Give me a cold or hot chicken any day, i’ll eat it! Although I’ve had some delicious bites of it when dining out, it is, admittedly, never as good as when we make it at home. That’s probably because of the buttermilk and paprika brine we place the chicken in overnight. It results in the most moist, smoky, flavorful chicken.

Chicken drumstick
Chicken drumsticks ready for the taking

My husband, Glenn, is a bona fide fried chicken master and knows the perfect way to achieve that gorgeous mahogany brown skin I so crave. Now you can impress your friends and loved ones just like he wows me with the recipe on this page, served alongside some fresh, homemade buttermilk biscuits (recipe on page 68).

Smoky Fried Paprika Chicken


4 to 6


  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce or wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons smoked or plain sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • dash of hot sauce
  • 3 pounds chicken drumsticks
  • 3 cups peanut oil for frying
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
  • freshly ground black pepper


  1. Whisk the buttermilk, Worcestershire sauce or wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon of the salt, paprika and hot sauce in a bowl until fully combined.
  2. Place the chicken in a dish of appropriate, and pour the buttermilk brine over it. Seal the bag or cover the dish and leave to soak in the refrigerator for 6 to 12 hours (longer is better), turning occasionally. It is always best if the chicken marinates the buttermilk.
  3. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and separate the chicken from the buttermilk, reserving the buttermilk in a mixing bowl.
  4. Let the chicken sit at room temperature on a large plate or platter for about 10 minutes. Preheat in the oven to 350 degrees F.
  5. Lay the chicken pieces on the cooling rack over a large baking pan, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, and set aside until cool to the touch, about 15 minutes.
  6. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, heat about ¾ inch of peanut oil in a 12-inch cast iron skillet to about 310 degrees F.
  7. While the oil heats, whisk the egg into the reserved buttermilk mixture until fully combined. Ensure you mix it well.
  8. Mix the flour, the remaining 1 tablespoon salt, garlic and a dozen generous grinds of pepper in a shallow baking pan. You would want that peppery taste, makes it more inviting
  9. Holding the handle on a drumstick, dip it into the buttermilk mixture, then scoop it in the flour, and set it aside on a clean plate or platter. Repeat with all the pieces. If you prefer a thick crust, repeat the process. But I like thin crust…
  10. Cook the chicken in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Turn the pieces every 2 minutes using long metal tongs, for about 12 minutes, until they are a deep, rich, reddish brown.
  11. Set aside to cool on a wire rack for several minutes before serving.
buttermilk biscuits recipe

Buttermilk Biscuits

Biscuits have been consumed for centuries. I have been eating them since I was a child,I doubt I can ever stop. These days, you won’t find any hard-and-fast, definitive recipe for biscuit-making. There are a lot way to make biscuits now as there are many way to consume them as many ways to make biscuits as there are means of consuming them. Some rise high from the pan while others are short delicious little things. Some are super-crispy on the outside, while others are moist throughout. Cut biscuits, drop biscuits, tiny biscuits you just name it—there is a biscuit for every need, persuasion.


The recipe below makes a dozen smaller biscuits. If you want half as many large ones that you can fill with a fried egg, use a 3½-inch cutter.


about 1 dozen


  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 8 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted, for biscuit tops


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with a silicone baking mat and just set that aside.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl until fully incorporated.
  3. Using a pastry cutter or two forks, cut in the cold butter until the mixture begins to look crumbly but some pea-size chunks of butter remain in the bowl.
  4. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Just like in the case of a doughnut. Slowly add the buttermilk. Stir with a large spoon just until the liquid has been absorbed into the flour.
  5. Dump the shaggy dough onto a lightly floured table top and knead the dough with your hands, pressing it over and onto itself about three times. (This helps create the flaky layers that form inside biscuits and also remove the air bubbles)
  6. Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough to about ¾-inch thickness. With a 2½-inch biscuit cutter, cut out about 12 biscuits, re-rolling scraps of dough as necessary.
  7. Transfer the biscuits to the prepared baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, distribute the melted butter evenly over the tops of the biscuits to give it that brown look.
  8. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the biscuits are golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool the biscuits on the sheet for 5 minutes before serving.

Serving Suggestions

Eat anyhow you like but don’t forget to share!


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