Fried Chicken Recipe Without Buttermilk: Simple & Crispy

Part 1: Introduction to Fried Chicken Without Buttermilk

Fried chicken is a beloved dish known for its crispy exterior and juicy interior. Traditionally, many recipes call for buttermilk to tenderize and flavor the chicken before frying. However, there are numerous reasons one might seek an alternative to buttermilk, whether due to dietary restrictions, allergies, or simply a lack of buttermilk at hand. This article will explore the various methods and ingredients that can be used to create delicious fried chicken without the use of buttermilk.

The Role of Buttermilk in Fried Chicken

Buttermilk is commonly used in fried chicken recipes for several reasons:

  • Tenderizing: The acidic properties of buttermilk help in breaking down the protein structures in chicken, making it tender.
  • Flavor: It imparts a tangy flavor, enhancing the overall taste of the chicken.
  • Moisture: Buttermilk aids in retaining moisture, ensuring the chicken doesn’t dry out during the cooking process.

However, the absence of buttermilk doesn’t mean sacrificing these qualities. There are various alternatives and techniques that can be employed to achieve similar results. In the following sections, we will delve into these methods, ensuring that your fried chicken remains just as tantalizing and satisfying.

Alternative Ingredients for Fried Chicken recipe Without Buttermilk

Several ingredients can step in as substitutes for buttermilk:

  • Yogurt: Plain yogurt can be thinned with a bit of water or milk to reach a buttermilk-like consistency and acidity.
  • Milk and Vinegar/Lemon Juice: A combination of milk and a small amount of vinegar or lemon juice can mimic the acidic properties of buttermilk.
  • Non-Dairy Milks: For a dairy-free option, non-dairy milks mixed with an acid like vinegar or lemon juice can be used.

Additionally, techniques like dry brining or using different marinades can also impart flavor and tenderness to the chicken.

In the next section, we will explore these alternative techniques and how they compare to traditional buttermilk marination. Stay tuned for a comprehensive guide on preparing your fried chicken recipe without buttermilk, ensuring a dish that’s crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and full of flavor.

Read more about buttermilk alternatives and their uses in cooking

This introduction sets the stage for the article, emphasizing the importance of buttermilk in traditional fried chicken recipes and introducing alternatives and techniques that will be explored in the following sections. Stay tuned for Part 2, where we will delve deeper into the nuances of dry brining and other marination methods.

Part 2: Recipe Variations and Techniques

Dry Brining vs. Wet Brining

When it comes to preparing fried chicken without buttermilk, understanding the difference between dry and wet brining is crucial:

  • Dry Brining:
    • Dry brining involves generously salting the chicken and letting it rest, usually in the refrigerator. This process aids in tenderizing the meat and drawing out its natural flavors.
    • The salt initially draws moisture out, which then dissolves the salt, creating a natural brine that is reabsorbed. This results in moist and flavorful chicken.
    • Benefits:
      • Less mess compared to wet brining.
      • Enhances the chicken’s natural flavors.
      • Aids in achieving crispier skin.
  • Wet Brining:
    • Traditional wet brining involves soaking the chicken in a liquid solution, typically containing water, salt, and sometimes sugar and other flavorings.
    • While effective for moisture retention, it can dilute the chicken’s natural flavor and sometimes result in a soggy texture.

In the absence of buttermilk, dry brining is a highly recommended technique. It requires less preparation space and maintains the integrity of the chicken’s flavor and texture.

Different Coatings and Batters

The key to the perfect fried chicken without buttermilk lies in its coating. Without buttermilk, here are some alternatives:

  • Flour and Cornstarch Mixture:
    • A blend of all-purpose flour and cornstarch can create a light, crispy coating. The cornstarch helps in achieving that coveted crunch.
    • Spices like paprika, garlic powder, and black pepper can be added for extra flavor.

Explore various flour options, including gluten-free varieties, as detailed in our article on Costco Gluten-Free Bread.

  • Seasoning Options:
    • Incorporate a variety of spices for a flavorful crust. Options include cayenne pepper, onion powder, and dried herbs.
    • Experiment with different combinations to find your perfect blend.

Frying Techniques

  • Oil and Temperature:
    • Choosing the right oil is crucial. Options like vegetable, canola, or peanut oil are ideal due to their high smoke points.
    • Maintaining the correct oil temperature (usually around 350°F) is vital for even cooking and crispiness.
  • Frying Process:
    • Fry the chicken in batches to avoid overcrowding, which can lower oil temperature and result in uneven cooking.
    • Use a thermometer to ensure the chicken reaches the safe internal temperature of 165°F.

Discover more about effective frying techniques

This section provides a detailed comparison of dry brining versus wet brining and discusses various coating and frying techniques suitable for making fried chicken without buttermilk. The focus on dry brining, alternative coatings, and proper frying methods highlights the versatility in preparing this dish. Stay tuned for Part 3, where we will delve into the step-by-step process of preparing and cooking your chicken.

Part 3: Step-by-Step Fried Chicken Without Buttermilk Recipe Guide

Preparation of Chicken

  • Cleaning and Cutting:
    • Begin by thoroughly cleaning your chicken pieces. Pat them dry with paper towels for better seasoning adherence.
    • If using a whole chicken, cut it into parts (breasts, thighs, wings, and drumsticks) for even cooking.

For ideas on how to cut and prepare chicken, check out our Thin-Sliced Chicken Breast Recipes .

  • Seasoning and Marinating:
    • Season the chicken generously with salt and spices of your choice. For a basic seasoning, mix salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.
    • If opting for dry brining, coat the chicken with the salt mixture and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Breading and Coating

  • Flour Mixture:
    • In a large bowl, mix flour with spices like paprika, garlic powder, and a hint of cayenne for heat. You can also add cornstarch for extra crispiness.
    • For a thicker crust, you can use a double-dipping method: first coat the chicken in the flour mixture, dip in water or a beaten egg, and then coat again in flour.
  • Coating the Chicken:
    • Ensure each piece of chicken is thoroughly coated with the flour mixture. Shake off any excess for an even layer.

Cooking Process

  • Frying:
    • Heat your chosen oil in a deep fryer or a large, heavy-bottomed skillet to around 350°F.
    • Fry the chicken pieces in batches to avoid crowding, which can lower the oil temperature.
    • Cook each piece until golden brown and crisp, usually about 7-10 minutes per side, depending on the size of the pieces.
  • Ensuring Doneness:
    • Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken, which should reach 165°F for safe consumption.
    • Once cooked, let the chicken rest on a wire rack or paper towels to drain excess oil.


This section provides a comprehensive guide on preparing, breading, and frying chicken for a delicious fried chicken meal without buttermilk. The emphasis on proper preparation, coating, and frying techniques ensures that the chicken is cooked perfectly. Stay tuned for Part 4, where we will discuss the best ways to serve and store your freshly made fried chicken.

Part 4: Serving and Storage

Serving Suggestions

  • Presentation:
    • Serve your fried chicken on a platter, garnished with fresh herbs like parsley or slices of lemon for a touch of color.
    • Consider offering a variety of dipping sauces such as honey mustard, barbecue, or a spicy mayo to complement the flavors.
  • Side Dishes:
    • Fried chicken pairs wonderfully with classic sides like mashed potatoes, coleslaw, or biscuits.
    • For a healthier option, serve with a fresh salad or steamed vegetables.

Storage and Reheating

  • Storing Leftovers:
    • Cool the chicken completely before storing.
    • Place the chicken in an airtight container and refrigerate. Properly stored, fried chicken can last in the fridge for 3-4 days.
  • Reheating:
    • To retain the chicken’s crispiness, reheat in an oven preheated to 375°F. Place the chicken on a baking sheet and warm for about 15 minutes.
    • Avoid using a microwave for reheating, as it can make the coating soggy.


This section covers essential tips on how to best serve and store fried chicken, ensuring that it remains as enjoyable as when first cooked. Presentation and side dish suggestions help enhance the overall dining experience. The next and final part, Part 5, will address frequently asked questions, providing additional insights and tips for perfecting your fried chicken recipe without buttermilk.

Part 5: FAQs Based on People Also Ask

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I use a different type of meat instead of chicken for this recipe?
    • Absolutely! This recipe can be adapted for other meats like turkey, pork chops, or even fish. The key is to adjust cooking times based on the type of meat used.
  • What is the best oil for frying chicken?
    • For frying chicken, oils with a high smoke point such as vegetable, canola, or peanut oil are recommended. They can withstand high temperatures without burning, ensuring a crispy and golden exterior.
  • How can I tell if the oil is hot enough for frying?
    • The ideal frying temperature is around 350°F. You can use a cooking thermometer to check this. Alternatively, you can test the oil by dropping a small amount of flour into it; if it sizzles immediately, it’s ready.
  • What are some healthy side dishes to serve with fried chicken?
    • Consider serving your fried chicken with sides like quinoa salad, roasted vegetables, or a fresh green salad for a balanced meal.
  • How do I ensure my fried chicken is crispy and not soggy?
    • Ensure your oil is at the right temperature and avoid overcrowding the pan. Let the chicken drain on a wire rack instead of paper towels to prevent steam from making the crust soggy.
  • Can fried chicken be made ahead of time for a party?
    • Yes, you can fry the chicken ahead of time and keep it warm in an oven set at a low temperature. This will help maintain its crispiness until serving.
  • Is there a gluten-free option for this recipe?
    • For a gluten-free version, you can use gluten-free flour or a mixture of cornstarch and almond flour for the coating.


This section addresses common questions related to making fried chicken without buttermilk, offering practical tips and alternatives to ensure the best results. These FAQs cover various aspects of the recipe, from preparation to serving, providing valuable insights for both novice and experienced cooks. Stay tuned for the conclusion in the next part, where we summarize key points and encourage readers to try this delicious recipe.

Conclusion: Embracing Fried Chicken Recipe Without Buttermilk

In conclusion, creating a delicious batch of fried chicken without buttermilk is not only possible but can also lead to some exciting culinary explorations. Through the use of alternative ingredients like yogurt, milk with vinegar, or non-dairy milks, and techniques like dry brining, you can achieve a chicken that is tender, flavorful, and perfectly crispy.

Remember, the secret to great fried chicken lies in the preparation – taking time to season, brine, and coat your chicken properly. And when it comes to frying, choosing the right oil and maintaining the correct temperature are crucial for achieving that irresistible golden crust.

Whether you’re cooking for a family dinner, a casual gathering, or a special occasion, this buttermilk-free fried chicken recipe is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Pair it with your favorite sides, serve it with love, and enjoy the satisfaction that comes from mastering this classic dish in a new and exciting way.

We hope this guide has inspired you to try your hand at making fried chicken without buttermilk. With these tips and techniques, you’re well on your way to serving up a dish that’s sure to delight and impress.


This article aimed to provide a comprehensive guide on how to make fried chicken without buttermilk, covering everything from alternative ingredients and brining methods to frying techniques and serving suggestions. Whether you’re an experienced cook or a beginner in the kitchen, these insights and tips should help you create a delicious meal that everyone will enjoy. Happy cooking!


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