Chili five spice fried chicken

By Mary Berg
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  • 1 cup (250 ml) buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) sesame oil
  • 8 teaspoons (40 g) Chinese five-spice powder, divided
  • 4 teaspoons (20 g) garlic powder, divided
  • 3 red birds eye chilies, sliced
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken drumsticks
  • 1 cup (128 g) flour
  • 1/2 cup (60 g) corn starch
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1 g) cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) kosher salt
  • Canola oil for frying


  1. Line two rimmed baking sheets with cooling racks and set aside.
  2. Combine buttermilk, soy sauce, sesame oil, 2 tablespoons (30g) five-spice, 1 tablespoon (15g) garlic powder and sliced chilies in a large resealable bag; mix well.
  3. Add chicken and squeeze out as much air as possible. Seal the bag and place it in a large bowl. Refrigerate for four to 12 hours.
  4. Whisk together remaining 2 teaspoons (10g) five-spice and 1 teaspoon (5g) garlic powder with flour, cornstarch, cayenne and kosher salt in a large bowl.
  5. Remove chicken pieces from marinade and shake off any excess.  Toss chicken into the flour mixture and place onto one of the rack-lined baking sheets. Set aside for 15 minutes.
  6. Heat 3-inches (8cm) of canola oil in a large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven or saucepan over medium-high heat to 350°F (176°C). Preheat the oven to 200°F (93°C).
  7. Toss the chicken pieces into the flour mixture once again and set them back onto the rack-lined sheet.
  8. Fry chicken, four pieces at a time for 12 to 14 minutes or until a thermometer reads 165°F (74°C), increasing or decreasing heat to maintain oil temperature of around 325°F (163°C). Place cooked chicken onto the clean rack-lined baking sheet and place in oven to keep warm while frying the remaining chicken.

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