America’s south offers rich pickings for fried chicken, where there are as many recipes for this Sunday favourite as there are cooks. Marinating the chicken in buttermilk tenderises the meat, while cayenne pepper and other seasonings bring flavour and a chilli kick. The most distinctive feature of this recipe, though, is that it’s cooked in a skillet, which allows for better heat control and perfectly cooked chicken.






Skill level

Average: 3.2 (74 votes)


  • 4 chicken thighs, bone in, skin on
  • 4 chicken drumsticks
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) Tabasco
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • 250 ml (1 cup) buttermilk
  • 450 g (3 cups) plain flour
  • vegetable oil, to shallow-fry
  • coleslaw and hot sauce, to serve

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.


Marinating time overnight

Place chicken, cayenne pepper, white pepper, Tabasco, garlic powder, onion powder, celery salt, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper in a bowl and mix to completely coat chicken. Add buttermilk, mix to coat chicken and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight to marinate.

The next day, remove chicken from fridge 1 hour before cooking. Place flour in a bowl. Remove chicken pieces from buttermilk mixture, allowing excess to drain off. Dust in flour and place pieces on a wire rack. Fill a large heavy-based skillet pan one-third full with oil, and heat over medium heat until it reaches 150ºC on a cooking thermometer. Working in batches, cook chicken, turning halfway, for 16 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. Remove from pan and place on a wire rack to drain oil. Serve with coleslaw and hot sauce.


Photography by Brett Stevens. Food preparation by Phoebe Wood. Styling by Vivien Walsh. 

As seen in Feast magazine, June 2014, Issue 32. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.