John is known to brag about 1) his mac & cheese or 2) his fried chicken. I have an ACTUAL trophy to prove my mac & cheese is better, but I’ll admit his fried chicken is pretty good (hopefully he’s not reading this). He’s been making it forever annnnd since there’s still football happening (right?), I had him tell you his “secret” recipe for you to enjoy during games on Sunday or Mondays or…whenever sports is on. 🍗🍗🍗Oh, if you don’t have a deep fryer, don’t worry! Just use a Dutch oven (psst, Cravings line has one) or a soup pot!

John’s LEGENDary Fried Chicken with Spicy Honey Butter

Serves 8-10 Active time: 35 min  Start to finish: 4 1/2 hr

For the Chicken and Brine:

  • 10 cups cold water
  • 6 tablespoons Lawry’s Seasoning Salt
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • 5 pounds chicken wings and drummettes

For the Breading:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons Lawry’s Seasoning Salt
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 6 cups canola oil for frying

For the Spicy Honey Butter:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 4 tablespoons Cholula hot sauce (sorry, it has to be Cholula)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

Equipment: Deep fryer (or Dutch oven or soup pot), candy thermometer

Brine the chicken:

Combine the water, seasoning salt, garlic powder, and cayenne in a really big pot or 2-gallon Ziploc bag. Add the chicken wings, cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24.

Bread and fry the chicken: Fill a deep fryer with oil according to the manufacturers instructions, or just fill a soup pot with the oil, making sure there are at least 4 inches between the oil and the lip of the pot. Heat the oil to the 365°F over medium heat. If you don’t have a thermometer, set your burner on medium and let your pan of oil heat for around 5 to 10 minutes. You’ll know your oil is ready if you drop a small piece of white bread in the oil and it starts to sizzle and turn a lovely toasty golden brown right away.

Combine the flour, seasoning salt, and cayenne in a big bowl. A few at a time, remove the wings from the brine and toss them in the flour mixture until coated really well, then place on a tray while you coat the rest. When the oil is ready, turn the heat up to medium-high and carefully slip in the wings, frying just enough so that there’s still plenty of space between each wing. (If it feels safer, use tongs to add the wings; whatever you do, don’t just drop them in! Splashing hot oil is bad.) Fry the wings until golden and crispy, 13 to 14 minutes, per batch. Drain the wings on plenty of paper towels. Let the oil come back to temperature between batches and fry the rest of the chicken in batches.

Make the honey butter:

While the chicken is frying, whisk together the butter, Cholula, honey, and salt in a bowl until incorporated. Add more salt to taste if necessary.

Slather the wings with the Spicy Honey Butter and eat that chicken!