Prepare to dazzle your loved ones with a mouthwatering dish that will leave them wanting more. Our Hot Honey Chicken, seasoned with the tantalizing flavors of Willie D's "Voodoo Magic" seasoning, is a recipe that demands a little extra time and effort, but the end result is well worth it. Set aside some time for prep and cooking, and get ready to embark on a flavor-packed journey that serves 6 people (or perhaps just 4 if you have hearty appetites). This recipe is sure to bring smiles to everyone's faces and create lasting memories around the dinner table.
Lemon & Thyme Brine
4 cups cold water
1/4 cup fine salt
2 bay leaves Sprigs thyme
1 lemon, sliced into rounds
4 pounds bone-in chicken (split breasts halved crosswise, drumsticks and thighs not separated), trimmed
2 teaspoons of "Willie D's "That Creole" Seasoning
Fried Chicken Batter
1 1/2 cups cornstarch
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons of "Willie D's "That Creole" Seasoning (or stop when the ancestors tell you too.)
12 cups canola, peanut or vegetable oil, for frying
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
Zest of 1 lemon
Hot Honey 1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Pinch of kosher salt
1. For the lemon & thyme brine: In a large baking dish, combine 4 cups of cold water and 2 teaspoons of "Willie D's "That Creole" Seasoning, bay leaves, thyme, and lemon slices. Add the chicken, submerge it in the brine, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
2. For the fried chicken: In a large bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and flour. Add 3 teaspoons of "Willie D's "That Creole" Seasoning and whisk together. Set aside.
For the buttermilk dredge: Prepare your dredging station with a baking sheet.
3. Drain the chicken from the brine mixture and return it to the baking dish. Crack the eggs directly over the chicken and add the buttermilk and lemon zest for additional brightness. Use your hands or tongs to coat the chicken completely in the mixture.
COOK’S NOTE: Here’s the secret to crunchy, crispy chicken. Add about 1/4 cup of your buttermilk egg mixture to the flour mixture and combine with a fork to get shaggy pieces of flour.
5. Then working in batches, remove pieces of chicken from the buttermilk mixture. Shake off any excess buttermilk and dredge in the seasoned flour mixture. Transfer to your prepared sheet pan.
6. Refrigerate the chicken for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours to allow the coating to set properly.
7. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or large deep pot over high heat until it reaches 375°F on a deep-fry thermometer.
8. Working in batches, fry 3 to 4 pieces of chicken in the oil until deep golden brown and fully cooked (165°F on an instant-read thermometer), 12 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken pieces.
9. For the hot honey: While the chicken is frying, prepare the hot honey. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the honey, cayenne pepper, and salt. Stir frequently until warmed through and the honey has thinned to a syrup consistency. Set aside.
10. Transfer the cooked chicken to a second sheet tray lined with paper towels to drain excess oil. Season the chicken with kosher salt while warm. Make sure to bring the oil temperature back up to 375°F before cooking your next batch of chicken. Repeat this process until all the chicken is cooked.
11. Serve the fried chicken with salad and hot honey or your favorite hot sauce.
COOK’S NOTE: We use cold water in the brine, so we don’t risk cooking the chicken.