Go Back

Spicy Sumac Fried Chicken

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4


  • 4 pounds assorted chicken pieces
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoon celery salt (if you sub in for regular salt use ½ tablespoon
  • 3 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoons white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons sumac
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 tablespoons powdered bay leaves
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons vodka
  • 1 litre sunflower seed oil or vegetable oil


  1. First up assemble all of your ingredients, separating the egg whites. In order to get everything ready you will most probably have to grind up some bay leaves, if you do not have any bay leaf powder on hand. An electric coffee grinder works best for this. Also, if you do not any buttermilk, you can use the instant buttermilk hack that I mentioned above. Simply add 3 tablespoons vinegar to 1 cup of milk and give it a stir. Once all of your ingredients are setup, you will be ready to go.
  2. In a bowl, mix together all of the seasoning ingredients. This includes the salt, celery salt, paprika, pepper, sumac, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, thyme, oregano and powdered bay leaves.
  3. Once your spice mix is ready, lay the assorted chicken pieces on a baking sheet. Sprinkle them with approximately ¼ of the spice mix, then turn them over and sprinkle the other sides with another ¼ of the spice mix. This way you will use up approximately ½ of the spice mix, and the remaining amount will go into the flour mix. If you use a little more or a little less than half, no stress. It will all end up together in the end and taste great! Once you have spiced the chicken pieces, set them aside for about 15 minutes.
  4. While the spiced chicken pieces are resting, in a large bowl combine the leftover spice mix, the flour and the cornstarch. Set aside.
  5. In another bowl, combine the separated egg yolks, the cup of buttermilk, and the 2 tablespoons of vodka. Whisk together briefly.
  6. At this point you can start heating up the oil for deep frying the chicken. Place a large pot or dutch oven onto the stove, and pour in about 1 litre of sunflower seed oil or vegetable oil. Before you start deep frying, the temperature of the oil will need to get up to 350°F (measure this using a candy or cooking thermometer). This will take about 15 minutes. During this time you can batter and flour the chicken pieces.
  7. Place a clean plate, the flour and spice mix, and the egg and buttermilk mix side by side, and you are ready to start battering. Simply dunk each piece of chicken in the egg whites and buttermilk, and then roll it in the flour. Repeat until all the chicken pieces have been battered.
  8. Once the oil has reached 350°F, you can begin frying. Using a pair of tongs, carefully place half of the chicken pieces into the hot oil. The other half will wait their turn to be cooked, otherwise the pot will most probably be too crowded.
  9. Fry the chicken pieces until the batter turns a golden brown color, or until an inserted meat thermometer reads 165°F. This should take about 12 minutes. During this time keep the heat of the oil between 325°F and 335°F. Turn the chicken pieces every two minutes or so to make sure that they cook evenly. Once the chicken pieces are done, remove and place on a wire rack. Replace with the remaining chicken pieces and fry those in the same way.
  10. Serve hot, while the battered exterior is nice and crispy!