Skip to Content
Home » Recipes » Willie Mae’s Fried Chicken Recipe

Willie Mae’s Fried Chicken Recipe

When it comes to Southern cuisine, few dishes are as beloved as Willie Mae’s Fried Chicken.

This iconic recipe has been passed down through generations, becoming a staple in both homes and restaurants across the South.

The secret to its mouth-watering appeal lies in the perfect blend of spices and the preparation methods that yield crispy skin and tender, succulent meat.

As you delve into the world of Willie Mae’s Fried Chicken, you will come to appreciate the simplicity of the ingredients and the attention to detail in the recipe.

The process begins with a flavorful brine that ensures a moist and tender result, followed by a light coating of seasoned flour to create that irresistible crispy outer layer.

By exploring the origins and variations of this Southern classic, you’ll come away with a deeper understanding of the dish’s enduring popularity.

So, get ready to embark on a culinary journey through Willie Mae’s Fried Chicken and discover the rich history and flavors that have captivated tastebuds for generations.

How to Make Willie Mae’s Fried Chicken

Ingredients List

To create this delicious fried chicken recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 8 to 12 chicken thighs (about 2 lbs)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 4 teaspoons mild hot sauce (e.g., Crystal Hot Sauce)
  • For the seasoned flour:
    • 3 cups all-purpose flour or self-rising flour
    • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
    • 1 teaspoon white pepper
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1 teaspoon Spanish paprika
    • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Additionally, you’ll need enough peanut or olive oil to fry the chicken.

Step-by-step Process

Step 1

Season the chicken thighs with kosher salt, making sure they are evenly coated.

Step 2

In a separate bowl, mix sliced garlic cloves, hot sauce, and your preferred brining liquid (e.g., lemon juice, pickle juice, or Coca-Cola).

Add the chicken pieces to this mixture, ensuring they are fully submerged.

Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours.

Step 3

In a stainless steel or metal bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, kosher salt, white pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, Spanish paprika, and cayenne pepper.

Mix well to create a uniform blend of spices.

Step 4

Remove the chicken pieces from the wet batter and let any excess liquid drip off.

Dip each piece into the seasoned flour mixture, ensuring it is thoroughly coated.

Gently shake off any excess flour.

Step 5

Fill a deep frying pan or pot with peanut or olive oil (about 2 inches deep), and heat over medium-high heat.

Use a candy thermometer to monitor the oil temperature, ensuring it reaches between 350°F and 375°F before frying.

Step 6

Carefully place the coated chicken pieces into the hot oil, being cautious not to overcrowd the pan.

Fry the chicken for about 15 minutes, turning occasionally to ensure even cooking.

Monitor the oil temperature, adjusting the heat if necessary to maintain a consistent temperature.

Step 7

Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken.

It should reach at least 165°F in the thickest part of the meat without touching the bone.

Once cooked, remove the chicken from the oil and place it on a wire rack or paper towel to drain excess oil.

Step 8

Serve your delicious and crispy fried chicken with your preferred side dishes, and see why this recipe is a favorite among chicken lovers and even awarded by James Beard.

Now you have the simple steps and all the needed ingredients to recreate the famous Willie Mae’s Scotch House Fried Chicken Recipe at home and impress your taste buds!

Side Dishes for Willie Mae’s Fried Chicken

When enjoying Willie Mae’s Fried Chicken, you’ll want to have some delicious side dishes to round out the meal.

Here are some options that will complement the flavors of the chicken and make your mouth water.

Coleslaw

Coleslaw is a must-have side for any fried chicken dish.

This crunchy, tangy salad provides a refreshing contrast to the crispy chicken.

You can make your coleslaw with a mayonnaise or vinegar-based dressing, depending on your preference.

Don’t forget to add some grated carrots or thinly sliced peppers for extra crunch and flavor.

Macaroni and Cheese

If you’re in the mood for ultimate comfort food, consider serving Willie Mae’s Fried Chicken with a hearty side of macaroni and cheese.

The creamy, cheesy pasta provides a delicious and filling accompaniment to the crispy chicken.

To elevate it, add some bacon, jalapeño, or even truffle oil to your macaroni and cheese.

Ingredients Substitutes

In this section, we will discuss some ingredient substitutes that can be used in Willie Mae’s fried chicken recipe in case you don’t have the exact ingredients mentioned in the original recipe.

Black Pepper substitutes

If you don’t have black pepper, you can use ground white pepper or a pinch of cayenne pepper as a substitute.

Both will add a bit of heat and enhance the flavor of your fried chicken.

Self-rising Flour substitute

In case you don’t have self-rising flour, you can make your own by mixing all-purpose flour with baking powder and salt.

For every cup of all-purpose flour, add 1.5 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

Garlic Cloves substitute

Conversely, if you don’t have fresh garlic cloves, you can replace them with garlic powder.

One garlic clove can be substituted with 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder.

How to Store Willie Mae’s Fried Chicken

Storing Willie Mae’s Fried Chicken properly is a critical step to ensure your taste buds continue to enjoy this delicious meal.

In this section, we will discuss the best way to store your fried chicken so that you can savor it even after it has been cooked.

To keep the chicken fresh and crispy, follow these practical tips:

Use a wire rack and baking tray combo

If you have any leftovers, place the fried chicken on a wire rack over a baking tray to maintain air circulation and prevent sogginess.

Aluminum foil or parchment paper can be placed underneath for easy cleanup.

Refrigerating

Ensure the chicken has completely cooled down to room temperature before placing it in an airtight container or a sealable plastic bag.

This helps prevent condensation, which might make the chicken soggy.

Reheating tips

To make sure your Willie Mae’s Fried Chicken remains crispy, reheat it in an oven preheated to 250°F for 2 to 4 minutes.

Hold off on using a microwave since it can overcook the chicken and cause it to lose its crispiness.

By following these guidelines, chicken lovers can continue to enjoy every bite of their scrumptious Willie Mae’s Fried Chicken, even after the frying is over.

Store your chicken wisely to keep it fresh and delicious for your next meal.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Here are the most common mistakes to avoid when preparing Willie Mae’s Fried Chicken:

Not Patting the Chicken Dry

Before dredging the chicken in flour, make sure to dry it using paper towels thoroughly.

If the chicken is too wet, the flour coating will not be even, and you will not achieve a nice, crispy texture.

Not Seasoning the Flour

It’s essential to add appropriate spices to the flour mix for a flavorful fried chicken.

A classic Willie Mae’s fried chicken recipe suggested using salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper and smoked Spanish paprika.

Frying at Incorrect Oil Temperature

Maintain a consistent oil temperature of 350°F (175°C) while frying your chicken.

An unstable temperature can result in soggy, greasy fried chicken or uneven cooking.

Use a deep-fry thermometer to ensure precision.

Not Checking Internal Temperature

A perfectly cooked fried chicken needs to reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).

To ensure this, use a meat thermometer and insert it into the thickest part of the chicken without touching the bone.

This helps determine whether your chicken is cooked correctly.

Ignoring Oil Choice

The choice of oil also plays a vital role in achieving the perfect fried chicken.

Willie Mae’s recipe recommends using peanut oil, but olive oil or lard can work as well.

Ideally, choose an oil with a high smoke point to prevent burning and off-flavors.

Only Using Certain Chicken Pieces

While drumsticks might be popular for fried chicken, do not shy away from using other parts of the bird for a more exquisite experience.

Chicken breasts, thighs, and wings can all be included in your Willie Mae’s fried chicken recipe.

Remember these common mistakes, and you’re on your way to preparing the perfect Willie Mae’s fried chicken, just like the iconic Dooky Chase’s version.

willie maes fried chicken recipe

Willie Mae's Fried Chicken Recipe

This iconic recipe has been passed down through generations, becoming a staple in both homes and restaurants across the South.
The secret to its mouth-watering appeal lies in the perfect blend of spices and the preparation methods that yield crispy skin and tender, succulent meat.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Equipment
  • 2 stainless steel bowl
  • 1 deep frying pan
  • 1 candy thermometer
  • 1 meat thermometer
  • 1 wire rack
Ingredients
  
  • 8 to 12 chicken thighs about 2 lbs
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and sliced
  • 4 teaspoons mild hot sauce e.g., Crystal Hot Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon Spanish paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour or self-rising flour
Instructions
 
  • Season the chicken thighs with kosher salt, making sure they are evenly coated.
  • In a separate bowl, mix sliced garlic cloves, hot sauce, and your preferred brining liquid (e.g., lemon juice, pickle juice, or Coca-Cola).
    Add the chicken pieces to this mixture, ensuring they are fully submerged.
    Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours.
  • In a stainless steel or metal bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, kosher salt, white pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, Spanish paprika, and cayenne pepper.
    Mix well to create a uniform blend of spices.
  • Remove the chicken pieces from the wet batter and let any excess liquid drip off.
    Dip each piece into the seasoned flour mixture, ensuring it is thoroughly coated. Gently shake off any excess flour.
  • Fill a deep frying pan or pot with peanut or olive oil (about 2 inches deep), and heat over medium-high heat.
    Use a candy thermometer to monitor the oil temperature, ensuring it reaches between 350°F and 375°F before frying.
  • Carefully place the coated chicken pieces into the hot oil, being cautious not to overcrowd the pan.
    Fry the chicken for about 15 minutes, turning occasionally to ensure even cooking.
    Monitor the oil temperature, adjusting the heat if necessary to maintain a consistent temperature.
  • Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken.
    It should reach at least 165°F in the thickest part of the meat without touching the bone.
    Once cooked, remove the chicken from the oil and place it on a wire rack or paper towel to drain excess oil.
  • Serve your delicious and crispy fried chicken with your preferred side dishes, and see why this recipe is a favorite among chicken lovers and even awarded by James Beard.
    Now you have the simple steps and all the needed ingredients to recreate the famous Willie Mae's Scotch House Fried Chicken Recipe at home and impress your taste buds!

Do you like this recipe or these cooking tips?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Latest posts by Andrew Carter (see all)
(Visited 21 times, 7 visits today)

DMCA.com Protection Status