Total Time
48hrs 12mins
Prep 24 hrs
Cook 24 hrs 12 mins

Adapted from Alton Brown's Good Eats show. The crust on this chicken will really amaze you.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Place chicken pieces into a plastic container and cover with buttermilk.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for 12-24 hours .
  3. Drain chicken in a colander.
  4. Combine salt, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper.
  5. Liberally season chicken with this mixture.
  6. Then, dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess (by seasoning before you flour, you trap the seasoning under the flour coating, and you use a lot less seasoning than if you tried to put it in the flour and hope it catches on the chicken).
  7. Melt enough shortening (over low heat) to come just 1/8-inch up the side of a 12-inch cast iron skillet or heavy fry pan.
  8. Once shortening liquefies raise heat to 325 degrees F.
  9. Do not allow oil to go over 325 degrees F.
  10. Place chicken skin side down into the pan.
  11. Put thighs in the center (they take longer to cook and can use the extra center heat), and breast and legs around the edge of the pan.
  12. The oil should come half way up the pan once the chicken is added.
  13. Cook chicken until golden brown on each side, approximately 10-12 minutes per side.
  14. The internal temperature should be right around 180 degrees.
  15. (Be careful to monitor shortening temperature every few minutes).
  16. Drain chicken on a rack over a sheet pan, NOT on paper towels or brown paper bags which just cause the chicken to soak in their own oil.
  17. If you need to hold the chicken before serving, cover loosely with foil but avoid holding in a warm oven, especially if it?.
  18. s a gas oven, which is very moist and will ruin your beautiful chicken crust!
Most Helpful

Cut down on the salt and it's not to bad...Good flavor.

Wes Goforth November 06, 2001

Gay--what a fabulous way to fry chicken! My husband really does any frying that we may do, and he LOVED this method. We soaked boneless chicken in buttermilk for 24 hours, then drained, and cut into strips, about chicken tender-size. I didn't have any paprika left, so we instead of using the spices suggested, we improvised by shaking the strips in a ziploc bag with some emerils essence that I had mixed up earlier. Doing this first, THEN dredging in flour is so perfect. I was saying, "Why didn't we ever think of doing it this way?" Anyway, since it was boneless, they cooked up very quickly, and were flavorful, tender, and very juicy. This is the only way he'll fry chicken anymore. Thanks for a perfect recipe, Gay!

ciao March 01, 2004

This recipe produces beautiful chicken, no question, and it was enjoyed by my family and guests, but there is something about fried chicken prepared with buttermilk that is just not my cup of tea. I make fried chicken just about every week, so I've tried many recipes and I prefer a crust that is lightly crispy. That is just my preference, however, so for all you out there that like the heavier crust, this is an excellent recipe. I made this recipe with less salt and without garlic powder, but with a touch of onion powder as I think garlic powder tastes funny on traditional fried chicken. Thanks for such pretty and tasty chicken!

bkwilson July 07, 2009