If you’re a fan of Southern Buttermilk Fried Chicken then you must try my version of Spicy Fried Chicken. The classic buttermilk and flour dredged chicken that we all enjoy but with a little fiery kick. Just enough pepper to paprika ratio mixed with onion powder, thyme and salt for a delicious flavor combo.
*This Recipe is Sponsored by Watkins. All thoughts and text are my own. Thank you for supporting the companies that help make Two Cups Flour possible.
This recipe is a nice balance between classic fried chicken and Nashville Hot Chicken. I love spice, but don’t want it to be overwhelming where I can’t enjoy the meal without guzzling water.
Growing up in the South I’ve had my share of homemade fried chicken recipes. My grandmother and my mom used to make their own chicken with a side of potato salad and deviled eggs for family summer picnics. There was also an array of chicken recipes at family reunions and neighborhood get togethers.
It’s fair to say I’ve made and eaten plenty of crispy chicken. What I’ve found is a pre-soak in a seasoned marinade, followed by one coating of spiced flour and a slow fry in oil is my favorite method. The result is a juicy piece of chicken with a nice crunchy outer coat that gives a spicy palate tickle that pairs lovely with a drizzle of honey.
Fried Chicken Seasoning
What makes a delicious piece of fried chicken besides the classic buttermilk soak? The mixture of spices of course!! I partnered with Watkins to recreate my favorite Spicy Fried Chicken Recipe and showcase that true southern summer chicken experience I grew up with.We all know that using quality spices in your recipes is what sets them apart. All Watkins products are free from artificial dyes, high-fructose corn syrup, added MSG and other artificial ingredients. So not only will my chicken tastes amazing, but I know there won’t be anything unnatural or harmful in my food. In this recipe I used Watkins Organic Ground Black Pepper, Organic Paprika, Organic Crushed Red Pepper, Organic Onion Powder, Organic Thyme Leaves and Organic Mediterranean Sea Salt.
What Does Buttermilk Do For Fried Chicken?
Soaking chicken in buttermilk creates a ‘brine’ that breaks down some of the fats and acids in the skin of the chicken allowing for a crispier crust. The buttermilk also adheres to the chicken better than using milk which is great for adding that seasoned breading coating.
How to Make Fried Chicken
Homemade Fried Chicken has several steps, but it will be completely worth it when you’re biting into that tasty crispy juiciness.
Lets start with preparing your chicken. For this recipe I used chicken legs and wings, but you can definitely add thighs and breasts if those are your favorite cuts of chicken.
What is the Best Oil for Frying Chicken?
In my opinion the best oil for frying chicken is a neutral oil that won’t alter the flavor. Some options are Canola Oil, Vegetable Oil, and Peanut Oil. In this recipe I chose to use Canola Oil. It has a high smoke point and doesn’t leave my chicken greasy.
Frying Chicken On the Stove
Safety measurements should always be taken when frying anything in the kitchen. Use a large enough pot to contain spatters. Always use a deep frying thermometer that is secured to the side of the pot and the bottom and completely submerged the bottom the oil.
Watching the temperature of the oil is paramount as you don’t want it to get too hot or too cold. Frying at high temperature will burn the skin, leaving an undercooked meat and possible bubble onto to the stove creating a fire hazard.
The temperature of the oil can also lower when you add in the cold chicken pieces, preventing the chicken from cooking thoroughly. My method is to bring the oil to the correct temperature for frying which is about 350 F (176 C). I then submerge several pieces of chicken without over crowding. As the chicken cooks, I monitor the temperature on the thermometer making small heat adjustment to the stove as needed.
**Keep a damp kitchen towel close by in the event that spilled oil catches fire on the stove top. Oil fires must be smothered with towel.
Tools Needed for Frying Chicken
- Large bowl for marinating chicken pieces in seasoned buttermilk.
- Large pot or skillet deep enough to submerge fried chicken pieces.
- Use wire skimmer to lower and lift your chicken from the oil. You can use tongs, but I find they often break off pieces of the skin.
- Rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towels to place under your cooling rack. When hot chicken pieces are removed from the oil, set them on the cooling rack and allow the excess oil to drip down onto the paper towels.
How Long Does Fried Chicken Last
Spicy Fried Chicken is best enjoyed fresh when the skin is still crispy. Leftover chicken can be stored in an air tight container and kept in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. To reheat leftover fried chicken place on a sheet pan and cook at 350 F (176 C) for 10-15 minutes. The skin won’t be as crispy, but the flavors will still be there!
Spicy Fried Chicken
- 12 Chicken Wings cool not frozen
- 8 Chicken Drumsticks cool not frozen
- 2 Cups ( 480 grams) Buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon Watkins Organic Paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon Watkins Organic Onion Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Watkins Organic Black Pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Watkins Organic Mediterranean Sea Salt
Dry Spiced Flour
- 2 1/2 Cups (312.5 grams) All Purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon Watkins Organic Black Pepper
- 1-2 teaspoons Watkins Organic Red Pepper Flakes
- 2 teaspoons Watkins Organic Paprika
- 1 teaspoon Watkins Organic Onion Powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Watkins Organic Dried Thyme
- 1 teaspoon Watkins Organic Mediterranean Sea Salt
Oil For Frying
- Canola Oil
- In a large mixing bowl, hand whisk together buttermilk, paprika, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Gently place the chicken pieces into the marinade. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 4 hours.
- To make the flour breading combine the flour, black pepper, red pepper, paprika, onion powder, thyme, and salt in a large bowl and hand whisk together.
- When you're ready to fry the chicken prepare 5-6 quart pot by filling with oil deep enough to submerge chicken pieces. This is usually about 1-2 inches deep. Heat oil to 350 F (176 C) degrees.
- Prepare chicken drying station by lining a large rimmed baking sheet with paper towels. Place a rectangular cooling rack over the baking sheet and set near your frying station.
- Working with one piece of chicken at a time, remove a chicken piece from the buttermilk marinade. Set the piece into the flour mixture and rotate to coat thoroughly then place the breaded piece of chicken onto a clean baking tray to rest for 3-5 minutes. This gives the breading time to absorb to the wet chicken skin. Repeat with remaining pieces of chicken.
- Now, slowly lower 3 to 4 pieces of the breaded chicken into the 350 F (176 C) oil. Keep an eye on your oil temperature as the cold chicken may cause it to drop. Adjust the temperature accordingly. Fry the chicken pieces until rich golden brown and crispy. This can be anywhere from 10 minutes for wings and up to 14 minutes for thighs or breasts. So keep an eye on your chicken and check internal temperature with a meat thermometer to read 165 F &73 C) for cooked chicken.
- **If you chose to use 3/4 -1 inch deep oil, you will need to rotate your chicken halfway through cooking to prevent sticking to bottom of the pot. I use a little deeper oil at 2-3 inches and gently rotate with wire skimmer.**
- Once chicken is done cooking scoop from oil with skimmer allowing excess oil to drip into pot then place on cooling rack set over paper towel lined tray.
- Let chicken rest for 10 minutes before serving.