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Picnic Fried Chicken

For our family, it's not a picnic unless there's fried chicken! Chicken, deviled eggs and potato salad are all musts for a picnic as far as my husband is concerned. This is a "Golden Oldie" recipe for me—I've used it any number of times. —Edna Hoffman, Hebron, Indiana
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. + marinating Cook: 40 min.
  • Makes
    6 servings


  • 1 broiler/fryer chicken (3 pounds), cut up
  • 3/4 to 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • Oil for frying


  • Pat chicken pieces with paper towels; place in large flat dish. Pour buttermilk over chicken; cover, and allow to soak at least 1 hour or overnight in refrigerator.
  • Combine coating ingredients in large shallow dish. Add chicken pieces, one at a time, and turn to coat well. Lay coated pieces on waxed paper for 15 minutes to allow coating to dry (will cling better in frying).
  • In a Dutch oven or other deep skillet, heat 1/2 in. oil over medium heat to 350°. Fry chicken, uncovered, until coating is dark golden brown and meat is no longer pink, turning occasionally, 7-8 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.

Test Kitchen Tips
  • Acidic buttermilk tenderizes the chicken, but plain yogurt will work, too.
  • For a crispy coating that stays put after frying, allow excess buttermilk to drip off before coating chicken in the flour mixture.
  • To keep fried chicken crunchy, we recommend storing it on a wire rack. No more soggy bottoms!
  • Nutrition Facts
    5 ounces cooked chicken: 623 calories, 40g fat (7g saturated fat), 106mg cholesterol, 748mg sodium, 26g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 1g fiber), 38g protein.


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    Average Rating:
    • Richard
      Aug 23, 2020

      Nothing wrong with this but every time I use buttermilk, the chicken burns. I donand#039;t know why, but it does.

    • amsm
      Apr 23, 2020

      This chicken was delicious, full of flavor, and easy to make. I loved how simple it was to bread, using just the buttermilk from the soak and the flour mixture. I will definitely make this again!

    • 57debb
      Apr 6, 2018

      I made this yesterday just as stated and we found it to be perfect. Will make again any time I have buttermilk.

    • Ruffshse
      Nov 8, 2016

      Had good flavor but the coating did not stay on very well. I let it sit for 15 min like the recipe said.

    • carolynstowers
      Feb 11, 2016

      I'm from the south and every Sunday my mother would prepare a fresh chicken from the yard for dinner. I think the butter milk soak gave the chicken the flavor of fresh never frozen taste. It's just a matter of taste I preferred organic frozen chicken. The soak made the skin firm on the outside and soft on the inside. I make great tasting chicken and I think I will stay with my own recipe.

    • rubydoo008
      Oct 5, 2013

      I added a bit of cajun seasoning with it. A batch of fresh buttermilk biscuits, now that is cooking!

    • VirginaCA
      Aug 18, 2013

      I forgot to say in my 1st review that I put the coating mixture in 2 separate bags as it tends to get a little "gloppy" after the first 5 pieces. I put the coated chicken on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. When it has finished cooking, I put it on a clean wire rack over clean foil as it drains the grease off better than paper towels.

    • VirginaCA
      Aug 18, 2013

      I've made this recipe twice (I don't fry chicken very often) and my husband goes wild over it. I use a deep heavy skillet and cover it, with the lid ajar, for the first 5 minutes; then uncover and cook for 5 to 7 minutes longer. I also season the buttermilk with salt & pepper.

    • hsbtrhlf
      Jul 31, 2013

      No comment left

    • Cware62
      May 25, 2013

      No comment left