Fried Chicken > Can I use heavy cream instead of buttermilk for fried chicken

Can I Use Heavy Cream Instead of Buttermilk for Fried Chicken?

Buttermilk is a common ingredient in fried chicken recipes. It gives the chicken a tasty, tangy flavor and helps create a light, crispy coating. However, if you don’t have buttermilk on hand, don’t fret – you can use heavy cream instead.

Can I Use Heavy Cream Instead of Buttermilk for Fried Chicken?

Yes, you can use heavy cream instead of buttermilk for fried chicken. Buttermilk is a common ingredient in fried chicken recipes because the lactic acid provides a tangy flavor that complements the chicken beautifully. The acidity also reacts with baking soda or powder to make the batter light and crispy.

Heavy cream, also called heavy whipping cream, is an excellent substitute for buttermilk in fried chicken batter. It has a similar thick, creamy texture that will adhere well to the chicken. The high fat content of heavy cream keeps the batter delicate and tender, while also adding richness.

To use heavy cream in place of buttermilk, the ratios are simple – just substitute equal amounts of heavy cream for buttermilk called for in your recipe. Be sure to add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar per cup of heavy cream. This helps replicate the tanginess of buttermilk and thickens the cream to the proper consistency.

Related post: Can I use egg instead of buttermilk for fried chicken?

Let the heavy cream and lemon juice/vinegar mixture sit for 5-10 minutes before coating your chicken. This allows the acidity to work its magic. You’ll end up with a batter that is light, crispy, and full of flavor. The creamy notes balance beautifully with the crispy exterior of the fried chicken.

With just a few tweaks and substitutions, you can easily use heavy whipping cream rather than buttermilk to make succulent, crunchy fried chicken any night of the week. The results will be tender, golden brown chicken with a texture and flavor that your family and friends will love and request time and time again.

What is the Purpose of Buttermilk in Fried Chicken?

Buttermilk serves a couple of purposes in fried chicken batter. First, the acidity in buttermilk reacts with the baking powder or baking soda to make the batter lighter and fluffier. This reaction causes the chicken coating to puff up while frying.

Second, buttermilk adds a tangy flavor that complements the chicken beautifully. The lactic acid provides a tart note that balances the rich fried coating.

What can I use instead of buttermilk for fried chicken?

Heavy cream or whole milk make excellent substitutes for buttermilk in fried chicken recipes. The key is adding something acidic like lemon juice or vinegar to the cream or milk before coating the chicken. This provides tanginess and thickens the texture to adhere properly. Equal amounts of heavy cream or whole milk soured with an acid can be used in place of buttermilk for dredging and frying chicken with great results.

Can you use heavy cream for fried chicken?

Yes, heavy cream is a simple, readily available substitute for buttermilk when frying chicken. It has a similar creamy thickness that will coat the chicken evenly. Make sure to add 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar per cup of heavy cream. Let sit 5-10 minutes to properly culture and thicken before dredging your chicken in it for wonderfully juicy, crispy fried chicken.

Why Use Heavy Cream Instead?

Heavy cream, also called heavy whipping cream, can make a fine substitute for buttermilk in fried chicken. Here are some benefits of using heavy cream:

    • It has a similar viscosity and density, so your batter will coat the chicken pieces evenly.
    • The high fat content keeps the batter delicate and light.
    • The subtle sweetness adds richness without overpowering the chicken flavor.
    • It’s usually easy to find in any grocery store.
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How to Substitute Heavy Cream for Buttermilk

Making the swap is simple:

    • Use equal amounts of heavy cream to replace the buttermilk in your recipe. Don’t adjust the other ingredients.
    • Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar per cup of heavy cream. This helps replicate that tangy buttermilk flavor.
    • Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes before coating your chicken. The acidity will thicken the cream slightly.
    • Proceed with dredging and frying your chicken as usual. The coating should be light and crispy!
    • If the batter seems too thick, thin it with a little water as needed.
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Tips for Best Results

    • Choose fresh, cold heavy cream for optimal texture and flavor. Avoid ultrapasteurized or whipped creams.
    • Let the cream mixture sit as directed so the vinegar or lemon juice can properly curdle and thicken it.
    • Adjust the vinegar/lemon juice to suit your taste. Add more if you want more tang.
    • Don’t be afraid to tweak the batter thickness by adding a touch more cream or water.
    • Pat chicken pieces dry so the coating sticks nicely. Cold chicken helps the batter adhere too.
    • Rest breaded chicken pieces for 5-10 minutes before frying. This helps set the coating.
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So go ahead and use that carton of heavy cream in place of buttermilk! Your fried chicken will turn out deliciously crunchy and flavorful.

FAQs
What can you use instead of buttermilk in fried chicken?

Buttermilk provides tangy flavor and thickness for dredging chicken pieces before frying. Some suitable substitutes are: heavy cream or whole milk soured with lemon juice or vinegar, plain yogurt thinned with milk, and cultured buttermilk made by adding lemon juice and letting milk sit. Using about 1 cup of acidic dairy product per 3-4 pieces of chicken will provide the best coating for crispy fried chicken.

Can I use heavy whipping cream instead of milk for fried chicken?

Yes, heavy cream can replace milk in fried chicken batter. Use an equal amount of heavy cream for the milk. The high fat content makes it a great substitute.

Can I marinate chicken in heavy cream instead of buttermilk?

Absolutely. Heavy cream can be used to marinate chicken before frying. Add lemon juice or vinegar to “sour” the cream. Marinate for at least 30 minutes for the best flavor.

Can I use heavy whipping cream instead of milk for fried chicken?

Definitely! Heavy whipping cream can replace milk in fried chicken batter. Use equal amounts of the cream for the milk called for in your recipe. The high fat content makes it an excellent substitute in terms of texture and flavor. Make sure to add some acidity like 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice per cup of cream. Let it sit 5-10 minutes before coating and frying for delicious results.

Is heavy cream the same as heavy whipping cream?

Yes, heavy cream and heavy whipping cream are names for the same high fat dairy product. Use them interchangeably.

What if I don’t have lemons or vinegar to sour the cream?

In a pinch, you can use cream of tartar or even yogurt to help sour and thicken the heavy cream. Start with 1/4 tsp cream of tartar or 2 tbsp yogurt per cup of cream.

Can I marinate chicken in heavy cream instead of buttermilk?

Heavy cream makes a fine marinade for fried chicken when you want to impart extra moisture and flavor. Simply add lemon juice or vinegar to taste to sour the cream. Use about 1 cup per 3-4 pieces of chicken and marinate for at least 30 minutes, up to overnight. The acidic dairy will tenderize the meat and soak up lots of tangy flavor. When ready to cook, remove chicken from the marinade and coat in flour or batter before frying.

Can I use half-and-half instead of heavy cream?

Half-and-half has less fat, so it won’t work quite as well. For best results, stick with heavy cream or whole milk as your buttermilk substitute.

 

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