Hot Fried Chicken

Total Time:
13 hr 35 min
15 min
Inactive Prep:
12 hr 45 min
35 min
4 servings


  • Buttermilk Marinade:
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce, such as Tabasco
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay
  • 1 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • Two 2-pound chickens (you don't want huge chickens for this), cut up into pieces
    • 2 quarts corn oil
    • 2 tablespoons seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay
    • 4 teaspoons paprika
    • 4 teaspoons salt
    • 2 teaspoons ground celery seed
    • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
    • 2 teaspoons chili powder
    • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
    • 2 teaspoons onion powder
    • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 4 cups all-purpose flour


    For the buttermilk marinade: Whisk the buttermilk together with the honey, hot sauce, salt, seafood seasoning, black pepper and cayenne in a large mixing bowl.

    Submerge the chicken pieces in the buttermilk. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 12 hours.

    Pull the chicken out of the fridge and let it come up to room temperature, still in the marinade, about 45 minutes.

    Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.

    Heat the oil in a deep pot or a deep-fryer over high heat (the oil should be 3 inches deep) so that it starts popping, about 350 degrees F. A good rule of thumb: if you drop a pinch of flour into the oil and it fries up immediately, you're good to go.

    While the oil is heating, combine the seafood seasoning, paprika, salt, celery seed, cayenne, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder and black pepper in a large mixing bowl. Reserve half to be sprinkled over the chicken after it's fried later, and combine the other half with the flour in a large bowl. Mix things around with your hands so everything is distributed evenly.

    When the oil is hot, transfer a piece of chicken into the dredging flour, heaping flour on top of it and flipping it around until the chicken is completely coated. Do the same with each piece until there's no more space in the bowl.

    Lightly shake the chicken (just enough to get rid of the really loose bits of flour) and drop into the fry pot using your hands or a pair of tongs. (You will definitely need to fry your chicken in batches, unless you've got some really big bowls and pots.)

    Fry the chicken until golden brown, about 8 minutes, and then transfer to a rack set on a baking sheet with tongs.

    Sprinkle each piece of chicken with the seasoning mixture, turning with tongs to coat on all sides.

    Let the chicken rest in the oven at least 10 minutes, so that the cooking process finishes. Meanwhile, fry up the next batch of chicken.

    Hold the fried chicken in the oven until all the pieces are fried and rested and you're ready to serve it up. Then pile the chicken on a big plate, put it in the center of the table with biscuits, collards and slaw, and let everybody start grabbing pieces. I guarantee it will disappear fast.

    This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional and may have been scaled down from a bulk recipe. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe, in the proportions indicated, and therefore, we cannot make any representation as to the results.