photograph by Matt Hulsman

Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

2 cups buttermilk
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces

2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon celery salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard
2 tablespoons smoked sweet paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon ground allspice
2 cups all-purpose flour
Peanut or vegetable oil for frying (approximately 2 quarts)

In a large bowl, combine buttermilk, salt, and pepper. Place chicken pieces in buttermilk, making sure that chicken is covered. Refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.

For the breading, combine all of the herbs and spices, making sure there are no lumps. In a large bowl, add the seasoning mixture to the flour and mix well until the spices are evenly distributed.

Remove chicken from buttermilk mixture and dredge each piece in the seasoned flour. Shake off excess flour and place chicken pieces in a shallow baking dish or large platter. Discard any remaining buttermilk and flour mixture.

In a large Dutch oven, heat oil to 350°. Add the chicken to the hot oil and cook for 10 minutes. Turn chicken pieces and cook for another 12 to 15 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 180°.

Remove chicken from oil and transfer to a cooling rack set over a baking sheet. Let chicken sit for 10 minutes before serving.

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Lynn Wells is a personal chef with more than 20 years of experience in the food and hospitality industry and a degree in Nutrition Management from UNCG.