I usually avoid cooking deep fried food at home but when I saw this buttermilk fried chicken in New York Times food section few months ago, I saved the recipe. One Sunday evening when both of us were not in a mood for a heavy dinner, made this chicken. I was unsure if we would like it as the seasoning was very mild and was unsure if the chicken would absorb the spices. I did increase the spice quantities, yet was unsure. To my surprise, we liked it and I ended up making this chicken 3-4 times in following couple of weeks. Unfortunately, each time I made it, I could not take any pictures.
This past weekend I bought some chicken drumsticks with a plan to marinate it overnight, fry the next day and click some pictures for the on going Cooking Carnival, Cooking with protein Rich Ingredients. As it always happens with this chicken, plan changed and ended up making it the same evening for supper. This time I managed to take a few pictures just before sunset, though am I not very happy the way chicken looks in the pictures. Drumsticks look very dry, which they were not.
Coming to the recipe, chicken drumsticks are marinated in spiced buttermilk for an hour or up to 24 hours in the fridge, flour dusted and then deep fried. Since the chicken is fried with skin and coated with flour, it had a nice crispy crust and was well seasoned. I used drumsticks but chicken thighs and drumsticks or whole chicken cut into 10 pieces can be used. If using whole chicken weighing 3 – 3 ½ pounds, double the recipe. For the recipe below use ½ whole chicken or 6 drumsticks. I tweaked the recipe a bit by adding some ginger garlic paste and chili powder along with pepper and salt to the marinade. Also added some chili powder to flour along with salt and pepper. Adjust chili and pepper powder to heat tolerance level.
Marination: 1 hour – 1 day
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
- Oil for deep frying
- 1.4 lbs Chicken Drumsticks (6 pieces with skin)
- 1 cup Buttermilk
- ½ tsp Chili Powder
- 2 tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Black Pepper Powder
- 1 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
- ¾ cup All Purpose Flour
- ¾ tsp. Black Pepper Powder
- ¾ tsp. Chili Powder
- ¾ tsp. Salt
- In a big bowl, take all ingredients listed under marinate except chicken and lightly whisk.
- Add drumsticks and toss in the buttermilk.
- Marinate for at least one hour. If marinating longer, keep in the fridge up to 24 hours. Take the chicken out 1 – 1 ½ hours before frying.
- Take all the ingredients listed under dusting in a ziploc bag that is big enough to hold all the chicken pieces (do not add chicken yet) and shake to combine all the spices. Or take a baking sheet or a plate, spread spiced flour on it.
- Heat oil in a deep frying or saute pan for deep frying.
- Take chicken pieces from the marinate, drop in the dusting flour bag and shake well to coat. Make sure chicken is well coated with flour. Or roll the chicken pieces in flour if not using a ziploc bag.
- When oil is hot, 350F, remove chicken from the flour and dust to remove excess flour.
- Gradually drop chicken pieces into hot oil. Do not crowd the pan. I fried 3 pieces at a time in two batches.
- Reduce the flame to medium low, cover the pan and let the chicken fry for 8-9 minutes, until brown on one side.
- Remove the cover, flip the chicken pieces, cover and cook for another couple of minutes.
- Remove the cover and cook for another 6-7 minutes until chicken is brown and is cooked in the inside. When cut, juices should run clear. Keep turning the chicken pieces for even frying on all sides.
- Remove from oil, place on a cooling rack that is placed in a baking tray/sheet. Excess oil will drip on to the baking tray/sheet.
- Fry the other batch.
- Serve the chicken hot ar at room temperature.
- Use a heavy bottom pan. If using a heavy bottom pan, cooking time will be longer. My pan wasn’t heavy and my chicken was cooked in 16-18 minutes. First time you fry the chicken, use the frying times as a guide and do keep an eye on the chicken when frying. The recipe called for cooking 12-15 minutes per side but in my pan and on my stove, drumsticks were cooked in 8-9 minutes per side.
- I used a thermometer to check the oil temperature. When I cooked the chicken on medium low flame, the temperature was in the range of 335 – 350 and when I cooked the first batch on medium flame, oil temperature was in 350 – 375 F range. For the second batch, I reduce the heat to medium low and I felt that was the right flame level to fry the chicken on my stove.
- I fried chicken drumsticks in two batches. I flour dusted all the drumsticks at once, deep fried three and kept the other three flour dusted pieces on a plate, until the first batch was fried.