Sweet Tea Fried Chicken


Sweet Tea Fried Chicken

Sweet Tea Fried Chicken
8 Hr
55 Min

When Lee Brian Schrager shared his recipe for Sweet Tea Fried Chicken we couldn't wait to get a taste! Just one bite of a crispy drumstick and everyone agreed... this chicken sure is flavorful!

What You'll Need

  • 1 quart very strong brewed tea (we used Lipton)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 2 large lemons, quartered
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 quart ice water
  • 8 chicken legs and thighs (bone-in and skin-on)
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 cups masa harina (corn meal flour)
  • 2 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • Vegetable oil for frying

What to Do

  1. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the tea, sugar, 1/2 cup kosher salt, lemon quarters, and zest. Simmer mixture about 5 minutes, or until salt and sugar dissolve. Remove from heat, add the ice water, allow marinade to cool, then add chicken. Refrigerate overnight or up to 48 hours, then drain chicken and pat dry.
  2. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of the flour with the masa harina, Old Bay seasoning, chili powder, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and pepper. In another large bowl, beat eggs with buttermilk. Place remaining flour in third bowl.
  3. Roll chicken in plain flour, then buttermilk mixture, then seasoned flour mixture. Arrange chicken pieces in a single layer on a plate or baking sheet. Set aside at room temperature 30 minutes.
  4. Fill a large pot halfway with oil and heat to 300 degrees F. Working in batches, add chicken and cook 22 to 24 minutes, or until golden and juices run clear. Drain chicken on wire rack and let rest at least 10 minutes. Serve immediately or at room temperature.


  • This recipe is adapted from the Fried and True Cookbook.
  • Check out this amazing "Hash Brown Casserole" for a great go-along!

Nutritional InformationShow More

Servings Per Recipe: 4

  • Amount Per Serving % Daily Value *
  • Calories 1,869
  • Calories from Fat 731
  • Total Fat 81g 125 %
  • Saturated Fat 22g 108 %
  • Trans Fat 0.3g 0 %
  • Protein 90g 180 %
  • Amount Per Serving % Daily Value *
  • Cholesterol 569mg 190 %
  • Sodium 12,035mg 501 %
  • Total Carbohydrates 206g 69 %
  • Dietary Fiber 20g 79 %
  • Sugars 82g 0 %

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Thanks for the baking instructions!

Hey. Fried? SO what. We go around only once. A little bit of fried food will not kill you. Everything in moderation. At my age, 77 this week I don't give a hoot.

Lemons are listed in the instructions, but not in the ingredient list. How many lemons?

Hi Elaine! We updated the recipe to include the information on lemons. It's 2 lemons, quartered, and the zest of 1 lemon. (You can use the zest from one of the quartered lemons.) Hope that helps! Have a great day. :)

How spicy is this recipe? My hubby will love this, but I need more of a mild flavor. Would cutting the spices in half still give it just a little kick. Thank you for all the great recipes and cooking tips.

Hello there! The main ingredient that gives this dish that "kick" is the chili powder; so reducing the amount of chili powder used would create a more mild flavor. Thank you so much for commenting, and we hope that your hubby and you will enjoy this!

I'm planning to make this recipe, but can't find masa harina/corn flour at our rural stores. Are there any substitutions?

Hello Catherine! If you can't find cornmeal you can omit it from the recipe, and it will still taste good and crispy. Enjoy!

I don't think weight watchers would like the deep fried any more than the sugar. Find another recipe.

To HELLo with weight watchers

Befuddled as to why people would click on a recipe called "Sweet Tea FRIED Chicken" and then gripe about it being fried....

too funny...

I think I would rather have this in the oven . Weight Watchers wouldn't like me to eat something fried.

Sounds interesting, but I do try to avoid deep-fried foods. Could this be baked instead? I'd love to give it a try! :-)

Hi there! Yes, if you prefer to have baked Sweet Tea Chicken, you can bake it at 350 degrees for 60 minutes or until no longer pink in center. Enjoy!


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