Crispy Fried Buttermilk Chicken Thighs

The Foody Bean
by The Foody Bean
6 thighs
50 min

Fried chicken goes with pretty much anything. It’s crispy, juicy and there are few things in this world that beat that first bite into a freshly fried chicken. I think this is great for holiday season, it’s packed with tons of flavor and would go really well with some macaroni and cheese and cornbread.

I served these with homemade brown sugar syrup but you can use honey or even maple syrup. The touch of sweetness on the chicken is really like the cherry on top. I heated 2 tablespoons of water and 1/2 cup brown sugar until dissolved.

I used 6 chicken thighs for this recipe but you can double it and use up to 12-14 chicken thighs. It also works with split chicken legs (drumsticks and thighs).

I like leaving the chicken in the fridge overnight so it soaks up the seasoned buttermilk marinade. If you are pressed for time, you can refrigerate the chicken for at least 2 hours.

A but if cornstarch in the coating mixture enhances the crispiness of the fried chicken. I wouldn’t recommend swapping out all-purpose flour for cornstarch because your chicken will feel like biting into a brick. So you want to add just a bit.

Crispy Fried Buttermilk Chicken Thighs
Recipe details
  • 6  thighs
  • Prep time: 20 Minutes Cook time: 30 Minutes Total time: 50 min
Show Nutrition Info
Hide Nutrition Info

  • 0.6 kg/1.3 lbs chicken thighs or legs, skin removed (about 6 pieces)
  • 454g/ 1lb vegetable shortening/4 cups Cooking oil for frying
Buttermilk marinade
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley or thyme 
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch 
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper 
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley 
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder

Whisk buttermilk marinade ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
Mix in the chicken thighs with this buttermilk marinade and wrap the top of the bowl with cling wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or, even better, overnight.
In a 10-inch cast iron skillet, unwrap the shortening and melt it completely using medium-high heat (or add cooking oil at least 3 inches deep and heat until the temperature is 350°F/175°C).
Fry chicken thighs for 8-9 minutes on each side until brown on both sides. Don’t overcrowd the pan as that reduces the temperature of the oil so I like frying 3-4 pieces at a time.
Make sure the internal temperature of the chicken reads at least 170°F/76°C to avoid biting into a blood-filled chicken. Yes I’ve been there.
Once your chicken is ready, let it cool on a wire rack. Serve warm!
  • This recipe can cook up to 12 pieces of chicken so don’t hesitate to use chicken legs for this recipe.
  • Don’t overcrowd the pan as that reduces the temperature of the oil so I like frying 3-4 pieces at a time.
  • You can quickly blot out any excess oil from the fried chicken with a paper towel but let the chicken cook completely on a wire rack. This ensures maximum crispiness rather than cooling it on paper towels where trapped steam underneath the chicken adds moisture and makes the coating sort of soggy.
  • KateyV KateyV on Dec 08, 2021

    Yum! I LOVE fried chicken.

    This recipe seems easier than most fried chicken recipes I've used. Dark meat is the best since it's more moist.

    I use chicken leg quarters all the time (as you suggested).

    Thanks for the recipe! 🙂

  • Melissa Romjue Melissa Romjue on Aug 25, 2023

    Looks so darn good! I love fried chicken!!

    I am trying this recipe tomorrow, I will update on how it turns out.