• 16 chicken drumsticks (or a combination of drumsticks and thighs)

  • 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

  • Vegetable oil (for frying, about 3 cups)


1- Heat the warming drawer or oven to 200 F.

2- Pat the chicken with paper towels to dry.

3- In a large bowl, combine the buttermilk, Tabasco sauce, salt, and 1 tablespoon of black pepper. Add the chicken legs to the mixture and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate with the marinade for at least 1 hour (or up to 24 hours).

4- Remove the chicken from the buttermilk and let any excess buttermilk drip off.

5- 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.

6- In a large, heavy saucepan or deep skillet or sauté pan, heat at least 3 cups of oil to about 365 F. Fry the chicken legs in batches for about 10 minutes, turning once. To check for doneness, use an instant-read food thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the largest drumstick, not touching bone. The minimum safe temperature for poultry is 165 F.

7- Remove the chicken to paper towels to drain.

8- Place the drained chicken on a baking sheet, cover loosely with foil, and move to the warming drawer or oven to keep warm while frying subsequent batches.

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