Spice-Rubbed Southern Fried Chicken

Spice-Rubbed Southern Fried Chicken

About This Recipe

Active time:1 hour
Total time:24 hours to marinate, 1 hour to fry
Special equipment:cast-iron skillet
This recipe appears in: Serious Heat: Spicy Fried Chicken


  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 8 to 10 bone-in, skinless chicken thighs and drumsticks
  • Canola oil, as needed
  • Buttermilk, as needed
  • All-purpose flour, as needed


  1. 1

    In small bowl, combine all the spices. Coat each chicken piece liberally with spice rub. Transfer to large Ziploc bag. Place in the refrigerator, and let marinate for at least 24 hours.

  2. 2

    In a cast iron pan, fill halfway with canola oil, and warm over medium-high heat. In large bowl, add buttermilk. In another large bowl, add flour. Dip each piece of spice-rubbed chicken into flour, buttermilk and back into the flour. Add to the warmed oil, turning it down if it is too hot. Working in batches if necessary to prevent overcrowding, cook chicken until golden brown on each side, turning occasionally until done, about 10 to 12 minutes. Make sure the chicken pieces register 180° on a meat thermometer. Sprinkle with salt, and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.


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