Jalapeño Fried Chicken

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  • 1 pound boneless/skinless chicken thigh or breast meat
  • 1 teaspoon salt (plus more)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • cayenne pepper, if desired
  • 1/2 cup pickled jalapeños with brine
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup masa harina
  • salt
  • 2 cups oil for frying (Canola, vegetable, peanut, corn)
  • toothpicks


  1. Cut the chicken into “nugget” sizes (about 1″ by 2″) and toss with salt and dry spices and garlic. Cover and refrigerate 4-12 hours.
  2. 30 minutes to an hour before you want to eat, pull the chicken out of the fridge and add in the yogurt or sour cream and jalapeño brine. Mix well to coat.
  3. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl with another 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
  4. Remove chicken pieces from marinade. Roll in flour mixture a few pieces at a time. Spear each chicken nugget around a jalapeño slice with a toothpick.  Set on a rack to “dry”. Allow coated chicken to sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes. This ensures the breading will stay on.
  5. Heat oil to 350º F. Use a deep pot to avoid bubbling over. Oil needs to be two inches deep.
  6. Fry the chicken, 3-4 pieces at a time for about 4 minutes total, turning once. Keep the oil temperature between 350-370ºF. Chicken will be cooked once the exterior is a deep crisp brown.
  7. You will need to fry in several batches to avoid crowding the pan.
  8. Drain on another (clean) rack rather than paper towels to keep them crisp. Serve!

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