Crispy Buttermilk Chicken Sandwich: How To Make It

This sandwich is marinated in seasoned buttermilk and deep-fried until crispy and golden brown. Then, it’s topped with a simple homemade spicy mayo and piled onto a brioche bun. No need to pay restaurant prices for a crispy buttermilk chicken sandwich when you can make this right at home.

While this is one of our favorite deep fryer recipes, it will work just fine in a skillet or Dutch oven 😉.

finished chicken sandwich with spicy sauce and pickles layer on top

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich

Top this deliciously crispy and tender chicken with your favorite toppings for a sandwich that's good enough for your favorite restaurant.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
marinating 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 45 minutes
Serving Size 6 sandwiches

Equipment

  • Deep fryer or Dutch oven

Ingredients 

For the seasoning blend

  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • ½ tablespoon cayenne
  • ½ tablespoon garlic powder

To make the chicken

  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 6 chicken breast cutlets pounded thin
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon seasoning blend (the one you just made!)
  • 2 quarts peanut oil or vegetable oil for frying

Sauce

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • remaining seasoning blend
  • buttermilk to thin out optional

For assembling sandwiches

  • pickle slices
  • lettuce
  • buns

Instructions 

  • Make seasoning. Combine seasonings for the seasoning blend in a small bowl. Set aside. You will use this for all parts of the sandwich.
    A close-up of the seasoning blend in a small white bowl, with a checkered blue and white napkin in the background.
  • Prepare chicken. Pound chicken cutlets as thin as possible. If you are working with full-sized chicken breasts, slice them in half first. Pour buttermilk into a large mixing bowl.
    Raw chicken breast cutlets being pounded thin on a wooden cutting board, prepared for marinating and frying.
  • Marinate chicken. Pour buttermilk into a large mixing bowl. Measure out 2 tablespoons of the seasoning mixture and combine with buttermilk, stirring well. Place chicken breasts in buttermilk to marinate, making sure they are fully submerged. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours, or 30 minutes at room temperature.
    A before and after representation of buttermilk marinade in a yellow-rimmed bowl, with chicken being added.
  • Bread chicken. In a separate large mixing bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of the seasoning blend with the flour. Remove chicken from the buttermilk marinade, shake off gently, and toss in seasoned flour.
    seasoned flour in mixing bowl before and after adding chicken. breast.
  • Fry. Heat oil in deep, heavy bottomed Dutch oven or electric deep fryer to 360 degrees. Deep fry for 7-9 minutes at 360 degree, turning halfway through. Chicken will appear dark due to the paprika, make sure to check inside for doneness. Remove to paper towel-lined baking sheet or plate to drain.
    A Dutch oven with bubbling oil frying chicken cutlets, capturing the action of deep frying.
  • Drain. Remove to paper towel-lined baking sheet or plate to drain.
    Breaded chicken cutlets laid out on a paper towel, freshly fried until golden brown, ready to be placed on a sandwich bun.
  • Make the sauce. Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
    A small bowl of creamy sandwich sauce made with mayonnaise and spices, ready to be spread on a buttermilk fried chicken sandwich.
  • Assemble. Toast buns if desired and assemble sandwiches with the sauce and your favorite toppings. We like dill pickle and lettuce 😊.
    An open sandwich bun with pickle slices spread on one half and a lettuce leaf on the other, prepared for assembling a buttermilk fried chicken sandwich.

Notes

Nutritional facts are for the chicken only.
These are perfect with brioche buns.
Calories: 190kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 1672mg | Potassium: 189mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 361IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 114mg | Iron: 2mg

I hope you love this and it gets added to your dinner recipe rotation. Since it’s basically a giant chicken tender, you can serve it without the bun to your pickest eaters.

closeup of fried chicken sandwich on plate

About the ingredients (they’re simple!)

The standout ingredients in this recipe are the buttermilk and the homemade seasoning blend. If you don’t have buttermilk, I wouldn’t recommend any substitutes. It’s really important for the recipe.

ingredients in small bowls on cutting board.

For the seasoning blend

  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 tablespoon cayenne
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder

To make the chicken

Equipment

If you have an electric deep fryer you won’t want to deal with splattering oil and temperature monitoring.

But if you don’t have one, you can deep fry your chicken breasts in a deep, heavy pot such as an enameled Dutch oven. You’ll also need a candy thermometer to keep an eye on how hot your oil is, and you’ll want to read about deep fryer safety.

  • Electric Deep Fryer or Dutch Oven: For perfect frying.
  • Meat Tenderizer: To pound the chicken cutlets.
  • Mixing Bowls: For marinating and breading the chicken.
  • Thermometer: To monitor oil temperature.
  • Tongs: For safely turning the chicken while frying.

Step by step

grid of 4 images of dunking chicken in buttermilk, flouring, and deep frying

Honestly, this isn’t hard. Deep frying can be intimidating, but other than that, this recipe is easy-peasy.

Start by making your seasoning blend by combining the salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne, and garlic powder in a small bowl.

Scoop out 1 tablespoon of the blend and mix it with two cups of the buttermilk. Place the chicken in the buttermilk and let it marinate. If you have the time, pop the bowl in the fridge for four hours. If you’re in a hurry, leave it on the counter for about twenty minutes.

When it’s time for the next step, start heating up your oil to 360 degrees. (Be careful, and keep an eye on it!) Mix up the flour and a tablespoon of the seasoning blend. Take out the chicken, gently shake it off, and dredge in the flour mixture.

And now we fry! The chicken will take about 8 minutes, and you’ll want to flip it halfway through. It will look quite dark because of the paprika, which can be deceptive, so check to make sure it’s done inside.

Let it drain on paper-towel-lined plates, and then make your sandwiches. We love them with thinly sliced pickles, Cajun ranch dressing, and shredded lettuce.

more deep-fried recipes:

  • Bite into Crispy Deep Fried Zucchini. It’s a delightful blend of garden-fresh zucchini and a golden, crunchy coating. It will leave your taste buds craving more.
  • Southern Buttermilk Chicken Tenders are a mouthwatering treat. They’re marinated in rich buttermilk and spices. Then, they’re fried to perfection for that ultimate tender and juicy experience.
  • Experience the sweet and savory magic of Best Ever Deep Fried Sweet Potato Fries. Each fry is a perfect blend of crispy outside and fluffy inside.
  • Spice up your meal with our Fried Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches. They feature succulent chicken with a fiery buffalo sauce kick, all tucked between soft, fresh buns.

Remember, the key to success with this recipe lies in the details. These include the marination time, the frying technique, and the quality of ingredients. Feel free to experiment with different toppings. Adjust the seasoning to suit your taste. The beauty of cooking at home is making each dish yours.

Crispy Buttermilk Chicken Sandwich: How To Make It

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