Delicious Southern Fried Chicken Recipe – Easy & Flavorful

As I sit here, contemplating the delectable taste of southern fried chicken, there is one thought that comes to mind: nothing can beat its crispy texture and succulent flavor. This spicy southern fried chicken recipe is truly the embodiment of finger-licking goodness. Every bite of this chicken has a delicious crunch that will leave you wanting more.

What I adore about southern cuisine is that it always tastes like home. It brings back memories of my childhood and reminds me of my family gatherings where we’d share plates piled high with piping hot, juicy fried chicken. You could hear the crunch when you take a bite into it, and it’s as comforting as a warm embrace.

This recipe is a true classic, but with a twist. The blend of spices in the seasoning will make your taste buds come alive, and the heat from Tabasco sauce will give you an extra kick that you never knew you needed. It’s a recipe that can be made for any occasion – whether it’s a family dinner or a large gathering with friends.

The best part? It’s incredibly easy to make. With just a handful of ingredients and simple steps to follow, anyone can make this mouthwatering dish in no time.

So get ready to embark on a journey into Southern soul food with this spicy southern fried chicken recipe. It won’t disappoint!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Spicy Southern Fried Chicken
Spicy Southern Fried Chicken

Listen up, y’all. If you’re a fan of fried chicken, then you’re in for a spicy southern treat with this recipe. Picture this: juicy and succulent chicken pieces with a crispy coating spiced to perfection with a blend of paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Trust me when I say that this dish will leave your mouth watering.

But what sets this recipe apart from the rest? It’s the hot sauce, my friends. We add Tabasco sauce and hot pepper sauce to bring the heat that you deserve in your fried chicken. The result? A mouth-watering, spicy flavor that will take your taste buds on a trip down south.

The best part about this recipe is that it’s easy to make at home with simple ingredients such as buttermilk, all-purpose flour, and canola oil. Not only is it an affordable meal option for the family, but it also emulates the soul food enjoyed by black folks down south. Trust me; this recipe will be a sure-hit among your loved ones.

So why should you love this recipe? For starters, it’s packed with flavor, crispy coating that delivers both texture and taste to make each bite simply irresistible. Additionally, it’s flexible enough to cater to different preferences – make it extra crispy or opt for tender chicken strips coated in buttermilk and hot sauce.

In conclusion, if you’re looking for a way to switch up your dinner routine or impress guests with a finger-licking meal option, you’ve come to the right place! Get ready to indulge in some good ol’ Southern comfort food that is rich in flavor and easy to whip up in your own kitchen.

Ingredient List

“Get ready to spice up your taste buds with this southern classic!”

Get Ready to Spice Things Up!

This Spicy Southern Fried Chicken Recipe is not for the faint of heart. Get ready to sizzle with its numerous spices, including paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Below is the list of ingredients you will need to prepare the ultimate Southern dish!

Recipe Ingredients:

  • 3-pound roasting chicken, cut into pieces
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce (Tabasco is my favorite)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • Seasoned Flour:
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 tablespoon paprika
    • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
    • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
    • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
    • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Egg Wash:
    • 3 large eggs
    • 1 cup water
    • Salt and pepper (about a teaspoon of each)

Make sure you have all these items in your pantry, and let’s start cooking!

The Recipe How-To

“The perfect balance of heat and flavor in every bite.”

Now that you have gathered all the ingredients, it’s time to turn your attention to the recipe itself. Get ready to learn how to make Spicy Southern Fried Chicken that will be sure to impress your family and friends.

Step 1: Seasoning the Chicken

Before starting anything, make sure your chicken has been cleaned and dried thoroughly. In a bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon of paprika, 1 tablespoon of onion powder, 1 tablespoon of garlic powder, 1 tablespoon of kosher salt, 1/2 tablespoon of black pepper, 1/2 tablespoon of cayenne pepper and 1 teaspoon of Tabasco sauce. Place your chicken into a large ziplock bag, add the seasoning mixture and shake until each piece is evenly coated.

Step 2: Marinating with Buttermilk

In another bowl, combine 2 cups of buttermilk with 1/4 cup of hot sauce. Transfer the seasoned chicken from the ziplock bag into this mixture and then let it marinate for at least two hours or overnight if possible. The buttermilk will help tenderize the chicken while adding an incredible depth of flavor.

Step 3: Coating with Flour

When ready to fry, prepare the flour mixture. In a large bowl, mix together – 3 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon of paprika, 1 tablespoon of black pepper, and 1 teaspoon each of onion and garlic powder. You can make it spicier by adding more cayenne pepper. Take one piece of chicken at a time out from the buttermilk-hot sauce mixture, allowing any excess liquid to drip off, and place it into the seasoned flour coating thoroughly on all sides.

Step 4: Frying the Chicken

Fill a large skillet with 1 1/2 inch of canola oil and heat it over medium-high heat until it reaches 360°F. Working in batches, carefully place the chicken pieces into the hot oil using tongs, making sure not to overcrowd the skillet. Fry each side for about 7-9 minutes or until golden brown and thoroughly cooked.

Step 5: Draining the Oil and Adding Toppings

Once cooked, place the fried chicken onto a wire rack to drain off any excess oil. While still hot, brush each piece with some melted butter and sprinkle some extra cayenne pepper if you desire some added heat.

Now that you’ve mastered this recipe, serve your Spicy Southern Fried Chicken with your favorite sides and drinks or as part of your tailgating picnic basket. Enjoy!

Substitutions and Variations

“Crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside!”

Cooking is an experiment, and I am a chef who loves to play with new ingredients to create novel dishes. Here are some substitution recommendations and variations to make your Southern Fried Chicken recipe even more unique.

(a) Instead of Canola Oil: The most common oil used for frying, canola oil has a neutral flavor and a high smoke point. However, you could substitute it for peanut or vegetable oil, both perfect for deep-frying.

(b) Instead of Fried Chicken: If you prefer oven-baked chicken, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and place the seasoned chicken on a wire rack over a baking sheet before cooking it for about 45 minutes. This trick will save you time and still give you that crispy crunch!

(c) Instead of Buttermilk: Buttermilk is loved by many in Southern cuisine as it gives fried chicken its signature tangy flavor. If buttermilk isn’t available, don’t worry! You could use plain yogurt or sour cream thinned out with water instead.

(d) To Make Spicy: There are several ways to make spicy southern fried chicken! Add cayenne pepper, hot sauce or Tabasco sauce to the flour mixture with paprika, salt, and black pepper. Another option is marinating your chicken in buttermilk mixed with hot sauce or adding dried red chili flakes into the seasoned flour mixture.

(e) For Extra Crispy: For those who love extra crispy fried chicken, add cornmeal or panko breadcrumbs to the seasoned flour mixture before dredging the chicken pieces. Also, do not overcrowd the pan when frying.

(f) Other Ways to Season: You can substitute some herbs and spices in your seasoned flour mixture to create different variations. Experiment with garlic powder, onion powder, dried herbs like thyme, rosemary or parsley; just remember always keep kosher salt and black pepper as the base seasoning combination.

(g) Nashville Hot Chicken: A famous spin on fried chicken in Tennessee is Nashville hot chicken. If you want to try this version, add extra cayenne pepper and paprika to the seasoned flour, buttermilk hot sauce to the wet mixture, then fry the chicken until crispy golden brown. Serve it immediately with a slice of bread and pickles. Enjoy!

Whatever substitution or variation you choose, keep in mind that it’s all about trying new things and mixing different flavors together!

Serving and Pairing

“Comfort food at its finest, guaranteed to make you feel at home.”

Now that your spicy southern fried chicken is ready, it’s time to serve and enjoy! This classic southern dish pairs well with a variety of sides and drinks, making it the perfect choice for any occasion.

To really capture that southern flavor, serve your chicken with traditional sides such as macaroni and cheese, collard greens, baked beans, or coleslaw. For a healthier option, pair it with a crisp garden salad or roasted vegetables like sweet potatoes or corn on the cob.

When it comes to drinks, a cold glass of sweet tea or lemonade is the perfect complement to this savory and spicy dish. If you’re feeling adventurous, try pairing your fried chicken with a local craft beer or a bold red wine.

For a fun twist on this classic dish, try using your spicy fried chicken in other recipes. Chicken strips make great nashville hot chicken fingers for a quick and easy appetizer. Or, use your leftover chicken to create an extra crispy chicken sandwich for lunch the next day.

No matter how you choose to serve it, this spicy southern fried chicken recipe is sure to be a hit amongst all your friends and family. So fire up that stove, gather around the table, and prepare to savor every delicious bite of this beloved southern soul food.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

“It’s all in the seasoning! This recipe packs a flavorful punch.”

Southern Fried Chicken is best served hot and crispy right out of the fryer, but sometimes you may need to store or reheat leftovers. To make the most of your Spicy Southern Fried Chicken leftovers, here are my expert tips on how to properly store, reheat and enjoy them:


If you plan ahead, you can prep your chicken a day before frying. After coating your seasoned flour mixture onto your chicken, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it overnight. This will allow the flour mixture to soak in and create a crispy crust.


To store leftover fried chicken, let it cool down for 20 minutes at room temperature first. Then store in an airtight container or wrap it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. The chicken can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.


There are a few options when it comes to reheating your leftover southern fried chicken. My go-to reheating method is using the oven, as it allows the chicken to retain its crispiness.

– Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).

– Remove the chicken from the fridge or freezer and let it rest at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes.

– Place the chicken on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of each piece.

– Turn over the chicken halfway through cooking time to ensure even heating.

– Once heated through, remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

You can also reheat leftover fried chicken in a skillet with some oil or butter for a crispy texture or microwave it briefly, but these methods may result in slightly soggy skin.

With these tips, you can enjoy perfectly crispy and delicious leftover Spicy Southern Fried Chicken!

Tips for Perfect Results

“Better than your grandma’s fried chicken recipe, but we won’t tell her.”

Southern fried chicken is a beloved dish, but its crispy exterior and juicy interior can be tricky to achieve. Here are some tips to help you get it right:

1. Use a cast-iron skillet: A cast-iron skillet retains heat better than other pans, resulting in a consistently crispy crust.

2. Let the chicken come to room temperature: Taking the chicken out of the fridge at least an hour before cooking allows it to cook evenly.

3. Double-dredge the chicken: Dredging the chicken in seasoned flour, then in buttermilk and seasoned flour again, creates an extra-crispy crust.

4. Don’t overcrowd the pan: Frying too many pieces at once will lower the oil’s temperature, causing the chicken to become greasy and soggy.

5. Use a meat thermometer: Ensuring that the internal temperature of the thickest part of the chicken reaches 165°F (74°C) will ensure that it’s cooked through and safe to eat.

6. Drain excess oil: Place fried chicken on a wire rack instead of paper towels, which can trap residual moisture and make the crust less crispy.

By following these tips and using high-quality ingredients, you can make delicious and flavorful southern fried chicken every time.


Now that we have learned how to make this delicious spicy southern fried chicken, you might be left with a few questions on your mind. Don’t worry, as an experienced chef specializing in southern-style cuisine, I’m here to answer some of the most frequently asked questions that may come up regarding this recipe. Let’s dive into the FAQ section and get ready to clear up any doubts!

What is the difference between fried chicken and Southern fried chicken?

Southern fried chicken, a beloved dish, is made by coating chicken pieces in a seasoned batter or flour and then cooking them using pan-frying, deep-frying, pressure frying, or air frying methods. This coating enhances the texture of the chicken by adding a crispy outer layer that seals in the natural juices and flavors of the meat.

How does KFC get their chicken so crispy?

Achieving the extra-crispy skin like the one KFC is known for may seem like a daunting task without a high-temperature, industrial-strength pressure fryer at your disposal. However, fear not! You can still easily recreate that crave-worthy crunch with a deep fryer, Dutch oven, or heavy-bottomed pot, all of which are commonly found in most home kitchens.

What makes fried chicken taste so good?

When done right, deep-frying can provide a pleasing contrast between the crunchy exterior and the tender meat inside. Additionally, a crispy coating on food can signal to our brain that it is fresh and in good condition.

Bottom Line

So there you have it, folks. My spicy southern fried chicken recipe that’ll make your taste buds sing praises. With the right blend of spices and the perfect balance of heat, this dish is sure to be a hit at your next family gathering or dinner party.

Don’t be afraid to double or triple the recipe either–because trust me, once you start eating it, you won’t want to stop. You can also try some of the variations I mentioned earlier to mix things up a bit and surprise your hungry guests.

Remember, cooking is an art form that is meant to be enjoyed and shared with others. So gather ’round the table, grab a cold drink, and dig into some tasty southern goodness. Your stomach will thank you.

Spicy Southern Fried Chicken

Spicy Southern Fried Chicken Recipe

This is a great recipe for "spicing-up" your fried chicken. The chicken gets a kick from marinating it in Tabasco sauce. But don't worry, the spicy-heat is just enough to give the chicken a great flavor and not over-power the taste. This recipe came from Williams-Sonoma Kitchens.
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Prep Time 1 d
Cook Time 30 mins
Calories 3271.2 kcal


  • 1 roasting chicken, cut into serving pieces
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus additional to add for seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper, plus additional to add for seasoning
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 -2 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
  • 6 cups canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika


  • Rinse the chicken with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Place in a large baking dish, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for a least 1 hour or up to 4 hours.
  • In a bowl, combine the buttermilk and Tabasco sauce and pour over the chicken, coating all the pieces. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  • Remove the chicken from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking. Place the chicken in a colander and let the excess buttermilk drain off. Reserve the buttermilk, if desired, for dipping the chicken a second time.
  • In a deep cast-iron fry pan over medium-high heat, heat the oil to 350 degrees. Preheat an oven to 200 degrees. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the flour, the 2 teaspoons salt, the 1 teaspoon pepper and the paprika. Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture, shaking off the excess. (For a crispier coating, dip the chicken into the reserved buttermilk and flour a second time.).
  • Place half of the chicken in the oil and fry, turning often and maintaining the oil temperature at 325 degrees until the chicken is cooked through. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Repeat with the remaining chicken.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 577gCalories: 3271.2kcalCarbohydrates: 42.2gProtein: 21.6gFat: 340.2gSaturated Fat: 28.2gCholesterol: 58.4mgSodium: 1074mgFiber: 1.5gSugar: 6g
Keyword Chicken, Chicken Breast, Chicken Thigh & Leg, Easy, Meat, Poultry, Whole Chicken
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