Fried Chicken. An absolute southern staple. I still cherish the childhood memories I have of my family sitting around the dining room table and sharing a meal of this delectable dish. Nothing quite matches the feeling of eating comfort food and being with loved ones. In hopes of creating the same memories for my kids, I have searched high and low for a recipe that would recreate the magic I experienced as a child. While I absolutely adore Johnny Cash, I never in my wildest dreams thought he would help me craft the perfect fried chicken for my family. But here we are.
The recipe for Grandma Carrie Cash’s Buttermilk Fried Chicken in The Cash and Carter Family Cookbook had my family asking me to make it for weeks after! I love to pair it with my mom’s family recipe for mash potatoes and gravy plus the other iconic fix-ins. Try it out for yourself!
Grandma Carrie Cash’s Buttermilk Fried Chicken (makes 6 to 8 servings)
- 2 (4 ½ – pound) fryer chickens, cut into pieces, breasts split
- ½ teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning the chicken
- ½ teaspoon black pepper, plus more for seasoning the chicken
- ½ cup buttermilk
- ½ cup whole milk
- 4 large eggs
- 4 cups vegetable or peanut oil
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon rubbed sage
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Place the chicken pieces on a work surface, and sprinkle them generously with salt and black pepper.
- Pour the buttermilk and milk into a large bowl. Add the eggs, and beat with a fork or whisk until well mixed. Put the chicken pieces in the milk mixture, and cover. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
- When ready to fry the chicken, heat the oil in a deep fryer or deep cast-iron skillet to 425 degrees.
- Put the flour in a large zip-top plastic bag. (I like to use a 2-gallon bag, but 2 single gallon bags are also an option.) Add 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/2 teaspoon of the black pepper, and the sage, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Remove the chicken pieces from the milk mixture, and place them in the bag with flour, sealing the bag while leaving air in it. Shake the bag until all the pieces are thoroughly coated with flour.
- Remove the chicken pieces from the flour, and place them back in the milk mixture, making sure they are completely wet. Then, put the chicken pieces back in the flour. At this point, you may need to add more flour to ensure the chicken is completely covered.
- Carefully place the chicken pieces into the deep fryer or skillet, making sure not to crowd the skillet. Cook the chicken until golden brown, about 15 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken from the skillet with metal tongs, and place on a paper towel-lined platter to drain oﬀ excess grease. Serve immediately, while still hot.
JOHN CARTER’S TIP: Take care when frying or deep frying. Grease ﬁres can be dangerous. If oil catches on ﬁre, smother the ﬁre with a cookie sheet that is larger in diameter than the skillet.