Smoked Paprika Buttermilk Fried Chicken Recipe: An insanely flavorfully brined buttermilk Fried Chicken Recipe is fried to golden brown perfection then finished with a spiced honey glaze. If you love fried chicken, definitely try my Big Mama’s Classic Fried Chicken, Sweet Tea Fried Chicken, Oven Fried Chicken Tenders and even these Fried Chicken Biscuits and my Fried Chicken Gizzards!!
A Perfect Buttermilk Fried Chicken Recipe with Flavor Galore!!
Fried chicken is considered a delicacy filled with love in my family, so selecting it to serve at my friend Julia Turshen’s Friendsgiving celebration to support No Kid Hungry was a no brainer. Growing up, I watched both my big mama and mama fry hundreds chicken, and they do a darn good job if you ask me.
Old school methods consisted of just salt and pepper for seasoning, all purpose flour for coating, lard for frying, and paper towels for draining. You would never know it by the taste that the techniques and ingredients to create their masterpiece fried chicken recipe were truly the humblest and simplest. Over the years, I have grabbed some of their techniques and picked up new ones. My methods have truly evolved to be quite honest but the taste remains the same, utterly addictive.
What is Buttermilk Fried Chicken?
Simply put, buttermilk fried chicken is really chicken that has marinaded in a buttermilk wash which is usually seasoned with spices and flavor enhancing ingredients then dredged in a flour and fried until golden brown.
The buttermilk acids help to break down the chicken giving it tons of flavor and tang before it is cooked. I love making buttermilk fried chicken because it can be super versatile. I have added everything to my buttermilk marinade ranging from hot sauce to honey. It really takes on various flavors quite well.
Buttermilk Fried Chicken Recipe Ingredients
The ingredients that truly make this fried chicken recipe stand out above the rest are the following:
- Smoked Paprika
- Garlic Cloves
The smoked paprika in this recipe is a key ingredient. Julia especially specifies using a Spanish Smoked Paprika (Hot Pimenton) in this recipe. It is a crucial ingredient in Spanish recipes. The peppers dry very slowly over a wood burning fire for several weeks to produce the very hot smoky flavor it is known for. It’s signature really makes a huge difference in flavor here.
Garlic is always a lovely flavor in buttermilk soaks. It really lends a wonderful essence of scent and taste.
For frying, you won’t just be using flour. Here you will also use cornstarch. I love using cornstarch whenever I fry chicken. It adds a wonderful addition of crispy crunchy deliciousness whenever it is paired with the flour mixture.
Finally there is an additional flavor component for serving with the chicken and it is the perfect essence of heat and sweet. A mix of honey, smoked paprika and cayenne add a lovely addition to this chicken. It is of course optional but try it and see how delicious it is!! You might just love it!
How to Make Buttermilk Fried Chicken Recipe
Here are some quick tips for making the best Buttermilk Fried Chicken recipe in your very own home!
Tip 1: Make sure you marinate the chicken in buttermilk for AT LEAST 4 hours! BEST if overnight!
To ensure you get the best flavor from the very beginning, the marinating is very crucial. Don’t do this for less than 4 hours or you won’t have the incredible benefits of flavor you will crave!
Tip 2: Make sure you bring your chicken back to room temperature before frying!
This is important because if you add seriously cold chicken to hot oil, it may not cook evenly or take a super long time resulting in a burnt outside and not cooked through inside. It will also bring the temperature of your oil way down.
Tip 3: This is my personal tip: I like to let the chicken sit in the flour and let it set for at least 15 minutes.
Have you ever fried chicken and the entire breading comes off? This helps to prevent this!
I became a fan of the buttermilk fried chicken recipe in my 20s, and relied on it over the last decade. And this Smoked Paprika Buttermilk Fried Chicken Recipe (titled Buttermilk + Pimenton Fried Chicken) in Julia Turshen’s masterpiece Small Victories: Recipes, Advice + Hundreds of Ideas for Home-Cooking Triumphs, a new cookbook filled to the brim with humble and accessible recipes I cannot wait to try.
This recipe has such a fantastic flavor and realistic tips along the way. I loved the pimenton (Spanish smoked paprika) touch here because it adds a lovely smoked spicy touch that partners well with the honey that is added to the buttermilk marinade and finishing drizzle.
This Smoked Paprika Buttermilk Fried Chicken recipe brought back memories. From Sunday suppers to holiday meals, we always had a chicken frying, and it always felt special to me. I realize the blessings I had as a kid to have had these fond moments that I look back on are not the norm though they should be.
What To Serve Buttermilk Fried Chicken With?
Back in the South or growing up, here are some of the sides we served our fried chicken with that I know you will just adore!
- Mashed Potatoes
- Homemade Gravy
- Baked Macaroni and Cheese
- Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese
- Hot Water Cornbread
- Collard Greens or
- Mustard Greens
Love Fried Recipes? Try these!
- This fried green tomatoes recipe is the best one on the web!
- Fried okra is the very best the south can offer! This fried okra recipe is the bee’s knees!
- I’m seriously in love with this chicken fried steak recipe! It is one of my most popular recipe. This Country fried steak is gold!
- I love some fried shrimp! This fried shrimp recipe is the best!
- Love fried catfish? This oven fried catfish will blow your mind.
- And for a side dish? These fried onion rings are incredible!
Smoked Paprika Buttermilk Fried Chicken Recipe
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 teaspoons hot pimenton Spanish smoked paprika
- Kosher salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 3 1/2 lb chicken cut into 10 pieces (w wings, 2 legs, 2 thighs, and 2 breasts cut in half across the bone)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Neutral oil such as canola, grapeseed, or safflower, for frying
- In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, cayenne, 1 teaspoon of the pimenton, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover the bowl and set it aside at room temperature for up to 1 day. This will get drizzled on the fried chicken once it's done... hoorah!
- In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, garlic, remaining 3 teaspoons pimenton, and 2 tablespoons salt. Pour into a large resealable plastic bag and add the chicken. Close the bag and turn to coat the chicken. Refrigerate the chicken for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
- Take the chicken out of the refrigerator 1 to 2 hours before you're ready to cook it so that it can come to room temperature.
- In a large baking dish, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, and 1 teaspoon salt.
- Pour 1/2 in oil into a large heavy pot over medium heat and let the oil heat up.
- Meanwhile, take the chicken out of the bag, working with one piece at a time, and allow the excess buttermilk to drip back into the bag. Place the chicken into the flour mixture. Dredge each piece lightly on all sides and transfer to a plate. Discard the excess buttermilk and flour mixtures.
- When the oil is hot enough that it bubbles around the chicken when the edge of a piece is dripped into it, use tongs to gently and carefully place a few pieces in the oil - don't crowd them (the number of pieces will depend on the size of your pot).
- Cook the chicken, turning the pieces every few minutes and adjusting the heat as needed, until the skin is dark golden brown and the chicken is firm to the touch. An instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the chicken should register 170F, this will take about 15 minutes for the wings and breast pieces and 18 to 20 minutes for the legs and thighs. Transfer the cooked chicken to a paper towel-lined serving platter and continue frying the rest, adding more oil to the pot if necessary.
- Serve immediately with the reserved honey mixture for drizzling and dipping. It's also just as good at room temperature and even great cold.