Neely Family Spicy Fried Chicken

Total Time:
2 hr 35 min
20 min
2 hr
15 min

8 servings

  • 1 (2 1/2-pounds) fryer chicken, cut into 10 pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Peanut oil, for frying
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and place in a casserole dish. In a nonreactive bowl, mix buttermilk, hot sauce and cayenne. Pour the buttermilk mixture over the chicken, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to marinate for 2 hours.

Preheat a deep-fryer to 350 degrees F.

Into a large paper bag, measure the flour, cayenne, garlic powder, paprika, and salt and pepper. Shake off excess buttermilk mixture and place the chicken, a few pieces at a time, into the bake and shake to dredge.

Place the chicken into the hot oil and fry until golden and crisp, about 8 to 10 minutes for white meat and 13 to 15 for dark meat. Remove from the fryer onto a paper towel lined sheet tray and season with salt and pepper.

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    73 Reviews
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    For those of you saying this is too bland you didn't add enough salt and pepper to your brine liquid (buttermilk in this recipe) The butter milk has to be a little on the salty side.
    This is a great recipe, very easy to adjust to taste, very tasty
    Great chicken recipe. Moist and juicy with a "kick" of heat as Gena would say. I love the Neelys and I miss them on the Food Network. Why are Neelys off the network in CA.
    This is a great recipe! I added some corn starch to the dredge for a little lighter and really crispy coating. Next time I will add some more cayenne for a little more heat. This is the best fried chicken we've made at home yet!
    I love this recipe! My teenage son love anything spicy. Me, not so much. This recipe is the perfect inbetween for the two of us. The buttermilk makes the chicken so tender and I love anything as easy as this is to prepare. This is my go-to fried chicken recipe!!
    OMG!!! im 14 years old and i made this recipe for my family and THEY LOVED IT!!!! i totally ecommend making this for someone who loves spice!
    I agree that it's crispy and tender but definately not spicy at all. Sooo the next time I made it I upped the hot sauce and cayenne in the buttermilk and let it soak all day. When I made the flour mixture I also poured about a 1/4 cup of cayenne in it. Much better!
    Loved the crispy skin and it came out very juicy, but it didn't have much flavor to it. I followed the recipe exactly how it was written.
    Very bland. (I always follow a new recipe exactly the first time I make it. I love to watch the Neely's and wanted to "like" this - but it's just not flavorful.  
    Recommend you try another recipe.
    Wow! This recipe was very delicious! My husband literally keptmsaying this is so good with every bite he took! the crispy skin and amaing juiciness of the chicken makes this dish a winner :-
    Best fried chicken EVER!
     i used chicken breasts that i cut into strips because thats what i had at home. and i dont have a deep frier so i used a deep skillet and everything turned out perfect. Thank You Neelys!
    love it so much best chicken ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    LOVE IT!!!!! Made this for my family and dinner was SILENT because they were eating! There are five of us, and every single one of us LOVED it! My son and oldest daughter are not fans of spicy stuff, so i didn't put as much of the cayene pepper in, and I added garlic. REALLY REALLY GOOD. I used chicken tenders as my daughters don't like the bones. FANTASTIC!!!! 
    Goes well with the sweet potato pie (carly's sweet potato pie. i googled neelys sweet potato pie 
    i love this chicken i did two different batches on exactly as written and the other i doubl dippd the chicken in the buttermilk and flour. the double dip ones were perfect nice and crunchy coating ont he outside and juicy inside
    This was the best fried chicken I have ever had. It could have used just a little more spice though.
    Made this for the enitre family the other night. Let me say that our family is not a fried food family in general. But OMG EVERYONE loved it and that is a big accomplishment with brothers that hardly eat anything other than hot dogs, hamburgers, and fast food. Added a little extra cayenne to give it a noticable kick and used 1 1/2c. panko. It's a do over!
    Mmmmm Mmmmm Good!!!
    My family absolutely loved it. We already like spicy foods it was delicious!!!!!
    This is a great style of cooking. Easy and taste good. Sometimes it hard to find all those spices and seasoning in the same store.. what i recommend is to get a bottle of Annabelle's Soul Food Seasoning it has a nice bite to it and getting a bottle of hot sauce just sets it off.
    It was great!!! Love crispy chicken and the seasonings was perfect!!!! Love the Neelys, went to their resturant and everything was just as great!!!!!!! 
    By PJ in Silersprings Fl. 
    The spicy definitely does not come out after cooking (I should have tested the batter first), but it was still AMAZING! It was a huge hit with the party, every piece was snatched up as soon as they cooled down! I'm saving this recipe. :)
    Pat & Gina, I can't think of the best words to describe how awesome this chicken tasted. I made it with your cheesy corkscrew with crunchy bacon topping pasta. fresh corn. Thank you for sharing your recipes.I look forward to cooking more out of your cookbook.
    The was the best fried chicken recipe I have ever used and made! I did taste my batter before drudging my chicken in it and the flavor was a little off for me, so I just added a little more of everything. My husband loves friend chicken and has been begging me to make it again only 2 days after we had it for dinner. We had 2 of his buddies over for dinner the night I made this and they both told me that this was better than KFC! Definately gonna make this one over and over again! Thanks Neelys!
    The recipe was great I let my chicken (5 leg quarters) sit in the marinade over night. When I prepared my flour to coat chicken I added 1 cup of cornstarch to make it really crispy. I should have tasted my batter because it was not spicy, but had a very good flavor. My husband came in the house from working in the garage and stated the house have not smelled like this in a long time. We have been eating healty and I have not been frying foods. I decided I wanted us to have some good fried chicken and thanks to the courtesy of the Neelys we did. I used vegetable oil instead of peanut.
    For Kevin in Az., if you are still wondering about a subatitute for peanut oil try canola oil instead. It always works for me.
    Ok so it seems like some of you guys don't know how to cook when you are making batters you must taste it to your preference i wanted a new fried chicken recipe and decided to try this the reviews had me iffy.......but it turned ou great i used hot sauce paprika pepper and red pepper flakes in the milk mixture perfect taste i seasoned chicken with season salt and make sure you rub it in let the seasoning on the chicken set before you put it in milk mixture.......this chicken was crunchy and tasty and it had a after bite from the red pepper flakes yum we drizzled ours with honey and hot sauce it was excellent ty so much neelys well done
    I needed a new creative way to make fried chicken then just oil, flour and a few house blends....
     I made this dish for my family and it was sure to leave you licking your fingers afterwards. IT WAS SOOOOOO GOOD!!!!!!!! You may want to add some of your own house blend spices just to give it a little more flavor. This recipe as given is for those who is watching there salt intake so it can be pretty bland.
     You know the south, nothing says Good unless you have really good seasoned chicken. HOME RUN FOR SURE!!!
    I have read some of you all's comments below and want to respond to them.
     As for the fried chicken, I see a lot of you have said that the chicken was not spicy at all, even the one's who followed the recipe to the letter. You guys have to remember, that everyone's taste buds are different. I was shocked to see a lot of people say that it wasn't spicy at all, cause we all see Pat and Gina constantly add hot sauce and cayenne pepper to everything, and it's making me question that all there other "spicy" recipes aren't as spicy. To make it easier on you guys all you have to do is just adjust the recipe to your taste. I honesty, don't season my meat with salt and pepper. It just seems so bland to me. I either use season salt, hot sauce, or lemon pepper. Now I'm from the south, I'm from Atlanta, GA, and Iove my food spicy and believe me, my stuff is spicy cause everyone is already taking a sip after they take a bite, lol. But you just have to adust things to your liking and do what a lot of chefs/cooks do. Taste your food. Taste your buttermilk batter and see if it was spicy enough for you or not, it's as simple as that. It's not rocket science.
     As for the collard greens and sweet potato pie, again, it's adjustments and everyone cooks familiar dishes differently. The sweet potato pie recipe that is in my family is SO MUCH SIMPLIER than the ones the Neely's did, but I like to taste other people's recipes.
     But for the lady that said that she will just stick to store bought chicken, just give it another chance, if not this recipe another one, and just remember to taste.
    All, this is a recipe where you can make it as spicy as you feel necessary. I add garlic pepper and instead of regular salt I used seasoning salt. For those who really like it hot add hot pepper flakes to the buttermilk. Also, add the dry seasonings and let sit for 2- 5 minutes prior to adding to the buttermilk. Great recipe, but again the spiciness is up to you.
    You guys are great and I love all of your recipes!
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