Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Pickled Peach-Fennel Salad

Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Pickled Peach-Fennel Salad

By Kelsey Barnard ClarkFood & Wine

Punchy rémoulade cuts through the richness of the crispy buttermilk fried chicken, which is served over a salad of pickled fennel and peaches in this recipe from Top Chef Season 16 winner Kelsey Barnard Clark. Seek out underripe, firmer peaches for the salad—they’ll hold up to the pickling best.



  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
  • 2 tablespoons nonpareil capers, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated garlic
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Fried Chicken

  • 2 cups whole buttermilk
  • 2 pound bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, bones removed
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (about 12 3/4 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Canola oil


  • 1 fennel bulb, thinly shaved on a mandoline (about 1 3/4 cups), fronds reserved for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon chopped yellow onion
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 (8-ounce) slightly unripe peaches, thinly sliced (about 4 cups)

How to Make It

Step 1 

Make the rémoulade

Stir together all rémoulade ingredients in a bowl. Cover and chill until ready to serve, up to 3 days.

Step 2 

Make the fried chicken

Place buttermilk in a large bowl; add chicken, and submerge in buttermilk. Cover; refrigerate at least 3 hours or up to 8 hours.

Step 3

Stir together flour, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and cayenne in a shallow dish. Remove chicken from buttermilk; discard buttermilk. Dredge chicken in flour mixture, shaking off excess, and place in an even layer on a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes.

Step 4 

Meanwhile, make the pickled peach-fennel salad

Place fennel and onion in a medium-size heatproof bowl; set aside. Bring 1 cup water, vinegar, sugar, and salt to a boil in a small saucepan over high, whisking occasionally. Pour vinegar mixture over fennel mixture; let stand 10 minutes. Add peaches; toss gently to combine, and let stand 10 minutes. Drain, discarding vinegar mixture.

Step 5

To fry chicken, pour oil to a depth of 2 inches in a large Dutch oven; heat to 350°F over medium-high. Working in batches, carefully add chicken thighs to hot oil; fry until golden brown and cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes, turning occasionally and maintaining an oil temperature of 325°F. Transfer to a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet to drain; sprinkle evenly with salt to taste.

Step 6

Spoon rémoulade onto 4 plates. Top with pickled peach-fennel salad and fried chicken. Garnish with fennel fronds.

Suggested Pairing

Full-bodied California Chardonnay.

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Food Magazine: Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Pickled Peach-Fennel Salad
Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Pickled Peach-Fennel Salad
This Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Pickled Peach-Fennel Salad recipe is the perfect main dish for a summer celebration.
Food Magazine
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