• Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Fried Shallots & Sweet Pickles


Traditional Southern Fried Chicken

By Andrew Zimmern

Soaking the chicken in buttermilk overnight ensures the meat will stay tender and moist, and adding a couple of tablespoons of my Lemon & Shallots seasoning to the marinade will give it an extra flavor boost. I love to serve this classic fried chicken recipe with crispy twice-fried shallots and homemade bread and butter pickles. It’s a winning combination your whole family will love.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Fried Shallots & Sweet Pickles

Servings: 4


Fried Chicken

  • One 3-4 pound chicken, cut up (or 8 pieces legs, thighs, breasts and wings)
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons AZ & Badia Lemon & Shallots seasoning
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 2 quarts rendered lard or canola oil (I personally like fried chicken that’s been cooked in rendered lard)

Twice Fried Shallots

  • 6 medium shallots, thinly sliced
  • Canola oil

Bread & Butter Pickles

  • 1  1/2 pounds cucumbers
  • 1  1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1  1/2 teaspoons mustard seeds, whole
  • 1 cup sweet onions, sliced thin
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds


Wash and dry the chicken parts. If the breasts are large, cut them in half; they’ll fry up better that way without scorching or over cooking the exterior. Season well with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Place chicken in a zip-top bag, cover with the buttermilk. Add the Lemon & Shallots seasoning and marinate overnight in the fridge.

Drain chicken parts, discard buttermilk. Reserve chicken.

Preheat lard (or oil if using) to 365 degrees F in an electric skillet or a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. You want the lard to be roughly 2 inches deep in your pan, with at least 2 inches between the top of the oil and the top of the pan. That’s a deep cast iron skillet!

Place flour, sea salt and ground black pepper in a large paper shopping bag, mix well.

Add chicken parts to the bag, fold top down and shake bag to coat chicken thoroughly.

Fry for 17 to 25 minutes, turning 2 or 3 times depending on the pieces, until chicken is brown and just cooked through. Internal temperature of the pieces should be at or above 150 degrees for white meat, 165 degrees for dark. Breasts take less time to cook than dark meat pieces, so save those for last. Be sure not to crowd the pan, and keep lard at 365 to 370 degrees.

Drain on paper towels and let rest for 15 minutes. Season with sea salt. Serve with fried shallots and pickles.

Twice Fried Shallots

Slice the shallots very thin, using a mandolin if you prefer.

In a deep cast iron skillet, heat canola oil over medium-high heat to 275-degrees F. Add the shallots and cook for 6 to 8 minutes. Stir gently so that the shallots cook evenly. Transfer shallots to a paper towel to drain using a skimmer or slotted spoon.

Increase the heat until the oil reaches 350 degrees F, and add the shallots back to the skillet. Cook for just a couple of seconds and transfer back to a plate lined with a paper towel. They should crisp up almost immediately, so watch carefully because you do not want the shallots to burn.


Bread & Butter Pickles

Slice cucumbers 1/8-inch thick on a mandolin. Combine with salt. Chill for one hour. Drain the cucumbers and rinse under cold water. Place the cucumber slices in a jar.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan, and bring to a simmer (making sure the sugar has dissolved). Remove from heat.

Pour the hot vinegar over the cucumbers, and allow to cool for one hour. Cover and refrigerate.

Photographs by Madeleine Hill.

Butter Fried Chicken with Lemon & Capers
Fried Chicken & Watermelon Salad
Fried Walleye with Homemade Tartar Sauce

Like this recipe? You may also enjoy:

Recipe Finder

Related Recipes


Main Ingredients


Back to Recipes Page