The 3 Ingredients Ina Garten Uses To Flavor Fried Chicken Buttermilk Marinade

There's nothing quite like classic buttermilk fried chicken that is crispy on the outside and juicy and flavorful on the inside. It is one of those ultimate comfort foods that is delicious to eat, but difficult to make. There are plenty of mistakes everyone makes when frying food that start with the flavor. That's why you will love Ina Garten's approach to this dish and the three ingredients she uses to create a fried chicken buttermilk marinade that is full of taste. In an episode of "Barefoot Contessa," Garten shared that in addition to buttermilk, she uses shallots, garlic cloves, jalapeño, and salt and pepper to create a mouthwatering bite.

The cookbook author also revealed that her recipe, which is easily one of Garten's best comfort food dishes, is inspired by Shake Shack's fried chicken sandwich, noting, "There are two things that make their fried chicken really good. The first one is the marinade. And it really gets into the meat so it flavors it. And the second one is the crust. They do a double-dipped crust and it makes it really crisp." Garten went on to explain that your flattened chicken breasts, which she cuts into halves, need to marinate for at least eight hours, but no more than 24, or they start to deteriorate.

Make it your own

Garten's combination of sweet shallots with pungent and aromatic garlic offers a flavor contrast to the acidic, sour, and rich buttermilk. The jalapeño plays the spicy role, infusing a little kick into the chicken as it bathes in the thick, tangy marinade. When the chicken is finished marinating, it will be ready for the coating which she makes using flour, baking powder, smoked Spanish paprika, cayenne pepper, celery salt, kosher salt, and black pepper.  The end result is as Garten says,"...the most flavorful chicken you can possibly imagine."

But what you will love about Garten's take on this marinade is how easy it is to adapt to your own palate. While salt and pepper are a must because together they both season and enhance the taste of the chicken, you can play with the other ingredients. If you like a spicy hot chicken with a little heat, use some cayenne pepper along with some crushed garlic and fresh oregano to build a flavor that will make your fried chicken a memorable experience. If you want a little sweet with the heat, swap out the oregano for some marjoram.