Black Folks Buttermilk Fried Chicken Recipe

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What is the secret to tender, juicy, incredible fried chicken with flavorful, crispy, crunchy skin?

The answer is soul food buttermilk fried chicken. A buttermilk brined chicken recipe that Black folks created and perfected!

There’s no denying that chicken with a balance of tender meat on the inside and crispy seasoning on the outside is a soul food specialty.

So I’m sharing the secrets to a savory batch of Southern buttermilk fried chicken the soul food way!  

Black Folks Buttermilk Southern Fried Chicken Recipe

What is brining?

Brining is a method of soaking meat in salt water (the brine) or other liquids like buttermilk, beer, or apple cider before cooking to add moisture and intensify the flavor of the meat.

How do you make a traditional Black folks’ soul food buttermilk fried chicken recipe?

How do you make the best Southern buttermilk fried chicken that’s both crispy and tender? 

To do this, you no longer need years of experience perfecting the precise temperature for hot oil in a Dutch oven or cast-iron skillet. 

You can still use these stovetop accessories, or you can give yourself some grace and plop your battered chicken pieces in a deep fryer!

What is the use of a deep fryer? 

Deep fryers are a wonderful invention that can make your life so much easier. You can quickly and easily use them indoors or outdoors to fry foods like Southern fried chicken in deep oils at high temperatures.

Soul Food Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Can you use the Instant Pot to make buttermilk fried chicken?

It’s recommended to soak the chicken in buttermilk either overnight or for 24 hours. Instant Pot pressure cooking the chicken before frying can cut this process from 24 hours to 20 minutes!

I call new-age at-home appliances like deep fryers and electric pressure cookers “Magical Meals In Minutes!” 

Black people buttermilk fried chicken recipe

In moderation, you can still enjoy a batch of deep-fried Black folks buttermilk fried chicken! 

Fried chicken is another darling recipe of the South, akin to cornbreadcollard greens, and Southern potato salad.

I promise, there’s nothing like a delicious piping hot, fresh batch of Black folks soul food Southern fried chicken!

Southern Fried Buttermilk Chicken Marinade

Kitchen equipment

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Ingredients for the buttermilk chicken brine

  • 3 cups of buttermilk (buttermilk = 3 cups of milk & 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
Black Folks Buttermilk Fried Chicken Ingredients

Ingredients for Black folks soul food buttermilk fried chicken

  • 6-8 pieces of chicken (or one 3-pound chicken cut into pieces)
  • 48 oz. of peanut oil, or vegetable oil
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour, divided 
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 tablespoon of poultry seasoning or all-purpose seasoning
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ¾ teaspoon of red pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup of buttermilk (½ cup of buttermilk = ½ cup of milk & ½ tablespoon of apple cider vinegar)

Instructions for buttermilk marinade chicken brine

  1. To make homemade buttermilk, use 3 cups of milk and 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. In a medium-sized bowl, stir the two ingredients together and let them sit for 5 minutes. 
  2. Open the Instant Pot lid and add the buttermilk and 1 teaspoon of salt to the stainless steel inner pot.
  3. Add the chicken pieces, skin-side up, to the pot with the buttermilk. (No Instant Pot? No problem! – allow the chicken to marinate in the buttermilk for 4 hours to overnight.)
  4. Close the Instant Pot lid (make sure the valve is in the sealing position – up) and pressure cook on high for 10 minutes.
  5. When the cooking time is finished, allow a natural pressure release for at least 10 minutes.
  6. To open the Instant Pot lid, move the valve to ‘venting’ and manually release any remaining pressure, if applicable.
  7. Remove the chicken from the Instant Pot (you can discard the buttermilk) and set the chicken pieces aside on a rimmed baking sheet to cool off to the touch.
How To Make Black Folks Soul Food Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Instructions for soul food buttermilk Southern fried chicken

  1. Mix the poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
  2. Rub the seasoning mixture all over each piece of chicken.
  3. Pour the peanut oil (preferred) or vegetable oil into a deep fryer, 6-quart skillet, or Dutch oven until the oil is 1-inch deep.
  4. Heat the oil over medium heat or until it reaches 350 degrees F.
  5. While you’re waiting for the oil to heat up. Place 1 cup of the divided flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and red pepper in a medium-size mixing bowl (or 1-gallon resealable food storage bag). 
  6. Shake (or mix) the sealed bag to combine the ingredients for a homemade poultry seasoning, and set the flour mixture aside.
  7. Pour the second cup of flour into a second resealable bag (or medium-sized mixing bowl) and set it aside.
  8. Whisk together ½ a cup of buttermilk and egg in another medium-sized bowl, and set that mixture aside too.
  9. The chicken will go through a 3-step process from here.
  10. First, place the chicken in the bag (or bowl) of seasoned flour and shake or toss to coat the chicken evenly. 
  11. Second, shake off the excess flour and dip the chicken into the buttermilk mixture.
  12. Third, transfer the chicken to the last bag (or bowl) of flour and shake or toss until it’s very well coated. 
  13. Place the coated chicken into the pre-heated oil, skin-side down, and be careful not to overcrowd the chicken in the oil. You can fry a second batch if need be to avoid overcrowding by frying all the chicken at once. Just make sure the hot oil remains at 350 degrees F.
  14. Cook the chicken pieces for 10 to 12 minutes, occasionally turning to prevent excessive browning.
  15. As the chicken batter turns golden brown, remove it from the hot oil.
  16.  Allow the chicken to drain in a closed container (to keep the fried chicken warm) with a paper towel under the chicken. 
  17. Serve soul food Southern buttermilk fried chicken right away, and enjoy!

Pro tips:

  • Some Southern cooks like to use a rimmed baking sheet or a large bowl to separate the dark meat and white meat. They dredge the dark meat first, fry, and then dredge the remaining chicken (the white meat) and fry.
  • What else can you use to season the flour? Other than a sprinkle of salt and pepper, some Southern fried chicken recipes even call for cornstarch to thicken the batter for extra crunch or hot sauce for more heat!

How to cook fried chicken the traditional way?

How To Fry Chicken
How To Fry Chicken
How do you make fried chicken from scratch? 
Cooking perfectly fried chicken with extra crispy skin is not as hard as it seems. 
Use these step-by-step how to fry chicken instructions to cook the most delicious fried chicken from scratch with homemade Southern fried chicken seasoning!
Check out this recipe!
Black Folks Buttermilk Fried Chicken

What sauce goes with Black folks soul food Southern fried chicken?

Whether it’s for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or an afternoon snack, one of these condiments is sure to be a favorite when it comes to Southern fried chicken. 

  • Hot sauce
  • Ranch dressing
  • Pure honey 
  • Honey mustard
  • Ketchup
  • BBQ sauce

What do you serve with Black folks buttermilk fried chicken?

Several soul food recipes are favorites when serving Southern buttermilk fried chicken.

From baked macaroni and cheese to creamy mashed potatoesfried cabbage, Southern coleslawSouthern-style green beans, or collard greens.

Don’t forget the Southern sweet tea!

For dessert, a slice of Black folks Southern pecan pieBlack folks Southern peach cobbler recipe, or Southern red velvet cake!

Some folks even use Southern fried chicken in their chicken salad recipe!

Soul Food Buttermilk Fried Chicken Recipe

Black folks buttermilk fried chicken recipe FAQS

What’s in the seasoning mix for this Black folks’ buttermilk fried chicken recipe?

This buttermilk Southern fried chicken recipe is tried, tested, and still the best when you follow the recipe instructions and seasoning ingredients: buttermilk, peanut oil, flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, red pepper, black pepper, and egg.

Should you marinate chicken before frying?

Marinating is a process that involves soaking meat for several hours in a mixture of herbs or spices with either liquids or oils. 

Marinating your chicken can help infuse the flavors you want in the meat while also tenderizing, so it’s easier to eat.

How long do you marinate chicken in buttermilk?

It’s recommended to marinate chicken in buttermilk anywhere from 4 to 24 hours. However, Instant Pot pressure cooking the chicken in a buttermilk marinade before frying can cut this process from 24 hours to 20 minutes!

Why do you marinate chicken in buttermilk?

People often ask, What does marinating chicken in buttermilk do?

Along with the soul food seasoning mix for this Black folks buttermilk fried chicken recipe, I highly recommend marinating your chicken in buttermilk for extraordinarily moist and flavorful chicken.

Buttermilk is a secret ingredient to making chicken that’s soft and tender. 

The buttermilk’s acidity helps break down protein structures in the chicken. After marinating for hours, it becomes way less chewy and retains better moisture.

Soul Food Buttermilk Fried Chicken Ingredients

How do you make buttermilk?

I’m not a gambling gal (even tho I’m an all things Las Vegs connoisseur). But I’d bet money that you don’t just keep a carton of buttermilk in your refrigerator! 

So you’re probably looking for a buttermilk substitute, right? 

In that case, I’m breaking down how to make buttermilk with only two pantry ingredients you probably already have at home.

 

1 cup of milk + 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar = 1 cup of buttermilk

Is there a substitute for buttermilk?

You can make homemade buttermilk simply with 1 cup of milk and 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. The ratio is 1:1.

Stir the two ingredients together and let them sit for 5 minutes. 

The milk will react with the acidity of the vinegar and curdle slightly, creating the same tangy creaminess of store-bought buttermilk!

Which part of the chicken should you use for this Black folks buttermilk fried chicken recipe?

Whole chicken, half, or just your favorite parts of the chicken – chicken wings, legs, chicken breast, chicken thighs, or drumsticks. It’s your choice!

Pro tips: 

  • Some Southern cooks like to use a baking sheet or a large bowl to separate the dark meat and white meat. They dredge the dark meat first, fry, and then dredge the remaining chicken (the white meat) and fry.
  • What else can you use to season the flour? Other Southern fried chicken recipes even call for cornstarch to thicken the batter for extra crunch or hot sauce for more heat!
  • You may also consider enjoying this buttermilk batch as the iconic soul food pairing of chicken and waffles.

What oil do you use for deep frying the buttermilk chicken?

Peanut oil is preferred for this Black folks buttermilk fried chicken recipe, but vegetable oil will also work.

At what temperature should you cook buttermilk fried chicken?

350 degrees F is the temperature to maintain to deep fry fried chicken.

How many minutes do you cook buttermilk chicken?

Marinate (pressure cook) the chicken in buttermilk in the Instant Pot for 10 minutes (with a 10-minute pressure release). Then deep fry for 10 to 12 minutes, occasionally turning to prevent excessive browning.

What is the safe internal temperature for chicken?

Deep fry the chicken for 10-12 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees F.

Do you rinse the buttermilk off before dredging in the flour?

There is no need to rinse the chicken before dredging. However, you can pat the chicken dry with a paper towel, but this is optional.

Can you use gluten-free flour with this recipe?

If you’re using keto-friendly or gluten-free flour, like almond flour for this recipe, keep an eye on the chicken while it’s air frying, as almond flour tends to cook faster than other wheat flour.

Can this recipe be made in an air fryer?

Do air fryers work for Black folks’ buttermilk fried chicken recipe?

The answer is yes! You can air fry this fried chicken recipe, and you won’t believe how good and crispy chicken can taste when it’s made in an air fryer!

Simply follow the recipe instructions for marinating the chicken in buttermilk, then use these air fryer chicken instructions HERE.

How can you reheat leftovers?

The air fryer is better than the microwave for reheating chicken. Use the air fryer in the warm setting in 5-minute intervals for reheating.

What do you think of this Black folks’ soul food buttermilk fried chicken recipe?

Have you had it?

Would you make it? 

Comment below and lemme know. 

Then subscribe HERE for all the soul food!

The Ultimate Soul Food Recipes Guide
The Ultimate Soul Food Recipes Guide
What is soul food? Soul food recipes are African-American recipes full of flavor! A legacy of Southern cooking the Black way. Check out this collection of the best soul food recipes!
Check out this recipe!

More Black folks’ classic recipes to make:

The Best Black Folks Soul Food Southern Chicken Recipes
The Best Black Folks Soul Food Southern Chicken Recipes
There’s no denying chicken with a balance of tender meat on the inside & crispy seasoning on the outside is a Black folks soul food specialty.
Check out this recipe!

Like this post? Pin the below image to your Pinterest “Soul Food Recipes” board!

Buttermilk Southern Fried Chicken Recipe
Black Folks Buttermilk Fried Chicken Recipe

Black Folks Buttermilk Fried Chicken Recipe

Tender, juicy, fried chicken with flavorful, crispy, crunchy skin is a Black folks' buttermilk fried chicken recipe. A soul food recipe for buttermilk marinated chicken.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Pressure Release Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Soul Food, Southern Food
Servings: 6
Calories: 2249kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

Ingredients for the buttermilk chicken brine

  • 3 cups buttermilk (Buttermilk = 3 cups of milk & 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Ingredients for Black folks soul food buttermilk fried chicken

  • 6-8 pieces chicken or one 3-pound chicken cut into pieces
  • 48 oz peanut oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour divided
  • 1 ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning or all-purpose seasoning
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon red pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup buttermilk (½ cup of buttermilk = ½ cup of milk & ½ tablespoon of apple cider vinegar)

Instructions

Instructions for buttermilk marinade chicken brine

  • To make homemade buttermilk, use 3 cups of milk and 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. In a medium-sized bowl, stir the two ingredients together and let them sit for 5 minutes.
  • Open the Instant Pot lid and add the buttermilk and 1 teaspoon of salt to the stainless steel inner pot.
  • Add the chicken pieces, skin-side up, to the pot with the buttermilk. (No Instant Pot? No problem! – allow the chicken to marinate in the buttermilk for 4 hours to overnight.)
  • Close the Instant Pot lid (make sure the valve is in the sealing position – up) and pressure cook on high for 10 minutes.
  • When the cooking time is finished, allow a natural pressure release for at least 10 minutes.
  • To open the Instant Pot lid, move the valve to ‘venting’ and manually release any remaining pressure, if applicable.
  • Remove the chicken from the Instant Pot (you can discard the buttermilk) and set the chicken pieces aside on a rimmed baking sheet to cool off to the touch.

Instructions for soul food buttermilk Southern fried chicken

  • Mix the poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
  • Rub the seasoning mixture all over each piece of chicken.
  • Pour the peanut oil (preferred) or vegetable oil into a deep fryer, 6-quart skillet, or Dutch oven until the oil is 1-inch deep.
  • Heat the oil over medium heat or until it reaches 350 degrees F.
  • While you’re waiting for the oil to heat up. Place 1 cup of the divided flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and red pepper in a medium-size mixing bowl (or 1-gallon resealable food storage bag).
  • Shake (or mix) the sealed bag to combine the ingredients for a homemade poultry seasoning, and set the flour mixture aside.
  • Pour the second cup of flour into a second resealable bag (or medium-sized mixing bowl) and set it aside.
  • Whisk together ½ a cup of buttermilk and egg in another medium-sized bowl, and set that mixture aside too.
  • The chicken will go through a 3-step process from here.
  • First, place the chicken in the bag (or bowl) of seasoned flour and shake or toss to coat the chicken evenly.
  • Second, shake off the excess flour and dip the chicken into the buttermilk mixture.
  • Third, transfer the chicken to the last bag (or bowl) of flour and shake or toss until it’s very well coated.
  • Place the coated chicken into the pre-heated oil, skin-side down, and be careful not to overcrowd the chicken in the oil. You can fry a second batch if need be to avoid overcrowding by frying all the chicken at once. Just make sure the hot oil remains at 350 degrees F.
  • Cook the chicken pieces for 10 to 12 minutes, occasionally turning to prevent excessive browning.
  • As the chicken batter turns golden brown, remove it from the hot oil.
  • Allow the chicken to drain in a closed container (to keep the fried chicken warm) with a paper towel under the chicken.
  • Serve soul food Southern buttermilk fried chicken right away, and enjoy!

Video

Notes

  • Some Southern cooks like to use a rimmed baking sheet or a large bowl to separate the dark meat and white meat. They dredge the dark meat first, fry, and then dredge the remaining chicken (the white meat) and fry.
  • What else can you use to season the flour? Other than a sprinkle of salt and pepper, some Southern fried chicken recipes even call for cornstarch to thicken the batter for extra crunch or hot sauce for more heat!
Black Folks Buttermilk Fried Chicken Recipe Card

Nutrition

Calories: 2249kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 232g | Saturated Fat: 41g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 73g | Monounsaturated Fat: 106g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 1108mg | Potassium: 240mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 298IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 153mg | Iron: 2mg
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6 Comments

  1. Cyrene Jo Peñas says:

    5 stars
    Anybody who loves fried chicken will surely enjoy this recipe!

  2. Yvonne Green says:

    5 stars
    I’m sorry, but I didn’t understand the recipe (no Instanta Pot). (1) You use 3 cups of buttermilk for the brine, but when we get to the 2nd phase of the three-step process, you say to dip chicken in buttermilk and egg…how much buttermilk are we using at this point (the same 3 cups we used for the brine?).
    (2) The seasoning for the flour… do we mix all of seasoning into the two cups of flour and divide the flour (one cup for the first of the three-step process, and then the last cup of seasoned flour for the third step)?
    Thank you.

    1. 5 stars
      Thanks for asking! No worries if you don’t have an Instant Pot. You’ll use 3 cups of buttermilk for the chicken marinade/brine. After that, the chicken will undergo a 3-step dredging process to make the seasoned fried chicken batter. The step you’re asking about makes the 3rd dredging mix: Whisk together ½ a cup of buttermilk and 1 egg in another medium-sized bowl.

    2. 5 stars
      Question 2: The seasoning for the flour… do we mix all of seasoning into the two cups of flour and divide the flour (one cup for the first of the three-step process, and then the last cup of seasoned flour for the third step)? Answer: Use one cup of flour combined with the seasoning for the first step. And then the last cup of only flour for the second step.

  3. Mary Hess says:

    5 stars
    Can I use 1/2 cup of the brine buttermilk for the 1/2 cup buttermilk and just add the egg as it would have been refrigerated during the brining?

    1. 5 stars
      The buttermilk will likely curdle after being heated, so it’d be best to start with a new 1/2 cup for the egg mixture.