Southern-Style Fried Chicken


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– 16 chicken drumsticks (or a mix of drumsticks and thighs)
– 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
– 1 1/2 tablespoons Tabasco sauce
– 2 teaspoons salt
– 2 tablespoons black pepper (divided)
– 2 cups all-purpose flour
– 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
– Vegetable oil (for frying, approximately 3 cups)


1. Preheat the oven or warming drawer to 200°F (93°C).
2. Pat dry the chicken pieces with paper towels.
3. In a large bowl, mix buttermilk, Tabasco sauce, salt, and 1 tablespoon of black pepper. Add chicken pieces, ensuring they are coated well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 24 hours.
4. Remove chicken from the buttermilk mixture, allowing excess to drip off.
5. Combine flour, remaining black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Coat chicken in the seasoned flour mixture and place on a rack while heating the oil.
6. In a large, heavy saucepan or skillet, heat about 3 cups of oil to 365°F (185°C). Fry chicken in batches for approximately 10 minutes, turning once. Ensure the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) using an instant-read thermometer.
7. Drain fried chicken on paper towels.
8. Keep the fried chicken warm in the oven or warming drawer by loosely covering it with foil while frying subsequent batches.
9. Serve and savor!


– In deep-frying, the food is fully immersed in oil, while in pan-frying, it’s partially submerged. Three cups of oil in a 10-inch skillet provides sufficient depth for pan-frying, approximately 1/2-inch.