Sweet Tea-brined Fried Chicken

The Back Story

For the Sweet Tea-brined Fried Chicken

Recipe provided by Café Climb

4-6oz Boneless Chicken Breasts


The Brine:

·      1 quart of sweet tea

·      1 quart of unsweet tea

·      1 whole lemon, halved

·      4 bay leaves, rubbed

·      2 teaspoons of whole peppercorns

·      2 tablespoons of Salt



-      Pinch of dried Thyme, or one fresh stem

-      Place whole, thawed, boneless chicken breasts into brine

-      Store in refrigerator overnight, or at a minimum of one hour

-      Remove chicken from the container, removing all seasoning pieces, and pat dry with paper towel or clean kitchen towel

-      Place the chicken in egg wash, then into flour

For the Egg wash:

·      1 dozen large eggs (cracked), or 1 quart of liquid eggs

·      2 cups of Milk

·      1 ½ teaspoons of Worchestershire sauce

·      1 tablespoon of black pepper

·      2 teaspoon kosher salt

·      A few dashes of Crystal’s hot sauce

For the dry:

·      2 pounds of all-purpose flour

·      1 tablespoon of garlic powder

·      1 tablespoon of onion powder

·      1 ½ teaspoons of parsley flakes

·      1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

·      1 tablespoon black pepper

·      2 teaspoon kosher salt


-      Deep fry in oil at 350 degrees for 5 to 7 minutes

-      Until golden brown, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 F for 15 seconds

-      Set aside

For the Sweet Onion Gravy:

·      2 cups flour

·      1 ¾ cups vegetable or canola oil

·      2 cups chicken stock

·      1 cup sweet tea

·      1 cup unsweet tea


-      1 Vidalia onion, or yellow onion, cut into semi circles

-      Season to taste with Garlic and onion powders, black pepper and kosher salt

-      Add oil to 2 quart sauce pan, heat on med-high, incorporate flour with whisk Continue to stir until incorporated

-      Into the Blonde roux, pour the chicken stock, and the tea

-      Whisk until smooth, thinning with water as needed

-      Gravy should coat the back of a spoon

-      Once smooth, add onions to gravy

-      Cook until onions are tender, reducing the gravy

-      Plate Sweet Tea-brined Fried chicken and top with gravy

-      Pair with mashed potatoes and green beans for a Café Climb favorite

Meet the Guest Stars
Chef Jeff Henderson | @Chefjefflive

Chef Jeff Henderson rose from humble beginnings in South Central Los Angeles to become the first African-American executive chef at the Bellagio Hotel. He has gone on to become a successful TV host with a cable show on the Food Network, a nationally syndicated series called, Family Style with Chef Jeff and the host of Flip My Food. When he isn’t cooking on TV he’s a highly sought-after motivational speaker, sharing the secrets of realizing your potential at... (full profile)


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