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Smoky Chipotle Fried Chicken

Smoky Chipotle Fried Chicken

This Smoky Chipotle Fried Chicken is seriously the best recipe I've ever tried. Brining chicken makes it super tender juicy & perfectly seasoned throughout.
Course Dinnner
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8 pieces fried chicken
Author Barry C. Parsons


  • one large chicken about 3 1/2 to 4 pounds
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • 1/2 cup butter for frying

For the Tabasco Brine

  • 2 quarts liters of water
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 8 cloves thinly sliced garlic
  • 1 large onion thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup Tabasco sauce add more if you like

For the flour and spice dredge

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 heaping tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 heaping tbsp chipotle powder


  1. Prepare the brine by adding the water, kosher salt, brown sugar and honey to a large plastic or glass bowl. Stir until the salt and sugar are dissolved then add the peppercorns, garlic, onion and Tabasco Sauce.
  2. Drop the chicken pieces into the brining liquid , cover and refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours. If you need to add a little more water to completely cover the chicken, that's not a problem.
  3. After 24 - 48 hours, remove the chicken from the brine mixture. Pat dry with paper towels.
  4. To make the flour and spice dredge simply toss the flour, salt, pepper, smoked paprika and chipotle powder together until completely blended.
  5. Add the brined chicken pieces to the flour dredge. Toss well and press the chicken pieces into the flour dredge with your palms to get good contact with the meat.
  6. Let stand for ten minutes, then toss again and press down with your palms again. This ensures a good crust on the chicken.
  7. Now it's time to warm up your oil and butter. In a 12 inch cast iron skillet heat 1 inch canola or corn oil with 1/2 cup real dairy butter until it reaches 35O degrees F. Just below medium heat works well on my stove but use a thermometer to be sure. A cast iron skillet is the best for fried chicken. Be extra careful to regulate the heat properly of using anything other than cast iron. Even cooking is essential.
  8. Drop the dredged chicken pieces into the hot oil/butter mix and cook for approximately 35- 40 minutes depending on the size of your chicken pieces, turning at least once halfway through the cooking time. I start with the dark meat pieces and add the breasts about 10-15 minutes into the cooking time because these will cook faster. I always use my meat thermometer to ensure that the largest pieces have reached an internal temperature of 175 degrees F, which is perfect for fried chicken. The chicken should be a beautiful golden brown when it comes out of the oil. Let it rest on a wire rack to drain for 10 minutes before serving.