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+ servings
delicious fried chicken on a blue plate with sweet tea pitcher and lemon slices nearby
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4.50 from 10 votes

Sweet Tea Fried Chicken

This Sweet tea fried chicken recipe is crunchy, incredibly flavorful and irresistible! Southern sweet tea becomes the perfect brine for a twist on classic fried chicken! 
Prep Time2 d
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time2 d 25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Southern
Servings: 10 chicken pieces
Calories: 408kcal


For the Tea:

  • 5 cups water
  • 5-6 teabags
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

For the Chicken:

  • 8-10 chicken pieces
  • 3 large eggs
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons seasoned salt
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder


For the Tea:

  • Heat water in a medium sized pot until boiling.
  • Turn off heat and add tea bags. Let tea steep for 20-30 minutes then remove bags.
  • Stir in sugar and lemon juice until completely dissolved then let tea come to room temperatue.
  • Add tea to large bowl then submerge chicken pieces in tea. Refrigerate for 24-48 hours depending on level of sweetness you want your chicken to have.

For the Chicken:

  • In a medium sized bowl, whisk together eggs and set aside.
  • Add flour, seasoned salt, cornstarch, paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper, garlic powder and onion powder to a paper bag and shake to mix well.
  • Dip each piece of chicken into egg wash coating both sides then dip into seasoned flour thoroughly coating each piece. Then add piece to baking sheet to rest.
  • Finish coating all chicken and let sit for 10-15 minutes until coating has set.
  • While coating sets, add 1-1/2 inches of oil to a cast iron skillet or heavy bottom skillet and heat over medium high heat. Also turn on oven to 275 degrees.
  • This is my test for knowing when the oil is ready: Big Mama always tossed a tiny bit of flour in the oil and if it began to fry and sizzle, the oil was ready.
  • Fry four pieces at a time on each side starting with dark meat since it takes longer. Make sure you don’t overcrowd the pan.
  • After each side has turned slightly golden, put the top on the skillet to steam the inside of the chicken ensuring doneness. After a couple of minutes, remove the top and continue to fry until the crust is crispy again and completely golden brown.
  • Remove chicken from oil and place on paper towels or rack to drain. Place chicken on a baking sheet covered with parchment and add to warmed oven while finishing the other chicken pieces.
  • Fry the remaining chicken pieces and drain and add to oven. Add the remaining chicken to the oven.
  • Serve when ready.


Calories: 408kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 125mg | Sodium: 2187mg | Potassium: 258mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 450IU | Vitamin C: 4.8mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 2.7mg