Serves 8 | 5+ hours prep | 15 minutes cooking
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1/2 cup paprika
2 tablespoons black pepper
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
4 tablespoon dry leaf oregano, crushed
4 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
For the Chicken:
2 cups buttermilk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup hot sauce
8 chicken legs, skin on
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 cup corn starch
Canola Oil, enough for deep frying
In a medium bowl, combine the paprika, black pepper, cayenne pepper, oregano, garlic powder, and kosher salt and mix thoroughly using a fork.
Whisk together the buttermilk, egg, hot sauce, and 2 tablespoon of the spice mixture in a large bowl. Add the chicken to the bowl and coat evenly, tossing the pieces around. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or transfer to a gallon-size storage bag and refrigerate for at least 5 hours, up to overnight, turning the pieces over occasionally to redistribute the marinate. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator at least 1 hour before cooking to bring to room temperature.
In a large bowl or wide serving dish, whisk together the flour, baking powder, corn starch, and remaining spice mixture. Add 6 tablespoons of the marinate from the chicken to the flour mixture and work it into the flour with a fork or your fingertips. Remove the chicken from the marinate one at a time, allowing the excess marinate to drip off. Roll the chicken into the flour mixture and coat evenly, shaking off any excess flour.
Heat the canola oil in a 3-4-inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until the oil is hot, between 360-375 degrees Fahrenheit. Deep fry the chicken on the first side for 6-8 minutes, until it is golden brown. Do not turn the chicken until it has cooked at least 5 minutes, lest the coating fall off. Using a pair of tongs, turn the chicken on its other side and cook for an additional 5-6 minutes, until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the leg registers 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Drain the chicken on a wire rack or on a paper-towel-covered plate. Season with salt and serve.
Cook with soul. Eat with pleasure! Read Notes section below.
- For the spice mixture, you may adjust these measurements to suit your preference (i.e. less salt, more cayenne.)
- IF you don't have buttermilk, you can make your own by mixing 1 cup whole milk with 1 tablespoon lemon juice or lemon juice. Let stand for 5-10 minutes without stirring. It works perfectly the same!
- It's really important to deep fry room temperature meat opposed to cold meat because you risk undercooking the inside meat and overcooking the outside skin.
- You may use self-rising flour instead of combing flour+baking powder. However, keep the corn starch.
- The traditional way my dad deep fried his food was in vegetable shortening. You are welcome to replace oil for shortening :).
- For extra crunch, refrigerate chicken once cooked for at least 45 minutes. Deep fry again for 3-5 minutes, flipping occasionally. Drain on a wire rack or on a paper-towel-covered plate and serve immediately.