Sweet Tea-Brined Fried Chicken
John Seymour's Chicken and Waffles
Nathan Congleton / TODAY
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(57 rated)
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Brining the chicken a day before infuses it with a ton of flavor and ensures a super juicy interior for the crispy chicken.

Technique tip: Use a deep-fry thermometer to monitor the temperature of your oil.


  • Brine

    • 8 cups water
    • 1/2 cup sweet tea
    • 6 tablespoons salt
    • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
    • 1½ teaspoons garlic powder
    • 1½ teaspoons dried oregano
    • 1½ teaspoons dried thyme
    • 3½ to 4 pounds chicken pieces (about 8-10 pieces)
  • Chicken

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
    • 1½ teaspoons paprika
    • 1½ teaspoons salt
    • 1½ teaspoons dried thyme
    • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • Buttermilk, for dredging
    • Vegetable oil, for frying


For the brine:

In a large bowl, whisk together the water, sweet tea, spices and herbs until dissolved. Add the chicken pieces, cover and chill 12-24 hours in refrigerator.

For the chicken:

1. Heat about an inch of oil to in large sauté or cast iron pan to 325°F.

2. Drain reserved chicken from brine and pat dry.

3. In one bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, paprika, salt, thyme and pepper. Pour the buttermilk into another medium bowl.

4. Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture making sure each piece is completely coated. Shake off excess. Then, dip it in buttermilk and shake of excess liquid. Lastly, put chicken back into flour and coat completely. Set aside until all pieces are coated.

5. Working in batches, fry the chicken 15 to 20 minutes or until golden and chicken is cooked through. Drain the cooked chicken on paper towels then serve immediately.

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