Dinner Inspired by The Help…. Fried Chicken.

So I just finished reading The Help and loved it! And all I wanted to do was make the food they kept talking about in the book. So my The Help inspired dinner last night consisted of Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Steamed Cabbage & Vegetables, Sour Cream and Scallion Mashed Potatoes and of course Caramel Cake. Yum!

Recipe: Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Coating Adapted from Thomas Keller


  • 2 lbs. Chicken Pieces (legs, breasts, thighs, wings)
  • 4 cups Buttermilk
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup Parsley, chopped
  • 2 cups Buttermilk
  • 3 cups Flour
  • 1 tbs Garlic Powder
  • 1 tbs Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Cayenne
  • Kosher Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper to taste
  • Peanut Oil for frying
  • Sea Salt
  • Thyme Sprigs
  • Rosemary Sprigs


  1. Make buttermilk marinade: Combine buttermilk, paprika, cayenne, onion and parsley in a large dish. Add in chicken to coat and cover. Refrigerate overnight.
  2. The next day drain chicken in a colander and let come to room temperature.
  3. Pour remaining 2 cups of buttermilk into a large bowl. Mix coating ingredients (flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt & pepper) together in a large bowl. Divide equally between two zip lock bags.
  4. Heat oil to 340 degrees in large pot. There should be around 2 inches of oil. Make sure the oil does not come above 1/3 of the way up the pot.
  5. Dip each piece of chicken first in one bag of flour mixture, then in buttermilk than the other bag of flour mixture and shake to coat. Place on a baking sheet covered in wax paper.
  6. Fry the chicken a few pieces at a time, making sure not to crowd the pan. Fry each batch for about 13 – 14 minutes, turning 1/2 way through for even cooking. If you want to check for doneness, use a meat thermometer. It should register around 165.
  7. Remove chicken to a rack set over a baking pan to allow the excess oil to drip off. Allow chicken to rest 10 minutes before serving.
  8. Once all the chicken has been fried. Fry the thyme and rosemary sprigs for a few seconds.
  9. Sprinkle chicken with sea salt and fried herbs before serving.
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