• Buttermilk fried chicken (Donna Hay)Source: Donna Hay

Crunchy golden fried chicken is an absolute crowd-pleaser. By seasoning the chicken in spices and soaking it in buttermilk before frying, this version makes something great even better.






Skill level

Average: 2.7 (191 votes)


  • 2 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds, crushed
  • 8 x 125g chicken thigh fillets, trimmed
  • 2 cups (500ml) buttermilk
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • 2 cups (300g) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp sea salt flakes, plus extra to serve
  • ½ tsp cracked black pepper

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Resting time: 30 minutes

  1. Place the paprika and fennel seeds in a large bowl and mix to combine. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Add the buttermilk, mix to combine and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Fill a large saucepan two-thirds full with oil and place over medium heat until the temperature reaches 180°C (350°F) on a deep-frying thermometer.
  3. While the oil is heating, place the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper on a large tray and toss to combine.
  4. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk mixture, allowing any excess liquid to drip off. Place on the tray with the flour mixture and toss to coat evenly.
  5. Deep-fry the chicken, in batches, for 5–6 minutes or until crisp, golden and cooked through. Drain on paper towel and keep warm. Sprinkle with extra salt to serve. 


You can also combine the flour mixture in a large zip-lock plastic bag. Seal and shake to coat the chicken. To keep the chicken warm before serving, place it on a baking tray in an oven preheated to 140°C (275°F).

This recipe is from Donna Hay: Basics to Brillance on SBS Food (Channel 33). Stream episodes via SBS On Demand.