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Picnic Fried Chicken Recipe

Picnic Fried Chicken Recipe

For our family, it's not a picnic unless there's fried chicken! Chicken, deviled eggs and potato salad are all musts for a picnic as far as my husband is concerned. This is a "Golden Oldie" recipe for me—I've used it any number of times. —Edna Hoffman, Hebron, Indiana
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. + marinating Cook: 40 min. YIELD:6 servings


  • 1 broiler/fryer chicken (3 pounds), cut up
  • 3/4 to 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • Oil for frying


  • 1. Pat chicken pieces with paper towels; place in large flat dish. Pour buttermilk over chicken; cover, and allow to soak at least 1 hour or overnight in refrigerator.
  • 2. Combine coating ingredients in large resealable plastic bag. Add chicken pieces, one at a time, and shake to coat well. Lay coated pieces on waxed paper for 15 minutes to allow coating to dry (will cling better in frying).
  • 3. In a Dutch oven or other deep skillet, heat 1/2 in. oil over medium heat to 350°. Fry chicken, uncovered, 7-8 minutes per side or until coating is dark golden brown and meat is no longer pink, turning occasionally. Drain on paper towels. Yield: 6 servings.

Recipe Note

Test Kitchen Tips

  • Acidic buttermilk tenderizes the chicken, but plain yogurt will work, too.
  • For a crispy coating that stays put after frying, allow excess buttermilk to drip off before coating chicken in the flour mixture.
  • To keep fried chicken crunchy, we recommend storing it on a wire rack. No more soggy bottoms!
  • Nutritional Facts

    5 ounces cooked chicken: 623 calories, 40g fat (7g saturated fat), 106mg cholesterol, 748mg sodium, 26g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 1g fiber), 38g protein.

    Reviews for Picnic Fried Chicken

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    Ruffshse User ID: 4225266 256536
    Reviewed Nov. 8, 2016

    "Had good flavor but the coating did not stay on very well. I let it sit for 15 min like the recipe said."

    carolynstowers User ID: 4001197 243645
    Reviewed Feb. 11, 2016

    "I'm from the south and every Sunday my mother would prepare a fresh chicken from the yard for dinner. I think the butter milk soak gave the chicken the flavor of fresh never frozen taste. It's just a matter of taste I preferred organic frozen chicken. The soak made the skin firm on the outside and soft on the inside. I make great tasting chicken and I think I will stay with my own recipe."

    rubydoo008 User ID: 5748313 15507
    Reviewed Oct. 5, 2013

    "I added a bit of cajun seasoning with it. A batch of fresh buttermilk biscuits, now that is cooking!"

    VirginaCA User ID: 1405374 17020
    Reviewed Aug. 18, 2013

    "I forgot to say in my 1st review that I put the coating mixture in 2 separate bags as it tends to get a little "gloppy" after the first 5 pieces. I put the coated chicken on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. When it has finished cooking, I put it on a clean wire rack over clean foil as it drains the grease off better than paper towels."

    VirginaCA User ID: 1405374 41705
    Reviewed Aug. 18, 2013

    "I've made this recipe twice (I don't fry chicken very often) and my husband goes wild over it. I use a deep heavy skillet and cover it, with the lid ajar, for the first 5 minutes; then uncover and cook for 5 to 7 minutes longer. I also season the buttermilk with salt & pepper."

    lisa53202 User ID: 1079567 17979
    Reviewed Apr. 30, 2013

    "We enjoyed this delicious fried chicken, and I will definitely make it again. Thanks!"

    Sandytmd User ID: 7133421 42906
    Reviewed Feb. 11, 2013

    "This is a fantastic recipie. in addition to seasoning the coating for the chicken, i also seasoned the individual pieces of chicken prior to soaking the pieces in buttermilk overnight. If you like your chicken flavorful i would recommend seasoning the chicken as well."

    mollymay4 User ID: 6481847 14068
    Reviewed Dec. 21, 2012

    "This is truly "picnic fried chicken"! The flavor is wonderful. I just used a chicken frying pan on a gas stove and it came out perfect! It's time consuming as frying chicken always is but well worth the effort!"

    mem381 User ID: 6068967 44559
    Reviewed Aug. 2, 2012

    "I just made this chicken last night and it was perfect! It was actually the first time I had ever made homemade fried chicken and I was so glad it went over well and I could add it to my recipe collection. The only thing I did different from the recipe was I was 2.5 lbs of chicken legs instead of a full fryer. I also only cooked each leg for about 5 mins on each side and they were still done all the way through and nice and golden. I didn't have an oil Thermometor so I just had my stove top on about medium high (7 out of 8 setting) to heat it up, then took it down to about 5-6 out of 8 setting. Next time I will try to cook it a little longer on each side just to make sure there is no blood in the center of the bones and maybe add some chili powder and reduce the flour to 1 and 1/4 cup to have a better spice to flour ratio."

    Louise.Hooper User ID: 1042332 71608
    Reviewed Oct. 1, 2011

    "I have this cooking at the moment. Looks fantastic. I'm thrilled to finally have a good fried chicken recipe!"

    jicook13 User ID: 5843439 17693
    Reviewed Mar. 16, 2011

    "WOW! I loved it and can't wait to make it again, the only change that I made was I used smoked paprika."

    Aquarelle User ID: 985301 17692
    Reviewed May. 30, 2010

    "I made a pile of chicken wing drummettes for a party using this recipe & technique (with cooking time adjusted, naturally). They were gobbled up. The seasonings in the coating are very subtle so I may try to tweak them a bit next time I make this, but the method is foolproof."

    Tom1234 User ID: 5046863 17015
    Reviewed May. 30, 2010

    "My friends and family love the juciness of the recipe and so do I. MMMMMMM!"

    FriedaG User ID: 1671534 34877
    Reviewed Feb. 3, 2010

    "My husband thinks the combination of seasonings is outstanding. When he takes the notion to fry chicken, this is the recipe he uses. I am delighted when he wants to cook so naturally I agree with his assessment: it really is good."

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