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Spicy Skillet Fried Chicken

Classic fried chicken is a labor of southern love. The more time you have to let it hang out in the marinades, the better. But for the busy home cook, I’ve tried to add as much punch to each step of the recipes, with plenty of spices in the rub and hot sauce in the buttermilk bath. The chicken really benefits from overnight marinating. If you have time to start the night before, do so with the spice rub. Then add the buttermilk in the morning and allow to sit until ready to cook.
Prep Time 11 hours 40 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 11 hours 55 minutes
Servings 2


  • Sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 whole chicken legs thighs and drumsticks separated
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • Vegetable oil
  • 2 cups gluten-free or regular AP flour


  1. In a medium-mixing bowl, whisk together 2 teaspoons salt, thyme, paprika, onion and garlic powder, and cayenne. Add the chicken and rub it allover with the spice mix. Cover, and marinate until ready to fry – for as long as possible, preferably, overnight in the fridge.
  2. Pour the hot sauce and buttermilk over the chicken. Slosh it around until well-coated. Marinate until ready to fry, up to 12 hours covered in the fridge.
  3. Pour the oil into a large heavy-bottomed skillet, at least 1 inch. Heat over medium-high heat until you reach 350 degrees. (If you don’t have a thermometer, simply test the heat by dipping the first piece of chicken in. If it starts sizzling and bubbling wildly, the oil is hot enough.)
  4. Place the flour in a shallow bowl. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk, shaking off any excess liquid. Coat chicken pieces in the flour, shaking off any excess.
  5. Cook the chicken in an even layer in the oil until golden brown, turning once, at least 12 minutes total. Adjust the heat if the chicken turns brown to the point of burning. Remove chicken to a paper towel-lined plate or wire rack to drain and cool for at least ten minutes.
  6. Serve the chicken alongside slaw, with some extra hot sauce for dipping.