In this house, we adore fried chicken! There’s no secret spice blend here; in fact, it’s a much-discussed spice blend. It’s a spice blend that makes this Buttermilk Fried Chicken freaking delicious!!

Isn’t it wild that, even to this day, no-one out here in the big wide world can be CERTAIN of what goes into KFC’s spice mix? MADNESS I tell thee! It’s been under lock and key, in a safe at HQ in Louisville for decades! I hadn’t even really looked into it, not until today when I was about to hit “New Post” and type up this recipe.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken is the ultimate snack in my opinion. It’s greasy, filling, crunchy and moist. For it to be to my liking it needs a kick of spice.

Black wire cooling rack, with eight golden crispy chicken drumsticks set against a white concrete background

What is Buttermilk Fried Chicken?

Let’s start with what is buttermilk? Buttermilk is the liquid left over from churning butter (ordinarily). It’s pretty low in fat and is a fab source of protein and calcium. Buttermilk is thick, like double cream, and has a beautiful tang.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken is chicken that has been marinated in buttermilk, tossed is a spice mix (more on that later) and then fried.

Why buttermilk for fried chicken?

Without getting too technical, buttermilk is acidic, but not too acidic. The slight acidity in the buttermilk tenderises the chicken, leaving a wonderfully juicy piece of chicken. The buttermilk is also full of enzymes that break down the proteins in the chicken, meaning the chicken ends up super tender. Perfection.

Buttermilk will cling to the chicken too, which means the yummy crispy coating will cling to the chicken too. Which is super handy!

How long do I need to marinate the chicken?

Now here’s a question, PERSONALLY, I think you get the best results if you do it just before you go to bed the night before cooking, so what’s that? 16 – 20 hours? I’d recommend a minimum of 6 hours, and a maximum of 2 days.

8 golden fried chicken drumsticks in a black basket lined with parchment paper set against a concrete effect background. In the bottom right of the image is a white ramekin filled with red tomato ketchup

What’s in the not so secret spice mix then? Well, following some research after already developing the recipe for this buttermilk fried chicken, I can tell you this chicken coating is nothing like that of KFC. Well, at least not like the leaked version of the Colonel Sanders’ nephew. However, I wasn’t trying to create KFC, I just wanted a banging piece of fried chicken.

Check out the exact quantities below but I used garlic powder, onion powder, ground cumin, curry powder, cayenne pepper, dried oregano, salt and white pepper.

glass bowl with coating mix for buttermilk fried chicken including: smoked parprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, oregano, curry powder, salt, white pepper, cayenne pepper, flour, sweet potato flour

Go forth and create my Buttermilk Fried Chicken! Let me know how you on in the comments below, or via social media. You can find links to all my socials on the menu bar up top.

Want to see my recipes listed by the main ingredient, cooking time or how many it serves? Head on over to the Recipe Index where I’ve broken everything down for you!

Enjoy your chicken – it’s finger lickin’ good!

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8 golden fried chicken drumsticks in a black basket lined with parchment paper set against a concrete effect background. In the bottom right of the image is a white ramekin filled with red tomato ketchup

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

  • Author: JPLongland
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 pieces 1x


Marinating chicken in buttermilk before cooking leaves a super tender, juicy bite! Coated in 9 spices, sweet potato flour for extra crunch, honestly, it’s perfection. 



  • 8 chicken drumsticks
  • 300ml Buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp salt

For Coating

  • 125g plain flour
  • 60g sweet potato flour
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 curry powder
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • ½ tbsp salt
  • ½ tbsp white pepper


  1. Making the marinade: mix together buttermilk, dijon mustard, smoked paprika, onion powder and salt in a bowl. 
  2. Marinating the chicken: Add chicken drumsticks to a sealable bag, shake well to coat the chicken in the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, but ideally overnight. 
  3. Making the crispy coating: In a large mixing bowl thoroughly combine all the coating ingredients.
  4. Dredging the chicken: Dip each chicken drumstick into the coating, back into the buttermilk and then back into the coating. Make sure that the drumstick are fully coated.
  5. Cooking the chicken: Pre-heat a deep fat fryer to 190 Celcius. Carefully lower each piece of chicken into the fryer, and cook for 8 – 10 minutes. Check that the chicken is cooked, there is no pink left and the juices run clear. If you have a temperate probe, the internal temperate of the chicken should be 75 Celsius or more. 
  6. Serve with ketchup, mayo and a roll of kitchen paper.


Coating: Sweet Potato flour adds a bit of extra crunch and crispiness to the batter. If you don’t have sweet potato flour you could use rice flour in its place. If you have neither just use extra plain flour. 

  • Category: Snack
  • Method: Deep Frying
  • Cuisine: American

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