Adapted from Brown Sugar Kitchen: New-Style, Down-Home Recipes from Sweet West Oakland by Tanya Holland © Chronicle Books 2014. Provided courtesy of Tanya Holland. All rights reserved.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 8 hours 30 minutes (includes marinating time)
Ease of Preparation: Easy


  • One 3 1/2-pound chicken, cut into 6 pieces
  • 4 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon dried tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil, for frying


Sprinkle the chicken evenly with 2 teaspoons of the salt and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix together tarragon, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, cayenne, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of the black pepper. Place the chicken in a large bowl and sprinkle with spice mixture and parsley, tossing to coat. Pour the buttermilk over the chicken. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours or up to overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Pour oil into a large pot to a depth of 3 inches and heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 350 degrees F, or until hot but not smoking. Line a rimmed baking sheet with paper towels and set a wire rack on top.

In a large bowl, combine flour and remaining 1 tablespoon each salt and black pepper. Working with one piece at a time and letting any excess buttermilk drip back into the bowl, transfer the chicken to the flour mixture. Dredge chicken pieces in seasoned flour, shaking off the excess.

Fry the chicken, a few pieces at a time, taking care not to crowd the pan and turning occasionally, until crisp and browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to the rack over the baking sheet and continue cooking in the oven until the internal temperature reads 165 degrees F, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

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