• (Martha and Snoop's Potluck Dinner Party)

Martha's recipe for her perfect fried chicken, crisp and golden every time.






Skill level

Average: 3.9 (28 votes)


  • 1½ tbsp coarse salt + 1 tsp extra
  • 1 whole chicken (about 1.6-1.8kg), cut into 10 pieces
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 tsp dried mustard
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1½ cups plain flour
  •  tbsp coarse yellow cornmeal (optional)
  • safflower or canola oil, for frying
  • flaky sea salt, for serving (optional)

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.


Brining time: overnight

Marinating time: 4 hours  to overnight

Standing time: 1 hour

In a large bowl, stir together 10 cups of ice water and 1½ tablespoons coarse salt. Add chicken, submerging all pieces. Cover; let soak overnight in refrigerator.

In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, 3 teaspoons coarse salt, mustard and ½ teaspoon each cayenne and black pepper. Transfer chicken to marinade, submerging all pieces. Cover; refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

Let chicken stand at room temperature 1 hour. In a shallow dish, whisk together flour, cornmeal (if using), remaining 1 teaspoon each coarse salt and black pepper, and remaining ½ teaspoon cayenne.

Heat a heavy pot filled halfway with oil over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 175°C (350°F). Remove chicken from marinade a few pieces at a time (do not shake off excess); dredge in flour mixture. Transfer to a baking sheet.

Fry chicken in batches until golden brown and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part (avoiding bone) reads 71°C (160°F), 6 to 7 minutes for small pieces, 9 to 10 minutes for large. Adjust heat to maintain temperature between 171°C (340°F) and 175°C (350°F) during cooking. Transfer to a wire rack set on a rimmed baking sheet; season with sea salt. Serve warm or at room temperature. 


Watch Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party Sunday nights 8:30pm on SBS VICELAND. Read about Martha and Snoop's fried chicken battle, and Snoop's secret ingredient chicken wings, here