Spicy Fried Chicken

Ready for some seriously spicy fried chicken? Hot sauce in the buttermilk marinade and cayenne in the breading means you're headed toward seriously spicy bliss.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Marinating time: 8 hours
  • Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

For the chicken:

  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 1/2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken parts

For the batter:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

For frying:

  • Canola, vegetable, or peanut oil

Method

1 Marinate chicken in buttermilk mixture: Mix the buttermilk, hot sauce, salt, black pepper, cayenne, and garlic powder in a large bowl. Put the chicken pieces in the buttermilk mixture and coat completely.

Marinate at least 8 hours and up to 24 in the refrigerator.

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2 Dredge chicken: Remove the chicken from the refrigerator. In a large paper or plastic (sturdy) bag, mix flour with black pepper, cayenne, salt, and garlic powder.

A couple pieces at a time, add the chicken to the seasoned flour and shake until thoroughly coated. Shake off any excess flour and let the dredged chicken pieces sit on a platter at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes.

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3 Heat oil in thick-bottomed pan: Meanwhile, heat 1/2 inch of oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet on medium heat (cast iron, stainless steel, or anodized aluminum—something that can take the heat). Heat until a pinch of flour gently sizzles when dropped in the hot oil (but not so hot that the pan is smoking), about 325°F. Remember when working with hot oil, always have a pan lid close by, just in case of grease fire.

4 Fry the chicken: Working in batches, add the chicken pieces to the hot oil in the pan and fry until golden brown all over, about 8 to 10 minutes per side, flipping the chicken as needed with tongs. When done, the meat should register 165°F in the thickest part using a digital thermometer.

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5 Remove to a rack to drain excess oil: Use tongs to remove chicken from pan. Place on a rack over a cookie sheet or a platter layered with paper towels for the excess oil to drain. Serve warm.

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