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Fried Chicken Legs


fried chicken, picnic food, Cajun favorite, Creole favorite

Fried Chicken

Terri Pischoff Wuerthner
The breast meat of a chicken is often used for chicken pies, leaving the legs for frying and taking on picnics during good weather. No utensils are needed and the legs offer a lot of meat in a compact little cylinder, easy to pack.


  • 16 chicken legs (drumsticks) (14 - 16)
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Tabasco sauce
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper, divided
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • oil for frying (about 3 cups)


Place the chicken legs in a bowl and toss with the buttermilk, Tabasco, salt, and 1 tablespoon of the black pepper. Cover, refrigerate, and marinate for at least 1 hour, and up to 24 hours.

Remove the chicken from the buttermilk and let excess buttermilk drip off.

Combine the flour, additional 1 tablespoon black pepper, and the cayenne. Shake the chicken legs in the seasoned flour and place on a rack while waiting for the oil to heat.

Heat at least 3 cups of oil until very hot--365°F. Fry the chicken legs for about 10 minutes, turning once. Remove as done, and drain.

BONUS TIP: Deep-frying vs. pan-frying: in deep-frying, the food is completely immersed in the oil, while in pan-frying the food is placed in enough oil to cover the bottom and sides of the food, necessitating that the food be turned over to fry the top. Three cups of oil will give a depth of 1/2 inch in a 10-inch skillet and is sufficient to pan-fry.

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