This Cajun fried chicken is a classic Southern-styled chicken recipe that is crunchy and crusty on the outside and juicy and flavorful on the inside – infused with spices and seasonings and soaked in buttermilk to elevate its flavor. Some prefer to soak their chicken in the buttermilk hours ahead of time, while others, like me, marinate it just before frying. Soaking the chicken in buttermilk leaves it tender and moist on the inside and helps the coating stick to the chicken easily. If you don’t have any buttermilk a convenient alternative is plain yogurt.
cajun crispy fried chicken recipe
- one whole chicken, cut into pieces
- two tablespoons of salt
- one tablespoon of hot sauce (whatever you prefer)
- three to four garlic bulbs, crushed
- one and a half tablespoons of ground paprika
- two teaspoons of white pepper
- two tablespoons of garlic powder
- two teaspoons of ground cayenne pepper
- one tablespoon of dried thyme and parsley
- three cups of all-purpose flour
- two teaspoons baking powder
- three cups of buttermilk (or plain yogurt)
- vegetable oil, for frying
Place the chicken in a large bowl and season with one teaspoon salt followed by all the crushed garlic, hot sauce and half of the ground paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder and white pepper.
Pour the buttermilk in the marinated chicken and refrigerate for at least four hours and up to overnight, or if you are short on time just an hour before frying.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and the remaining salt, ground paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, dried herbs and white pepper.
Remove all the marinated chicken from the buttermilk. Then dredge each piece of chicken in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess flour.
Double dip the chicken in the remaining buttermilk (add fresh buttermilk as needed) followed by the flour mixture - once again shake off any excess flour.
Let the chicken rest for about ten to fifteen minutes while heating the oil. This will help the coating to stay on better.
Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet one hundred and ninety degrees Celsius.*
Using a tong, carefully place the chicken in the hot oil. Work in batches and do not overcrowd the skillet.
Fry the chicken until golden brown, turning once every ten to fifteen minutes - depending on the size of the pieces. Chicken is done when it is no longer pink inside and its juices run clear. You may test its readiness by piercing the chicken with a fork.
Drain the chicken on paper towels and then transfer them on a wire rack.**
Leave the fried chicken to cool for at least ten minutes before serving.
*When frying, make sure that your oil is at the right preheated temperature. If it’s too hot, the outside of your chicken will burn, if it’s not hot enough, the chicken will become soggy and greasy.
** Don’t leave the fried chicken to sit on the paper towel too long as it’ll start to steam and become soggy. Instead, drain your chicken using a wire rack over a baking sheet. They’ll cool crisp and dry off all at once easily.