Recipes // Main Dish Chicken and Turkey // Buttermilk Brined Fried Chicken With Hot Pepper Honey

Buttermilk Brined Fried Chicken With Hot Pepper Honey


Chef Elizabeth Karmel

6 servings


  • 1 package (16 ounces) egg noodles
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 to 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 recipe Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup (page 282) or 1 can (10.5 ounces) condensed cream of chicken soup plus 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 packet (1 ounce) dry ranch dressing mix
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli (see Note)
  • 1 cup sliced yellow squash or zucchini (see Note)
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced (see Note)


  1. Make the Hot Pepper Honey (preferably several days in advance to let the flavors develop) and Southern Buttermilk Brine.
  2. Pat the chicken pieces dry and remove excess fat. Place the chicken in a heavy-duty brining bag or a nonreactive food-safe container with a lid. Pour the brine on the chicken, cover and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours. The smaller pieces will take less time and the larger pieces will take more time. DO NOT OVER_BRINE or the chicken will be too salty.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the seasoned flour ingredients together.
  4. Remove the chicken from the brine; drain off the excess liquid. Coat evenly in the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess. Let stand for 5 minutes, then coat again with the seasoned flour; and let stand another 5 minutes before frying.
  5. Pour enough oil in a Lodge 5-quart cast iron chicken fryer to reach 1/2 inch up the side. Heat the oil to 325 degrees. You may have to adjust the heat level under the pot to maintain a study temperature.
  6. Immediately place the chicken, skin side down, in the hot oil and cover the pot. Once you see that the bottoms of the chicken pieces are golden brown and the tops are beginning to cook, about 10 minutes, turn the chicken over. Place the lid back on the pot and fry for another 5 minutes or so. You can remove the lid when the chicken is almost done to crisp up the skin. Cook a total of 20 to 25 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken pieces. Remember; turn only once, and larger pieces may take longer. The chicken should deb cooked all the way to the bone. Note: It may help to place the thighs in the middle of the skillet with the oil is the hotter and surround them with the breasts, legs and wings.
  7. Drain the chicken on a wire rack set on a baking sheet, and place in a low oven (250 to 300 degrees) until ready to serve. Serve with the Hot Pepper Honey on the side.

Hot Pepper Honey recipe


  • 1/4 cup favorite fruity hot sauce, preferably habanero
  • 1 to 2 generous teaspoons red pepper flakes, to your taste
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
  • 1 cup best-quality honey


  1. 1. In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients together well. Taste and adjust the level of hear to your liking. Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator. This gets better after it stands for a couple of days. It will keep for up to a week. Stir before using.

Makes about 1 1/4 cups



  • 3 cups hot water
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dried rosemary or 3 large sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 generous teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
  • 2 generous cups ice cubes
  • 4 cups cold buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. In a large saucepan over high hear, bring the water, salt, sugar, rosemary, and peppercorns to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Stir and let steep and cool for 15 minutes.
  2. Add the ice cubes, buttermilk and cayenne. Whisk well.

Makes about 2 Quarts

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