Buttermilk-Soaked, Bacon-Fried Chicken in Gravy

This recipe is full of Southern flavor that comes from soaking chicken in a buttermilk and hot sauce marinade before frying with bacon drippings in a skillet. 

Buttermilk-Soaked, Bacon-Fried Chicken in Gravy
Photo: John Lee
4 servings


  • Chicken

  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk

  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce (such as Tabasco)

  • 1 chicken (about 2 1/2 lb.), cut into 4 pieces

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 12 ounces bacon, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces

  • Vegetable oil, for frying

  • Gravy

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 2 cups heavy cream

  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. For the marinade, whisk together the buttermilk and hot sauce. Pour into a large zip-top bag, and add the chicken. Seal the bag, rub to coat the meat, and refrigerate for 6 hours.

  2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and pepper.

  3. In a large heavy skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon from the skillet, and drain. Reserve drippings in the skillet.

  4. Add enough vegetable oil to the skillet drippings to be 1 inch deep, and heat over medium heat to 325°. Set a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet.

  5. Remove the chicken from the marinade, and dredge in the flour mixture.

  6. Carefully place the chicken in the hot oil, and fry, turning often, for 20 to 24 minutes or until cooked through and juices run clear. Maintain a frying temperature of 320°. Drain the chicken on the wire rack.

  7. For the gravy, carefully pour off the hot oil, reserving about 1/4 cup in the skillet. Over low heat, whisk in the 1/4 cup flour, 1 Tbsp. at a time, and cook for 1 minute, whisking constantly. Gradually add the heavy cream, and cook for 6 minutes or until creamy. Stir in the sherry and salt, and cook for 1 minute.

  8. Serve the gravy over the chicken with reserved bacon.

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