Weekend cooking – buttermilk fried chicken

I’ve been on the road for a few weeks so have hardly had time for any kind of blogging, including weekend cooking.

If there’s one thing that I absolutely love eating, it’s fried chicken. I can’t find buttermilk in Paris so I’ve been doing my marinade using yogurt for years, but if I could find it, I’d probably use buttermilk. I’m also a big fan of using Old Bay seasoning but as a guy from Baltimore, what else are you going to use?

I’ve also see an Indonesian recipe once that marinated the chicken in coconut milk and that also sounds pretty good but really, this recipe sounds like a classic. He also makes it sound really easy and easy in the kitchen is always good. The big downside to fried chicken is the mess and of course, eating fried food shouldn’t be done every day but once a year sounds reasonable, doesn’t it?

This is a real American meal so please, jump in with comments if you have any other methods that are particularly good.

An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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  • Asterix

    The real old-time South recipe for fried chicken calls for lard (preferably bacon fat) for frying. Terribly unfashionable today, but it does add a considerable amount of flavor. This was back in the days when folks would spread lard on their bread instead of butter.

    Lard is also great for pie crusts.

  • Swami bink

    Save a step and use buttermilk pancake mix.

  • Secret passed along, but yet untried, by one of our favorite local fried chicken places – use melted ice cream for the milk. Like I said, haven’t attempted this yet, but looking forward to giving it a try. Problem here is, there is never any ice cream left to melt.

  • yep—fixed it.

  • I know, but I’m a fussy eater. I hate fat, skin, and gristle.

  • WarrenHart

    The bones add flavor.

  • Clecinosu

    Thanks. Now I’m starving.

  • Clecinosu

    I’m assuming you meant “can’t.” And, agreed.

  • Wow that looked tasty.

    I think I’m gonna have to try that, although I’m likely to go with boneless chicken filets.

  • That sounds soooo good,

  • That’s true. The capons here are so huge you need a crane to get them on the counter. It must be all the growth hormones they feed them.

  • Fallenmonk’s receipts are always spot on….he’s right about a touch of cornmeal—very extra crunchy

  • You can go wrong with Old Bay Seasoning! yummmm

  • AdmNaismith

    Yogurt is a perfectly good sub for buttermilk. Any cultured milk product like that. You can also use 1 tblsp vinegar for each scant cup of regular milk in any recipe if you don’t have any other options.

    I like oven-fried chicken: marinate, bread, and fry in a pan in @ 1″ of oil for @ 3 min each side. Then into a 350deg oven for 30-40 min.
    My husband is gluten free so I use King Arthur’s Gluten-Free blend. The chicken is even cripsier.

  • I just emailed Chris, this stuff works great. You mix it in with your dry ingredients then add as much water as it calls for to your wet ingredients, depending on how much buttermilk is needed.

  • Indigo

    Not this week end. I’m busy making American Chili with buffalo meat. Oyasin matakaye!

  • That’s a substitution I’ve used for baking many times but I’ve wondered how well it’d work for other recipes using buttermilk, where the distinctive lactic acid tang might be more obvious.

  • Randy

    A reasonable subsitute for buttermilk: Take one cup of regular milk and stir in one tablespoon of lemon juice or vineager. Let’s sit for a few minutes and it’s pretty darn close in taste and consistency.

  • Good recipe, however I do not trust any ‘chef’ who calls the wing tips ‘useless’. They get very crunchy and flavorful and as the bone is not a dense, if fully cooked, you can eat the entire tip.

  • HolyMoly

    If you don’t have buttermilk in France, just add 1 tbsp of cider vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup of milk, then let it sit for 10 or 15 minutes to “sour.” My mom taught me that…I also remember seeing it in her old late-1950s Betty Crocker book (which she still has and uses). Y

    I’m dying to try this recipe! I’ve only ever dusted my chicken with flour-based breading (like House-Autry, which is great!) but I always wanted to get a thick batter-type crust like that.

    Thanks for posting.

  • fallenmonk

    Chris, Kefir can sub for buttermilk in this recipe and you can always take some creme fraiche and dilute it with an equal part of milk and let it sit at room temp for awhile and get a passable substitute for buttermilk. Also, some variations on this recipe use self-rising flour instead of plain flour which gives a nice extra bit of crunch to the crust. You might also try adding some corn flour to the regular flour for a bit of crunch. Peanut oil is the “traditional” oil for deep fat frying here in the South.

  • Clay R

    As an American (a Texan, no less, and a former professional chef) having spent the past three months in France, I feel your pain. A tip about the buttermilk: if you add a teaspoon or so of vinegar (any kind whatsoever) to milk and give it ten minutes or so, you’ll have something approximating the acidity of buttermilk. It might or might not begin to curdle a little but it doesn’t matter. See what you think.

    I’ve fried a couple of chickens in recent weeks, by the way, and had much more consistent results than at home. I’m pretty sure it’s because the birds are smaller here in France.

  • Chris, see if you can find “lait ribot”. The Breton version of buttermilk. The same thing. We have actually found it here in the Correze. I will try this recipe. My favorite crispy Fried Chicken is called Cleo’s Daddy’s….Cleos Daddy was John of the legendary John’s Fried Chicken up on 116th Street in Harlem.
    I soak the chicken for at least 6 hours in milk, a few spoons of mustard, finely grated almost liquified onion and a spoon or so of sugar. Then dredge the pieces in flour, crisp them in a frying pan and I finish them in the oven…not too greasy at all!

  • HeartlandLiberal

    Re: your report you cannot find buttermilk in Paris, I am reminded of when we lived in Germany back in the 70’s. Being from the American South, we wanted to make cornbread dressing baked in a pan for Thanksgiving. Most shopkeepers looked at us like we were crazy. We were basically asking for food for cows, in their view. We finally found one specialty store that actually had a passing version of corn meal in small packets, more a novelty item for them than a staple. And we managed to have the cornbread dressing and gravy, and absolutely essential item for Thanksgiving, as far as we were concerned.

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