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"You Know How To Make Me Feel So Good" extra crispy jerk fried chicken

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Step by Step keys to making extra crispy fried chicken and a dope jerk fried chicken recipe to match. This chicken has super crispiness, bold flavor, and that jerk aroma!

spicy southern fried jerk chicken with waffles

I know people lose their mind when discussing fried chicken, so I'm not gone even say I make the best. But if you need a dish that's gonna make you feel good, this is it. 

This is a recipe for jerk fried chicken that I created as part of my March Madness menu. I had a bad feeling my brackets were going to be hot garbage this so figured fried chicken would provide the necessary comfort.  I was right, but I encourage you to cook up a batch, invite some friends over, and enjoy the madness.

Now, let's get down to business. If this crispy fried jerk chicken were a college hoops team it would be the 1990 UNLV Runnin Rebels; brash, rebellious, athletic, but well coached with the versatility to play any kind of game including delivering an early rd TKO. Fried chicken should be crispy AF, juicy, possessing a taste bordering on orgasmic, and definitely eaten without utensils.

The crunchy skin should be part of the chicken vs. just being connected. By part of it shouldn't fall apart after you bite into it. I want as many bites to include both crunchy skin and juicy meat. Ain't nothin worse than taking that first bite and things just falling entirely apart leaving behind flesh only.

So how do we get to this fried chicken nirvana that makes you feel so good like that love Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes sang about. I will confess the crunchy skin and the juicy seasoned flesh should both be able to stand out on their own individually, but together it should be some next level 1+1=3 type math shit!

spicy jerk fried chicken in a basket

Jerk Fried Chicken Ingredients

The ingredient list is pretty simple. Don't be alarmed about the vodka. Only a small amount is used and its strictly for helping create that super crisp which I'll explain later. The jerk gets added at two levels (marinade and coating) thus the wet and dry jerk ingredients. Feel free to use a homemade jerk marinade or store-bought. Likewise use this homemade jerk seasoning or your favorite store-bought.

ingredients for fried chicken on a tray
flour, corn starch and jerk seasoning on a tray

 

How To Make This Extra Crispy Fried Chicken

Step 1: Make the marinade

stirring marinade in a bowl

Mix buttermilk, salt, vodka, and jerk marinade in a large bowl


Step 2: Marinate the chicken

chicken marinating in a plastic bag
Add marinade to the chicken pieces in a large ziplock bag. Refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

Step 3: Prepare the chicken for frying

chicken sitting on a cooling rack

Remove chicken from fridge. Make a resting rack by lining a baking tray with aluminum foil and placing a wired rack on top. Place chicken on the rack and let rest to room temperature.


Step 4: Prepare the coating

flour in a bowl

Mix flour, corn starch, and dry jerk seasoning together in a large mixing bowl. Add a few tablespoons of the wet marinade to the flour and mix with your hands. Flour should be slightly lumpy.


Step 5: Coat the chicken

chicken with flour on a tray
Dredge the chicken in the flour. Use your fingers to press the flour in all the nooks and crannies of the chicken and skin. Place the breaded chicken on a cooling rack and set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. This will air dry the chicken which will aid in getting that extra crispiness. The coating will become one with the chicken which will make the crispy skin stay intact vs falling apart on first bite.

Step 6: Fry the chicken

frying oil in a large spoon
Heat the oil in your fryer to 375 degrees. If using a skillet for frying use a thermometer to get the right temp. Fry the chicken in batches for 4-5 minutes per side until cooked through. Remove the chicken to cooling rack and let rest. Add cooked pieces back to the fry for another 2-4 minutes and return to the rack.

Step 7: Make a jerk infused oil

oil and spices in a bowl
In a mixing bowl add the jerk seasoning. Then add a few spoonfuls of the oil from the fryer and mix well with the spices.

Step 8: Finish the chicken

brushing glaze on fried chicken
Using a brush add the infused oil to the chicken pieces, painting all sides. Enjoy!

Serving Suggestions

After frying up a delicious batch of this chicken enjoy it with a side of pickles, white bread, and a pepper chicken basket style. For some killer sides try these:

Or consult this complete guide to what to serve with fried chicken.

Cooking Tips for Flavorful Extra Crispy Chicken

  1. Season at every level including marinade/brine, flour dredge, and post frying
  2. Brine your chicken but not too long. Anything more than 24 hours will lead to mushy chicken.
  3. Add neutral-tasting liquor like vodka to your brine as well as additional salt. Vodka is the secret ingredient to a crunchy crust. It evaporates much more rapidly and violently driving moisture out faster leading to crispy, light fried chicken. Use 2 tablespoon of vodka for every cup of your brine/marinade is recommended amount.
  4. Add corn starch to flour mixture. It's completely starch sans any gluten and has a greater crunch factor than regular flour. Less gluten = crispier chicken
  5. Add some of your wet marinade to your breading mixture. Adding wet ingredients to the dry flour coating makes the breading crumbly that you can then take the time to pack the flour and those crumbly pieces of flour which results in a craggy, crusty and light crust.
  6. After breading the chicken let it air dry on a cooling rack in the fridge. This will help ensure stickiness/adhesion of the crust to the flesh and get you that preferred oneness between the crust and flesh. .
  7. Use neutral-flavored oil with a high smoke point, such as peanut, safflower, or canola. Lard is always an option too.
  8. Don't crowd your pan/fryer with too much chicken. Let the birds breath to ensure crispiness.
  9. Season your chicken immediately after frying
  10. If need be you can reheat fried chicken by following this guide

MORE JERK BASED RECIPES

Smoked Baby Back Jerk Ribs

Jerk BBQ Sauce

Grilled Jerk Steak

Jerk Oxtails

Whole Smoked Cauliflower

Pan-Roasted Jerk Chicken Thighs

Jerk Chicken Drumettes

Jerk Chicken Leg Quarters

Jerk Whole Roasted Cauliflower

The South meets Jamaica in this fusion dish. If you make this buttermilk brined jerk fried chicken dish please come back and leave me a comment below with your feedback. Definitely take a photo of the dish and be sure to tag #foodfidelity so that I can see them.

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For other fried chicken recipes try these:

Fried Whole Cornish Hen

Garam Masala Spiced chicken thighs

Naked Fried Chicken

spicy southern fried jerk chicken with waffles
spicy southern fried jerk chicken with waffles

Jerk Fried Chicken

The South meets Jamaica with this Southern fried jerk chicken. Extra crispy fried chicken is brined in a jerk-buttermilk marinade, deep fried and topped with dry jerk seasoning mix.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
resting time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Caribbean, southern
Servings: 3 people
Calories: 1292kcal
Author: Marwin Brown

Ingredients

FOR THE MARINADE

  • 2 chicken thighs skin on/bone in
  • 2 chicken legs
  • 2 cups low fat buttermilk
  • tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoon jerk marinade Walkerswood or Grace commercial brands are great
  • 4 tablespoon vodka

FOR THE COATING

  • cups all-purpose flour
  • ½  cup corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon dry jerk spice
  • 4 tablespoon reserved wet marinade

FOR FRYING

  • Peanut Oil

FINISHING SEASONING

  • ½  tbsp  dry jerk seasoning
  • tablespoon hot peanut oil used in cooking

Instructions

INSTRUCTIONS

    FOR THE MARINADE

    • In a mixing bowl combine the buttermilk, salt, jerk marinade, and vodka and mix well. Add chicken to a bowl or ziplock bag and cover with marinade. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
    • Remove chicken from the refrigerator and let cool to room temperature on a wire wrack. Reserve the marinade for use in the coating.

    FOR THE COATING

    • Add the flour, starch, and spices to a baking dish (or a brown paper bag) and mix well. Add 4 tbsps of the reserved marinade. Using tongs, remove the chicken from the marinade 1 piece at a time and coat well in the seasoned flour, pushing the crumbly bits of flour into the chicken. Shake off excess and reserve on a baking sheet. Time permitting place chicken on wire rack and let sit uncovered in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

    FOR FRYING

    • When all the chicken is dredged in the flour, add about an inch of oil to a heavy frying pan or cast iron skillet. Over medium-high flame, heat the oil to 375 degrees F. Test by dropping a small piece of the coating from the chicken into the oil. The coating will bubble and begin to fry. Add the chicken and cook for 4-5 minutes per side, until the outside is browned and the meat is cooked through.
    • Remove the chicken from the frying pan and place on wire rack. Time permitting let the chicken rest 30 minutes or more. Then fry again at 350 degrees for 3-4 minutes
    • Remove chicken to wire racks. As chicken rests, collect hot oil from the pan/fryer and pour into a small bowl. Add the jerk spice and mix well. Spoon or brush the hot mixture over the chicken. I'm generous with the seasoning. Finish off the dish by sprinkling leftover jerk spice onto the hot chicken. Enjoy

    RECIPE NOTES

    • Season generously and at each step
    • Marinate or brine the chicken overnight for max juiciness
    • Add a little bit of liquid to your dry coating mix for Popeye's level crunchiness
    • I used jerk flavors but feel free to use your seasoning of choice but try and stay true to the technique.
    • Use a high smoke point oil like peanut or canola oil.
    • After you coat the chicken with flour let it rest on a rack for 20-30 minutes to form a crust before you fry it.
    • Allow chicken to warm to room temperature before frying which will help it to cook through.
    • Add a starch - potato, corn, or tapioca to get more crispiness.
    • Drain the fried chicken on a wire rack set over a foiled lined baking sheet.They'll cool, crisp, and dry off all at once.

    Video

    YouTube video

    Notes

    1. Season at every level including marinade/brine, flour dredge, and post frying
    2. Brine your chicken but not too long. Anything more than 24 hours will lead to mushy chicken.
    3. Add neutral-tasting liquor like vodka to your brine as well as additional salt. Vodka is the secret ingredient to a crunchy crust. It evaporates much more rapidly and violently driving moisture out faster leading to crispy, light fried chicken. Use 2 tablespoon of vodka for every cup of your brine/marinade is recommended amount.
    4. Add corn starch to flour mixture. It's completely starch sans any gluten and has a greater crunch factor than regular flour. Less gluten = crispier chicken
    5. Add some of your wet marinade to your breading mixture. Adding wet ingredients to the dry flour coating makes the breading crumbly that you can then take the time to pack the flour and those crumbly pieces of flour which results in a craggy, crusty and light crust.
    6. After breading the chicken let it air dry on a cooling rack in the fridge. This will help ensure stickiness/adhesion of the crust to the flesh and get you that preferred oneness between the crust and flesh. .
    7. Use neutral-flavored oil with a high smoke point, such as peanut, safflower, or canola. Lard is always an option too.
    8. Don't crowd your pan/fryer with too much chicken. Let the birds breath to ensure crispiness.
    9. Season your chicken immediately after frying

    Nutrition

    Calories: 1292kcal | Carbohydrates: 168g | Protein: 48g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 160mg | Sodium: 2343mg | Potassium: 891mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 2585IU | Vitamin C: 1.6mg | Calcium: 247mg | Iron: 10.1mg
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    Recipe Rating




    Sharon

    Tuesday 23rd of February 2021

    I had some jerk seasoning to use up so I made this fabulous recipe! It was full of spice and a delicious crispy coating.

    Patty

    Thursday 4th of April 2019

    I love all the ingredients in this crunchy fried chicken, will try it on Sunday, thanks fr the recipe!

    moopbrown

    Thursday 4th of April 2019

    Thank u!Hope you enjoy it! I was feeling like jerk that day, but I use the same approach for frying chicken with other seasonings/flavors.