Best Buttermilk Fried Chicken beautifully marinated in milk, spices, and herbs overnight, tenderizing the organic chicken thighs only to be dipped and floured and fried to a golden delicious crispiness and left so juicy and flavorful inside.
Song of the day: “Ahead by a Century” by The Tragically Hip.
Best Buttermilk Fried Chicken created from a childhood memory and a desire to reproduce a take-out specialty that had so much flavor. This may not be the chicken of my childhood but I have to tell you when you bite in and that crunch sounds followed by the juices running down your chin, you know you have done your quest proud.
Best, what does that mean to me? Well, I think if you have given it your all and have put your best forward, then in the true sense of the word you have succeeded. To me, it does not mean better than any other, because so many passionate cooks make incredible eats and there are so many great fried chicken recipes out there.
So without further ado, I am giving you my Best Buttermilk Fried Chicken!
Growing up Italian we didn’t venture too far outside our traditional ways in the realm of cooking. But every once in a while a family friend or uncle or aunt would introduce us to a Canadian fare that would broaden our culinary experiences. Fried chicken is no exception as really there is no fried chicken in the roster of recipes in the Italian tradition other than a chicken cutlet but that’s a whole other story.
My first encounter with fried chicken is a kind of funny one. My mom and dad would go out leaving our neighbor to look after us. My dad would always give her money so we could order food in. Usually, a Saturday night watching episodes of Red Skelton, Carol Brunette “I’m so glad we had this time together, just to laugh …………..” funny how you remember things. Well, we would always order chicken from “Chicken on the Way”. I remember the truck pulling up and my brother Mauro and I waiting impatiently for that back door of this food truck to open. This meant our fried chicken was done and we would be feasting soon. Fries, gravy, some corn fritters and jam and that crispy greasy fried chicken, we felt like we were truly in heaven and truly blessed sitting on our western wagon wheeled hide a bed licking our fingers clean. Those were the days……… It was just a bit of time later that we met Colonel Sanders and that ever so tasty Kentucky Fried Chicken. I remember my mom saying I can make this and her quest to reproduce that chicken was on. We were the judging panel and many a night we would wait in anticipation for the chicken to hit our plates. Did she succeed in her quest, well she came pretty close with her tries, double dredged, fried then oven backed, a whole plethora of spices. It was fun and very tasty I do have to admit. We would sit there as a family eating and be thinking of ways to get the recipe from Colonel Sanders, but you know the scenario, recipes handed down, especially commercial one, were just that secrets to be kept which is all good to me, means a little fun and experimentation in the kitchen……..lol.
From childhood memories and many a try, I give you my Best Buttermilk Fried Chicken.
“Colonel Sanders and his boys make it finger licking good!”
I am not one to let a hunch go wasted, by that I mean a good idea. We were at The Old Strathcona Farmers market and I bought some chicken thighs from Sunworks Farms. I buy from there because I know the farmers and their chickens are free range and super happy. We were at their farm and witnessed it fully. So it is a good foundation to start from. The minute I laid eyes on those moist thighs I was thinking fried chicken. Not just your average dredge and into the hot oil you go chicken but our Best Buttermilk Fried Chicken. To achieve that I first marinated the thighs in milk, spices such as paprika, coriander, celery powder, herbs of thyme, basil and parsley. That sits overnight in the fridge, then in comes the buttermilk to work its magic for a few hours. I can’t wait to fry these babies, I know all that marination and the buttermilk will make those chicken thighs sing glory alleluia!
To fry the chicken I heated up some safflower oil in a cast iron pan on the grill of the barbecue. I take the chicken out of the fridge bringing it to room temperature and while that is warming up a bit I mix up the flour dredge with some spices and herbs. I love the smell of all those aromas of spices delightfully tossed in the flour. Now the fun begins. Out come the thighs letting the excess buttermilk to drip off. Into the flour they go making sure to coat the pieces well, and into a 360 degree oil they go to fry up golden brown.
I fried them till they just started to get golden then took them out and placed them on some paper towel. When they cooled down I placed them back into the hot oil and fried them again. Look at that crust so crispy. I bet you that thigh inside is just plump with juices.
Get those plates, I am so so hungry and want to sink my teeth into these bad boys.
Does that not look so so good to you? I bet you wish you could reach into that computer screen and grab a piece, lol. I served this with some sauteed kale, trying to keep it somewhat southern.
Here I go, first bite in. Mmmmmmmmmmmm, ohhhhhh, this is so so good. The coating is crisp and crunchy and I am getting hints of spices such as the coriander, paprika, black pepper, garlic powder and that celery powder. The herbs give just wonderful notes of fresh herbiness. The next bite in and I feel the juices of the chicken thigh coming down my chin. Thank God for napkins. I love the way the marinade just tenderized the meat to no end and all those flavors of the marinade dancing on my palate. The buttermilk gives this nice acidity for an all-around, incredible, fried chicken experience. The kale was a perfect contrast in texture and flavor making this truly my best yet in the southern realm of cooking.
I can honestly say I am giving you my Best Buttermilk Fried Chicken. Canada Day weekend is upon us and we all know our country was built on culture and our uniqueness. There is no better way to celebrate than being outdoors and enjoying this incredible fried chicken created out of loving memories and our determination to make delicious things to feast on!
Happy 151 Years Canada, we are truly strong and free!
P.S. This fried chicken smelled so good I even had Nicoletta (who is vegetarian/pescatarian) mouthwatering a bit, which tells me I succeeded in my quest to give my best! Oh ya, as you can see in the picture down below, I didn’t let those leftovers go to waste. I created a wonderful crispy chicken sandwich which I have to say I devoured it was so good, lol.
Song of the day: “Ahead by a Century” by The Tragically Hip.Print
Best Buttermilk Fried Chicken beautifully marinated in milk, spices and herbs overnight tenderizing the chicken thighs only to be dipped and floured and fried to a golden delicious crispiness and left so juicy and flavorful inside.
- 4 medium size boneless skinless organic chicken thighs
- 1/4 cup 2% milk
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground celery seeds
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp lemon grass
- pinch of fine sea salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tsp fresh chopped basil
- 1 tsp fresh chopped parsley
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 tsp baking powder
- pinch of sea salt and fresh ground pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp fresh chopped basil
- 1 tsp fresh chopped thyme
- 1 tsp fresh chopped rosemary
- 1/2 tsp jerk seasoning spice
- Wash chicken thighs and pat dry.
- In a medium bowl mix all the ingredients for the marinate excluding the buttermilk.
- Place chicken thighs in and turn to coat all sides of the thighs, cover, and place in fridge overnight.
- Take chicken out of the fridge and pour in buttermilk. Stir and turn chicken over and let sit for a few hours covered in the fridge.
- While chicken is still marinating, in a medium bowl mix flour and all other ingredients for the dredge, blend well and set aside.
- Take chicken out of the fridge and let come to room temperature. Preheat BBQ as the chicken is warming up.
- Place a medium cast iron pan with the safflower oil on grill and heat to 360 degrees F.
- Take a chicken thigh and let excess marinade drip off. Place into the flour mixture and turn over coating all sides and surfaces of the chicken.
- Gently lay thigh away from you and into the oil.
- Fry for about 10 minutes or just when the coating starts to turn golden, take out of oil and set on a paper towel to cool. Repeat this process with all the chicken thighs.
- When the chicken has cooled, place back into oil and fry for another 8-10 minutes and check chicken with a thermometer. It should read 165 degrees F.
- Take chicken out and place on paper towel and lightly season with fine sea salt and a garnish of fresh parsley.
- Ready to serve.
- For frying, you do not have to use a BBQ you can use your stove too, or if you have a deep fryer that is fine too.
- Remember to add the time for marinating and resting: overnight and a few extra hours, plus the time when you take it out of the fridge and bring to room temperature about 15-20 minutes.
- We suggested having a sauteed kale, but for a side dish, you can choose anything you like. For the kale, we washed and spun it then blanched it in boiling water, drained and sauteed it with olive oil, garlic, and some dried chili flakes.