Mahogany Fried Chicken



  • 1 quart buttermilk

  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

  • Two 2 1/2-pound fryer chickens, cut into 8 pieces

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

  • Vegetable oil, for frying


  1. Stir together buttermilk and 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper in a large bowl; add chicken, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 6 hours or up to overnight.

  2. In a large brown paper bag, combine flour with remaining 1 teaspoon cayenne, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon pepper; shake to combine. One at a time, place chicken pieces in the bag; shake to coat. Place coated pieces on a clean plate or tray.

  3. In a large skillet, heat 2 inches oil to 350 degrees. Using tongs, add chicken one piece at a time, being careful to not overcrowd pan. Fry, turning every 3 to 4 minutes, until deep mahogany in color, about 18 minutes. Remove chicken from skillet, and drain on a brown paper bag. Serve hot, warm, or cold.

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