Fried chicken and buttermilk mac & cheese

When it comes to comfort food, few combinations are as iconic and satisfying as the duo of fried chicken and buttermilk mac & cheese. These two beloved dishes have deep roots in American culinary traditions, and their synergy creates a harmonious blend of flavors and textures that is both indulgent and heartwarming. In this article, we will explore the origins, preparation, and the irresistible appeal of this classic pairing.

Fried Chicken: A Southern Staple Fried chicken, often considered the crown jewel of Southern cuisine, has a storied history dating back to the early days of the American South. The method of frying chicken in hot oil is a time-honored tradition passed down through generations, each family adding their unique touch to the recipe. Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, fried chicken satisfies the senses with its irresistible aroma and satisfying crunch. The golden-brown skin encases juicy, flavorful meat, making it a timeless favorite from family gatherings to picnics.

Buttermilk Mac & Cheese: A Creamy Delight Macaroni and cheese, often dubbed “mac & cheese,” holds a special place in the hearts of many. The combination of pasta and a rich, creamy cheese sauce is simple yet incredibly comforting. When buttermilk is added to the equation, it elevates the dish to new heights. Buttermilk’s tanginess lends a delightful contrast to the creamy cheese, creating a velvety, savory sauce that clings to every bite of perfectly cooked macaroni.

The Perfect Pairing The marriage of fried chicken and buttermilk mac & cheese is a match made in culinary heaven. The succulent, crispy chicken provides a satisfying contrast to the creamy, cheesy pasta. The flavor profiles of the two dishes are complementary, creating a balance that makes every bite a symphony of taste and texture.

Honey Glaze Sweet & Spicy Fried Chicken:


For the Chicken:

  • 4-6 bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (thighs, drumsticks, or a mix)
  • Vegetable oil for frying

The Marinade:

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce (adjust for spiciness)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

For the Coating:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust for spiciness)
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

The Honey Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce (adjust for spiciness)


  1. In a bowl, mix together the buttermilk, hot sauce, minced garlic, salt, and black pepper to create the marinade.
  2. Place the chicken pieces in a large resealable bag or a shallow dish and pour the marinade over them. Seal or cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, and garlic powder to create the coating mixture.
  4. Remove the marinated chicken from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before frying.
  5. Heat vegetable oil in a deep skillet or Dutch oven to 350°F (175°C).
  6. Dredge each piece of chicken in the coating mixture, pressing the coating onto the chicken to adhere.
  7. Carefully place the coated chicken into the hot oil, a few pieces at a time, being careful not to overcrowd the pan.
  8. Fry the chicken for about 12-15 minutes, or until it’s cooked through and the coating is crispy and golden brown.
  9. While the chicken is frying, prepare the honey glaze. In a small saucepan, heat the honey and hot sauce, stirring until well combined.
  10. Once the chicken is done, remove it from the oil and let it drain on a wire rack or paper towels.
  11. While the chicken is still hot, drizzle the honey glaze over it.

Buttermilk Mac & Cheese:


  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika


  1. Cook the macaroni according to the package instructions, then drain and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour, salt, black pepper, and paprika to create a roux.
  3. Gradually whisk in the buttermilk, ensuring there are no lumps.
  4. Add the shredded cheddar cheese and continue to cook and stir until the cheese is fully melted and the sauce is smooth.
  5. Stir in the cooked macaroni and mix until the pasta is well coated with the cheese sauce.
  6. Serve the Buttermilk Mac & Cheese alongside the Honey Glaze Sweet & Spicy Fried Chicken.

This meal offers a perfect balance of sweet, spicy, and cheesy flavors, making it a delightful and satisfying dish for any occasion. Enjoy!

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