Sweet Tea Fried Chicken is brined in sweet tea for flavor and fried until wonderfully crispy. Chicken doesn’t get any more southern than this. A glass of sweet tea is a natural accompaniment to fried chicken so why not combine the two?
After brining in sweet tea for 4 to 24 hours, the chicken picks up a slight sweetness which is divine with the salty/crispy coating. It also helps keep the meat extra juicy as it fries. The tannins in the tea help tenderize the meat.
What type of pan to fry chicken in?
The gold standard for frying chicken is a cast iron pan. It holds the heat really well. You want a deep cast iron pan so that the oil doesn’t overflow when you put the chicken in and it bubbles up. Since white meat and dark meat fry at different rates (white meat cooks faster), it helps to fry them in separate pans.
I reccommend using Lipton tea for this recipe. Stay away from flavored, herbal teas.
You want to cook the chicken to a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees. For best results, use a deep-fry thermometer to make sure the oil temperature stays in a good range. You want to keep the oil temperature about 325 degrees. It will drop some when you add the chicken.
Serve Sweet Tea Fried Chicken with:
- Southern Potato Salad
- Buttermilk Coleslaw
- Super Creamy Mac and Cheese
- Southern-Style Green Beans
- Jalapeno Popper Deviled Eggs
- Spicy Collard Greens
- 2 9-inch or larger cast iron pans
- 3 cups water
- 3 tea bags
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 chicken, cut up
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- Vegetable oil
- Bring water to a boil in a small pot. Stir in sugar until dissolves.Add teabags and remove from heat. Let steep for 5 minutes. Remove and discard tea bags and pour tea mixture into a large bowl. Let cool completely.
- Once tea has completely cooled, add chicken pieces. Turn to coat them. Refrigerate 4 to 24 hours.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and buttermilk.
- In a shallow dish, stir together flour, galic salt, lemon pepper seasoning, poultry seasoning, paprika, black pepper and salt.
- Remove chicken from tea marinade and coat it well in buttermilk/egg mixture. Dredge in flour mixture. Let it sit on the counter while you heat the oil.
- Pour about 1 inch of vegetable oil into 2 9-inch cast iron pans. Heat oil to about 350. Place white meat in one pan and dark meat in the other pan. Fry white meat about 5 to 6 minutes per side and dark meat 6 to 7 minutes per side. Maintain the oil at about 325 degrees while frying.Drain on a paper towel lined plate
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