Maple Buttermilk Fried Chicken



Fried Chicken.

And the angels sang out. Sweet, glorious, fried chicken. Quite possibly the ultimate comfort food. So perfect. Crunchy, succulent, spicy, sweet. I could sing it’s praise forever.

When I lived in the South my life was many, many things, but the food. Oh the food! The first time I had proper fried chicken was in Raleigh, North Carolina. I was on the road playing a gig, and was lucky enough to attend a church lunch potluck dinner. If you’ve never darkened the door of a church potluck, it’s basically a smorgasbord of awesomeness where everyone attending brings a dish, and you chow. Beans, coleslaw, pulled pork, ribs, biscuits, corn on the cob, and fried chicken. These people know how to live!

My idea of fried chicken until that day was either ‘dirty bird’ served by The Coronal or at the deli counter of my local grocery store. Not. The. Same. Food. I’m pretty sure I ate a baker’s dozen the day my eyes were opened. I was totally blown away by how something so simple, could be beyond amazing.

In my time on the road we were ‘Free-gans’. We ate anything someone was willing to feed us. Usually this turned out to be a $10 party pizza (thanks for the thought, for real), and we were hungry and happy to receive. But when we spent any time at all South of the Mason Dixen, it was potlucks galore, with spreads as far as the eye could see. Do yourself a favour, attend a church potluck.

After leaving Nashville and moving home to the Great White North I’ve made it my personal mission to recreate (to the best of my ability) any and every dish that I feel in love with during my time in the South.

Here’s a little love for both the South and my Northern home. Maple Buttermilk Fried Chicken.





Maple Buttermilk Fried Chicken

For the overnight delicious bath;

3 1/2 lbs chicken, drumsticks & thighs

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

2 cups buttermilk

1 teaspoon cayenne

1 teaspoon thyme, finely diced

1 teaspoon sea salt

For the seasoned flour;

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

1 tablespoon lemon zest

Canola oil, for frying

In a large bowl (or freezer baggie), combine your chicken, maple syrup, buttermilk, cayenne, thyme, and sea salt, and mix together. Cover with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge overnight (at least 8 hours).

Heat 3 inches of canola oil in a deep dutch oven to 350 degrees. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, combine your flour and spices, and mix together. Working in batches, drench the chicken pieces in the flour, getting them well coated, and fry (turning every minute or so) for 6 minutes. Remove cooked chicken pieces, and place onto a rack set over a baking tray.

When all your chicken is fried, place the baking tray into the preheated oven to cook through (25-30 minutes – internal temperature should be 180 degrees).

Remove. Eat. Make more chicken. For added deliciousness, serve with coleslaw, pickles, and freshly squeezed lemon.



  1. Chaya says:

    hot damn this looks incredible! I’ve never made fried chicken, but this is going to be made. soon. immediately.

  2. Eric Ghelman says:

    Helo Dennis
    I love your work!!
    What should I use as a substitute for the buttermilk for the fried chicken , I need to use a non dairy product for kosher reasons

    Thanks a lot!!

  3. bklynnibbler says:

    This looks insanely good! Your photos are always incredible.

  4. Nobby says:

    Love maple syrup and fried chicken. You chickens are amazing🍗

  5. Richa Gupta says:

    I love how this looks! That fried chicken looks crisp and I can almost hear the crunch. Great recipe Dennis!

  6. Nice. Fried food seems to be somewhat stigmatized in the South. Things like this might shave a bit of that off.

  7. Linus says:

    Hi Dennis!

    Love your food! So much inspiration! This recipe will be made sooooon!!!

    Love from Sweden!

  8. paul says:

    What could I be doing wrong if when I put the chicken in the oven, it becomes soggy?

  9. Traci says:

    This is the most amazing fried chicken recipe I have had the pleasure to try to date! Thanks for sharing the deliciousness 🙂

  10. INGA(sell)❤🌹❤ says:

  11. HoneyB says:

    Hey Dennis! I love all of your recipes. This chicken recipe looks great! Can the chicken also be fried in coconut oil?

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