Life’s a Feast: Buttermilk Chicken


This recipe is a basic, yet delicious version of buttermilk chicken – with a crispy flavoursome crust and luscious interior meat. Buttermilk is slightly acidic, so will tenderise the meat as well as allowing the tasty flour mix to easily mould into every surface of the chicken (trust me you will want as much of the crunchy skin as possible).

Buttermilk chicken has been made famous in Arrowtown by the restaurant Slow Cuts, where they serve incredible buttermilk chicken burgers and crunchy tasty kids’ buttermilk chicken and chips (they do take away!). Enjoy this slightly naughty but utterly delectable meal.

PREP TIME: 15 mins

COOK TIME: 35 mins

SERVES: 5 people


5 free-range chicken thighs, bone in, skin removed

5 chicken legs, skin removed

500ml buttermilk

300g flour (just over 1 cup)

2 tablespoons smoked paprika

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons onion salt

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (use more if you like more heat)

Enough flavourless oil to put about 1 1/2cm in bottom of fry pan


1 bag kale

1 chilli

5 cloves garlic, sliced

Juice 1 lemon

Olive oil


20 baby carrots

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon brown sugar


1.Once you have removed the skin from the chicken, remove any excess fat off the chicken. Pour the buttermilk into a large bowl with a good sprinkle of salt and tip in the 10 pieces of chicken. Coat in the buttermilk, then cover with gladwrap and chill for at least 2-3 hours if not overnight.

2.Preheat oven to 200degC.

3.Prepare the flour mix by combining the flour, garlic powder, pap-rika, onion salt and cayenne, and mix.

4.Remove the chicken from the fridge. Heat a fry pan with about 1.5cm oil in it to a medium-high heat.

5.Shake excess butter-milk off each piece of chicken before you coat in the flour mix. Brown the chicken on all sides before placing on a roasting dish with baking paper on it. You will have to do the frying in batches.

6.Place in the oven and cook for about another 30 minutes, turning occasionally, until cooked through (the alternative is to keep it on the pan, but it’s quite time-consuming having to constantly turn the chicken and slightly less oil is absorbed this way).

7.While this is cooking, prepare your vegetables. Wash the carrots and place in a large pot and bring to boil. Reduce to a simmer and after 5 minutes pop in the butter and sugar. Cook until the carrots are done to your liking.

8.Meanwhile, wash the kale thoroughly and remove the thick chewy stem from the middle. Thinly slice the kale and set aside.

9.Cut the chilli in half and thinly slice also. Pour the oil into a large pan and heat to a medium heat. Tip in the garlic and chilli and cook for 2-3 minutes until it softens, then add in the kale and combine with the garlic and chilli. Squeeze over the lemon and cook for 4-5 minutes until the kale has softened. Salt generously.

10.Drain the carrots and take the crispy chicken from the oven. I also served with mashed potato. Serve immediately.