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Fried Chicken Without Buttermilk

This kosher southern fried chicken recipe hails from the deep south! It is made without buttermilk but still has a perfect flaky golden crust, tender juicy meat, and couldn’t be easier to make!

Serve it with a side of mashed potatoes and gravy, cornbread and green beans, corn, coleslaw, or collard greens for a good old southern meal.

Pieces of fried chicken without buttermilk

When I was first given this recipe, brought to you all the way from Georgia, I admit I was a little skeptical.

I was glad to see that there was no buttermilk, but only salt and pepper for seasoning?

I decided to make two batches. One with a mix of seasoning and one that held true to the original recipe.

In both cases every bite was juicy and the crust was crispy. 

However, I was surprised to find that I liked the original recipe better. This version was even more delicious warmed up too.   

This is officially my new favorite chicken recipe!

At least as important as the seasoning is double dredging the chicken.  Do not skip this step. 

The second layer keeps the chicken from overcooking and incredibly juicy when you bite into it.

Southern Fried Chicken is traditionally made in a cast iron skillet, and I love cast iron.

If you don’t have cast iron, that’s fine.  I’ve used other frying pans to make this recipe and they worked fine.

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I’d like to give a huge thank you to Tim Parker for this recipe!

History of Southern Fried Chicken

Like many Southern foods, fried chicken can trace its origins to the Scots-Irish and West Africans.

Fried chicken was commonly associated with the poor who couldn’t afford beef or pork. 

Unlike the English who baked or boiled their chicken, the Scottish chose to pan-fry their chicken for better flavor. 

When introduced to the American South, it became a staple.  However, like traditional Scottish cuisine, it was not seasoned.

When West-Africans were brought to the American South, fried chicken began to change.  

West-Africans who worked in the kitchen began seasoning the chicken, enriching the flavor. 

Soon, fried chicken became a way for these women to earn money since they were allowed to keep chickens. 

However, for their community, due to cost, fried chicken was reserved for special occasions as it had been in Africa. 

In fact, for some, fried chicken is still among the top choices for “Sunday dinner” as well as holidays such as the 4th of July and other gatherings.

In the era before refrigeration, fried chicken remained popular in the Black communities because it traveled well in hot weather and they had limited access to restaurants.

Over the generations though, fried chicken became known as a general Southern dish as it is today.

Personally, I think mildly seasoned fried chicken Southern Food and more seasoned fried chicken as Soul Food.

Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. 10% of all profits are donated to charity.

What you need

10 inch skillet – preferably cast iron
Dry measuring cups and spoons
Cooling rack

How to eat fried chicken

Fried chicken is most commonly eaten with:

As for veggies: green beans, black eyed peas, okra, corn, collared greens, or coleslaw are common.

Extra Crispy Fried Chicken

If you want your fried chicken extra crispy, replace half the flour with cornstarch.

While cornstarch is primarily used as a thickening ingredient, but it’s also the secret ingredient for getting crispy coatings.

When paired with all-purpose flour, cornstarch helps prevent gluten development, which makes the flour coating crispier.

It also absorbs moisture (from the frying and the chicken), which also means a crispier coating.

Korean and Japanese fried chicken tend to use solely cornstarch or potato starch.

How to Dredge Chicken

Double Handed

Use one hand to dip the chicken in the egg and the other to roll it in flour. By using both hands, you avoid getting thick layers of batter on your fingers known as “club hand.”

The worst part of it is when you touch the chicken, it will pull off the flour, leaving balled spots.

If you start to notice one of your hands getting a little tick with flour, press your hands together and rub it over the flour bowl.

The little bits of flour that fall off into the bowl add texture to the chicken.

Bag Technique

Place the flour in a bag. For the first layer, you can throw in a bunch of pieces together. Then, shake them off and dip each piece in one by one.

Let the excess egg drip off and then re-coat with flour one at a time in the bag. Shake off any excess flour and fry.

A Word on Oil

When frying chicken, the temperature of the oil is important. If it’s too cold, the chicken will be oily.

On the other hand, if the oil is too hot, the crust will fall off. With a thermometer, it should be about 350°F or 175°C to 375°F or 190°C degrees.

If you don’t have a thermometer: when the oil seems hot, drop a little flour into the oil. If the flour sizzles and floats on the top, it’s hot enough.

To make sure it’s not too hot, keep it around medium-low and adjust as needed.

Gluten Free Option

For a gluten-free alternative, use corn starch or potato starch instead of flour. They both fry very nicely.


Yes and no.  It is not necessarily healthier as far as bacteria is concerned, since bacteria can only safely be killed with heat. 

What is better is that kosher animals are kept in better conditions than not kosher animals due to strict kosher health requirements of the animals.  They are also killed in arguably more human conditions.

Also, the salting process used to remove blood from the animal is believed to provide better quality meat. 

Kosher poultry and meat are salted to remove blood, which is forbidden to be consumed according to Jewish law.  This is said to create a sort of quick dry brine.

While I’ve only eaten kosher meat so I cannot compare, I’ve been told by non-Jews who do not keep kosher that they’ve noticed that kosher chicken is of superior quality to cook with.


No.  According to the USDA, washing meat or poultry in water spreads bacteria throughout the kitchen.

Water can splash bacteria up to 3 feet surrounding your sink, including onto countertops, other food, towels, and you (i.e. cross contamination).

study done by Drexel University shows that it is best to move meat and poultry directly from package to pan.  The heat from cooking will kill any bacteria that may be present.

One exception would be if there are bone fragments or residue from giblets, as in a roasting chicken. In that case, feel free to rinse if you like.  However, make sure you wipe down your sink afterwards.



This method is the most highly recommended. Chicken typically takes a full day to thaw. Once thawed, the poultry can remain in the refrigerator for a day or two before cooking.


This should take two to three hours.  Submerge your sealed chicken in a pot or bowl full of cold water.  Change out the water every 30 minutes or so. 

Do not use warm or hot water.  It is unhealthy to do so. It can start cooking your chicken, and doesn’t evenly.


If you have extra raw chicken that you didn’t use but want to refreeze, you can as long as it was thawed in the fridge.

According to the USDA, “food thawed in the refrigerator is safe to refreeze without cooking.”  However, you do lose quality when refreezing previously defrosted meat. 

Every time you defrost meat, it loses moisture through thawing which also leads to a loss in flavor.  To compensate for this, marinate the meat to add more flavor and juice.”

The USDA also says not to “refreeze any foods left outside the refrigerator longer than 2 hours; 1 hour in temperatures above 90 °F.”

A word on dairy free fried chicken

Generally speaking, fried chicken usually contains dairy because it is typically made using buttermilk.

Buttermilk was originally the liquid left behind after churning butter out of cultured cream. 

Traditionally, the milk was left to sit to allow the cream and milk to separate. 

During this time, naturally occurring lactic acid-producing bacteria in the milk fermented it. This facilitates the butter churning process.

However, modern buttermilk is made by adding lactic acid bacteria to milk, which ferments it, making it tangier and thicker than regular milk.

The acid in the buttermilk is used to tenderize the chicken and adds a slightly tangy flavor thanks to the lactic acid.

To make fried chicken without buttermilk, you can either leave it out altogether like I do in this recipe, or you can replace it with dairy free buttermilk.

Both buttermilk with almond milk and buttermilk with oat milk are great dairy free buttermilk substitutes.

Some people also use regular milk to make fried chicken, and that can easily be substituted with unsweetened almond milk, oat milk, or water.

How do you make fried chicken breast without buttermilk?

To make fried chicken breasts without buttermilk, follow this recipe but use two and a half chicken breasts instead of one whole chicken.

How do you make fried chicken thighs without buttermilk?

To make fried chicken thighs without buttermilk, follow this recipe but use seven chicken thighs instead of one whole chicken.

Fried chicken drumsticks without buttermilk

To make fried chicken drumsticks without buttermilk, follow this recipe but use about fourteen chicken drumsticks instead of one whole chicken.


The most likely thing to go wrong with your fried chicken is that it comes out not fully cooked on the inside. This happens when you fry it at too high of a temperature.

This could also happen if you decide to triple dredge them instead of the instructed two dredge method. The reason for this is because you now have one more layer for the heat to try to get through.

If this happens, don’t worry, there is a quick fix. Just pop your chicken in the oven at 350°F or 175°C for a little (the time will depend on how under-cooked it is) and let it finish.


Place cooled chicken in an airtight container or wrap in heavy-duty aluminum foil or plastic wrap.  Store in the fridge for up to 4 days.


Freeze leftovers within 3-4 days.  Place cooled chicken in an airtight container or resealable freezer bag.  Freeze for up to 4 months.  After that, it is safe to eat. However, the quality begins to degrade.


For best results, heat in the oven or easy fryer.  The fryer gives the best results, but it is also more likely to break the crust exterior.

Yield: 8 servings

Southern Fried Chicken without Buttermilk

Pieces of fried chicken without buttermilk

This recipe comes to you all the way from the Deep South. It doesn't call for buttermilk or lard, making it a tiny bit healthier, if you can ever call Southern Fried Chicken healthy...

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 1 whole chicken or 4 leg quarters, cut
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (130 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • Oil


  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and pepper. In a separate mixing bowl, place and beat the eggs.
  2. Take a piece and dredge it in the flour. Shake off the excess and dip it in the egg. Let the egg drip off and coat one more time in flour. Set aside and repeat with the rest of the pieces.
  3. Fill the bottom of the skillet with oil until it is about 3/4 inch deep and heat. You know the oil is ready when you throw some flour into it and it sizzles or until it reaches 350°F or 175°C.
  4. When hot, add a few pieces of chicken at a time to the oil until the pan is full.  
  5. Lower the flame to medium or medium-high. Fry until the bottom is golden brown, then turn over.
  6. Once both sides are cooked, remove and place on a cooling rack until cool enough to eat.


Instead of one whole chicken, I like to use about four chicken legs cut in half.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 509Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 276mgSodium: 999mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 55g

Did you make this recipe?

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Thursday 15th of June 2023

Husband said he loved it and he couldn't tell it wasn't made the way his mother would have made it.


Friday 4th of August 2023

That is wonderful to hear! Thank you :)

Thursday 10th of November 2022

Hey there. I would like to try this but would like to know how much oil do I need to put in the pan ????


Monday 21st of November 2022

The amount of oil doesn't need to be exact, just enough for frying. I eyeball it to about until it is about 3/4 inch deep.

Katie :D

Wednesday 27th of April 2022

This recipe was absolutely amazing! Came out better than I expected! Will 100000% use again, thank you so much 🥰🥰🥰🥰


Monday 2nd of May 2022

I'm very glad to hear you enjoyed them so much! Thanks for sharing :)


Sunday 30th of January 2022

I'm so excited to make this recipe, so thank you for sharing , but just a comment on the washing of chicken. To wash chicken you place it in a bowl/sink (for non kosher meat taking the blood out is essential so you would remove the blood) feathers, skin if you want or if necessary. All of these contents go into a bag and into the garbage and then you would proceed to pour water onto the chicken and rinse it within the bowl. No splashing. Some use lemon and/or vinegar and some just rinse out the chicken with water Also after using meat I always wipe down my counter and sink (with disinfectant). So I am not saying you have to wash your chicken, to each their own and plus Kosher meat is cleaned much better than non-kosher meat. But I just wanted to share that information because contrary to popular belief washings chicken is not holding it up to the faucet to clean it. It is more do with what is in or on the chicken.


Monday 31st of January 2022

Thank you for sharing that :) I hope you enjoy the recipe!


Friday 12th of November 2021

Made the recipe for Shabbos and it came out fantastically well! I know that double-dredged fried chicken isn't rocket science, but your instructions were clear and worked as expected. Great job!


Tuesday 30th of November 2021

I'm happy to hear it! Thanks for sharing :)

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