Sweet Tea Brined Fried Chicken

John Fleer's Sweet Tea Brined Fried ChickenElizabeth Watt/Stockfood Creative/Getty ImagesJohn Fleer's Sweet Tea Brined Fried Chicken


  • 8 chicken leg quarters
  • 1 quart brewed tea, double strength
  • 1 lemon, zested, quartered
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups masa harina (fine cornmeal)
  • 2 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 quart vegetable oil

    How to make it 

  • 1

    Mix brine ingredients. Simmer 5 minutes, until sugar and salt dissolve. Add 1 quart ice water. Submerge chicken for 48 hours, refrigerated. Drain.

  • 2

    Mix flour, masa harina, Old Bay, chili powder, salt and pepper in large bowl. Soak chicken in buttermilk in medium bowl, 2 minutes. Remove, draining off excess liquid. Coat chicken in masa harina mixture. Let sit 30 minutes before frying.

  • 3

    Heat oil to 325°F. Fry chicken, fully covered in oil, 15 minutes (big pieces may need more time; small pieces, less). Cool; refrigerate overnight.

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