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Basil Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Fried chicken doesn't have to come from a bucket. Try this Basil Buttermilk Fried Chicken recipe to make quality, southern-style fried chicken right in your own kitchen. This is one of the best pan-fried chicken breast recipes you'll find!


  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons dried basil, crumbled
  • 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
  • 2 chickens (about 3 1/2-pounds each), cut into serving pieces
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds (about) solid vegetable shortening (for frying)
  • fresh basil sprigs (for garnish)


  1. In a large, non-reactive bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, 1 tablespoon of the dried basil, and the hot pepper sauce. Add the chicken pieces. Turn to coat, and marinate, covered, at room temperature, stirring once or twice, for 2 hours.
  2. In a wide seep plate (like a pie plate), combine the flour, the remaining 2 tablespoons of dried basil, the salt, and the pepper.
  3. One at a time, lift the chicken pieces from the marinade, letting most of the excess drip back into the bowl. Dredge the chicken pieces in the seasoned flour. Transfer the chicken to a rack and let stand for 30 minutes to firm the coating.
  4. In two large skillets over medium-high heat, melt enough shortening to come 1/2-inch up the sides. Heat the shortening until very hot (almost smoking); then carefully add the chicken pieces skin-side down.
  5. Cook, uncovered, for 12 minutes. Turn the chicken and cook another 12 to 15 minutes until done. Drain the chicken on paper towels. (To use fewer paper towels, drain on a pile of newspaper covered with one layer of paper towels.)
  6. Arrange the chicken on a platter; garnish with fresh basil sprigs and serve hot, warm, or cool.

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