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In the land of the South, this dish is a religion, and at one bite, we’re ready to convert. The crispy chicken is brined in buttermilk, hot sauce, and honey, resulting in the juiciest, moistest, most flavorful dish either side of the Mason Dixon. Kate, Recipe Hunter

Kate Edeker

THE RECIPE

Southern Buttermilk Brined Fried Chicken

Brined, dredged, and fried to perfection

This is one recipe that should be in every cook’s arsenal. The Southern classic’s crunch of the breading, the rich meat of the chicken, the various spices that create the harmonious flavors… And yet for such a simple pleasure, this dish takes a little know how and a great recipe. Enter Beth with her Tennessee roots and her researched and tested recipe for classic Southern buttermilk brined fried chicken. She takes the time to soak the chicken overnight in a buttermilk-honey-spice brine, which both tenderizes the meat and delivers a sweet/spicy hint to the moist pieces. The “dredge, dip, dredge” method relies on the secret ingredient of nutmeg mixed into the dry bowl and more buttermilk for the wet. A quick dip in some hot oil leaves the chicken with a shaggy, crispy crust that makes this dish the ultimate in classic comfort.

THE CHEF

Beth Kirby

Stylist, Photographer, Writer, and Recipe Developer

Beth Kirby in a fetching hat.

Inspired by lard, buttermilk, sorghum, and a Technicolor garland of produce—often tomatoes, okra, peaches, and bushels of leathery greens—my cooking is narrative and about being present and finding sustenance—spiritual, emotional, and physical—right where you are.

Behind her stunningly artistic photography and her expressive and engaging writing, Beth’s recipes shine, sitting somewhere between comforting favorites and exciting discoveries. On Local Milk, seasonal ingredients are on constant rotation, offering up the best produce that the earth has to offer. Her Southern background inspires fresh combinations like Rosemary and Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk Muffins and Cornmeal Brown Butter Scones, throwing together familiar flavors in new ways. Follow her example: Grab your trusty cast iron skillet, stock up on buttermilk, and fall in love with you garden’s harvest.

Head over to Local Milk and say hello to Beth on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

THE TIP

4 Ways to Test If Your Oil is Hot Enough For Frying

Getting your oil to the right temperature can be tricky. Never fear, there are ways to test if the oil in your pan is the proper temperature for frying.

Read the full tip >