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Sourdough Fried Chicken

5 from 4 votes
Servings 4 servings


  • 3 lbs chicken pieces thighs, legs, wings
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt divided
  • ½ cup (113g) sourdough starter
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup (57g) beer (pale ale, pilsner)
  • ¼ cup (57g) milk
  • 1 ½ cups (180g) flour
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Oil for frying canola, peanut, safflower


  • Add the chicken to a wire rack over a baking sheet.
  • Sprinkle on all sides with 1 teaspoon salt.
  • In a bowl stir together the sourdough starter, egg, beer, and milk.
  • In another bowl stir together the remaining ½ teaspoon salt, flour, chili powder, garlic powder, cayenne, and brown sugar.
  • One at a time, dredge the chicken in the flour until well coated, dip into the sourdough mixture until covered, and then back into the flour until covered.
  • Return the chicken to the baking sheet. Repeat for all chicken. Allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes until the oil heats (this will help the coating to adhere to the chicken and become crisper, without it your chicken may be soggy and the coating will easily separate from the chicken).
  • Heat 4-6 inches of oil in a deep fryer or a pot with a deep-fry thermometer until it hits 350°F, adjust heat to maintain this temperature.
  • Set out a clean wire rack over a different baking sheet (this will keep the underside of the chicken from getting soggy the way it does on paper towels. Don’t return it to the other rack, it will risk contamination from the raw chicken bacteria).
  • Cook chicken in the hot oil until golden brown and cooked through, about 10 minutes each (make sure to only fry a few at a time to avoid overcrowding the pot).
  • Serve warm.


To keep the cooked chicken warm while cooking the remaining chicken, you can add the clean wire rack and baking sheet to an oven set to “keep warm” or 175°F, once the chicken is cooked, add it to the baking sheet in the oven to keep it warm while you cook the rest of the chicken.