Crispy Buttermilk Chicken with Chipotle Sauce

Chef James Martin calls this Crispy Buttermilk Chicken “one of our most popular restaurant dishes, for both kids and adults alike”.

He says: “The key is to use chicken thighs for the best taste, but soak them in buttermilk for at least 24 hours, as this flavours and tenderises the meat. The selection of spices is up to you, but this is our favourite combination.

Read: Southern Fried Chicken

“Simply mix with flour, coat the chicken and deep fry; if the chicken pieces start to colour too quickly, remove from the fryer and finish cooking in the oven, as you want the fryer at a temperature where it cooks the chicken through but browns the crumb at the same time. I love this with a chipotle dressing, tons of chilli and mint, and fresh lime.”

Serves: 4–6


  • 12 chicken thighs, skinned and boneless
  • 500ml buttermilk
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • fine sea salt

For the seasoned flour:

  • 300g self-raising flour
  • 2 teaspoons celery salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 3 teaspoons onion salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the chipotle dressing:

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 200ml vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle chilli paste

To serve:

  • a few sprigs of coriander and mint, chopped
  • 1 red and 1 green chilli, sliced
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges

Place the chicken in a large bowl or container and coat in the buttermilk. Cover and pop in the fridge overnight.

Read: Korean Fried Chicken Bowls

The next day, heat a pan of vegetable oil or a deep-fat fryer to 170°C (338°F).

Mix the flour together with all the spices in a shallow bowl. Drain the chicken from the buttermilk and dredge it through the seasoned flour, coating each piece well.

Fry the chicken in batches for six to eight minutes until golden and crispy, then drain on kitchen paper.

To make the chipotle dressing, whisk together the mustard and egg yolks. Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking continuously until you have a thick dressing, then whisk in the chipotle paste.

To serve, pile the chicken onto a platter, drizzle over the chipotle dressing and sprinkle the herbs and chillies over the top. Dot with lime wedges for squeezing.

Read: Are you part of the chicken wing cult?

BUTTER: Comforting, Delicious, Versatile, Over 130 Recipes Celebrating Butter by James Martin, published by Quadrille. Photography John Carey. Available now.

Are you a fan of fried chicken? Do you like to make it at home? Please share how the recipe turns out for you in the comments section below.

– With PA

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YourLifeChoices Writers
YourLifeChoices Writers
YourLifeChoices' team of writers specialise in content that helps Australian over-50s make better decisions about wealth, health, travel and life. It's all in the name. For 22 years, we've been helping older Australians live their best lives.
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