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Rachel Ballard lives on a cattle farm in Lancaster, Kentucky. She and her husband were both raised on cattle and Burley tobacco farms, and enjoy tending black Angus cattle, organic produce, herbal remedies, and happy children in a slow lifestyle. Rachel’s culinary emphasis is on creating recipes that use fewer processed ingredients. That’s why this recipe features coconut oil as a frying medium instead of vegetable oil, though either can be used. Presenting a plate of hot, crispy fried chicken to a table full of hungry workers is a rite of passage for any southern woman, and this traditional version’s buttermilk brine ensures a perfectly juicy final product.
Buttermilk Fried Chicken
Perfectly seasoned and brined in buttermilk then crispy fried in healthier coconut oil makes the best classic fried chicken you’ll ever eat!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Rest Time 2 hours-Overnight
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 5 people/ 2 pieces
For the buttermilk marinade
- 1 3-pound whole chicken cut into 10 pieces, bone in and skin on (breasts cut in half)
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
For dredging the chicken
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sea salt or 3/4 tablespoon table salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 cups refined coconut oil for frying (may use vegetable oil)
- Place the cut up chicken pieces in a 9×13 baking dish.
- Pour over the buttermilk, 2 teaspoons of salt and pepper. Turn the chicken over in the buttermilk so the meat and skin are down in the buttermilk.
- Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours but overnight is even better.
- When you’re ready to fry, heat a 10″ cast iron skillet with coconut oil over medium high heat to 350 degrees while you bread the chicken. Add the flour, remaining salt and pepper to a bowl, zip lock bag or paper bag.
- Make sure the chicken pieces are thoroughly coated in the buttermilk and then place them 2 or 3 at a time in the flour, pressing very firmly to make the flour stick. Set pieces aside for 3 to 5 minutes so the breading can “set” on the chicken.
- Make sure your oil is between 325 and 350 degrees. You can test this by dropping the corner of a piece of chicken into the oil. It should sizzle immediately but not smoke. If it just sits there or barely bubbles your oil is not hot enough. Wait about 1-2 minutes and try again.
- When the chicken pieces bubble vigorously, add no more than 4 pieces of chicken to the skillet skin side down. Adjust your heat as needed to keep the chicken gently cooking on about medium/medium low heat, turning each piece every 2 minutes. Turn the pieces up on their ends as needed so the chicken browns all around.
- Cook each piece until they reach 160 degrees (about 15 to 18 minutes total per batch). Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature if you are unsure.
- Transfer the cooked chicken to a cooling rack and cook the remaining pieces in batches. Serve warm or cold.
FOLLOW Rachel on Instagram!! While your at it be sure to visit her fabulous Feast and Farm website where you will find the inspiration to nourish and thrive by learning how to make easy comfort food with wholesome ingredients.
You can find this recipe in The FarmMade Cookbook coming out July 20, 2021 (pre-order now!!). A time capsule of food, craft, and tradition, The FarmMade Cookbook shares seventy-five multi-generational recipes from farms all over the country. Hailing from New England, the Deep South, the Midwest, Southwest, and Northwest, each authentic farm-made recipe represents its region’s unique farming culture. Recipes are paired with each farm’s unique story of resilience and connection with the land, resulting in a tangible agrarian gift to us all.