, baking powder, salt and pepper on a large tray and mix to combine. Place the marinated chicken, draining off any excess liquid in the flour mixture, in batches, and press to coat. Cook the chicken, in batches, for 6–8 minutes or until golden and cooked through. 
  5. Drain on paper towel and keep warm while cooking the remaining chicken (see tips + tricks). Serve with mayonnaise and chilli sauce. Serves 4–6.

+ To keep the chicken warm, place on an oven tray and place in a preheated 160°C oven.

+ Serve the fried chicken with a fresh cabbage or fennel slaw.

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Reader ratings (3.59) 321501
donna hay team

Hi Narelle, We haven’t tested this recipe as a baked version, so we are not sure how crispy the chicken will get. If you would like to experiment,  try start with the oven at 180C. Place a wire rack in an oven tray. Place the chicken on top. Start by baking for 30 minutes, however you will need to check if the chicken is cooked through at this point. You might need to cook for longer and turn if necessary. Thanks, dh team

Narelle Saward

Would it be possible to oven bake this instead of frying?

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