Honey Marinated Buttermilk Fried Chicken

A sweet-sour honey marinade flavors this juicy fried chicken. Honey and vinegar get together in the marinade for the chicken, and then it’s coated in a buttermilk batter and deep-fried to golden brown perfection.

A drizzling of the hot boiled marinade finishes the fried chicken perfectly. This is a tasty change of pace from the everyday fried chicken, and it is delicious with rice, potatoes, or noodles.

Add some Asian chili garlic paste (sambal) to the marinade for a bit of heat, and feel free to reduce the amount of cayenne pepper in the breading mixture.


  • 3 1/2 pounds chicken pieces
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, or raspberry vinegar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 tablespoons fine dry bread crumbs, plain
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper, or less, if desired
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup vegetable oil, about 1 1/2 to 2 inches in depth in the pan
  • Saltto taste
  • Freshly ground black pepperto taste


  1. Put the chicken pieces in a nonreactive container or heavy-duty food storage bag.

  2. Stir the honey and vinegar together and pour over the chicken. Cover or seal the bag and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours. Turn the chicken pieces occasionally to keep them coated with the marinade.

  3. Put 1/3 cup of flour in one bowl. In a second bowl, combine the remaining 2/3 cup of flour with the bread crumbs and cayenne pepper; set aside. In a third bowl, whisk together the eggs and buttermilk.

  4. In a large, deep heavy skillet or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat to 300 F.

  5. Remove the chicken from the marinade and drain on paper towels.

  6. Strain the marinade and put about 1/4 cup of it in a saucepan. Bring to a full boil and boil for a minute or two. Keep warm.

  7. Dip the chicken in the first bowl of flour to coat, then in the beaten buttermilk and egg mixture. Season with salt and pepper and then dredge in the flour and breadcrumb mixture, coating thoroughly.

  8. Gently lower the dark pieces―legs, wings, and thighs―into the pan for 5 to 6 minutes on the first side until browned. The oil temperature will drop. Try to maintain a temperature of about 300 F or slightly lower. Turn the chicken pieces and add the breast halves; continue cooking, adjusting the heat so the chicken browns evenly on both sides and is tender when pierced with a fork, 15 to 18 minutes for dark meat and 10 to 12 minutes for the breast halves.

  9. To test for doneness, insert a food thermometer in the thickest piece of chicken, not touching bone. It should register at least 165 F.

  10. Drizzle some of the boiled marinade over the chicken pieces.

If you’re using boneless chicken breasts, you might want to try a recipe for fried boneless chicken breast cutlets or fried chicken sandwiches.

Honey Marinated Buttermilk Fried Chicken

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