Suya Fried Chicken


Suya Fried Chicken

African elements combine with traditional American comfort food helps to create a dish that’s familiar, yet exotic. Fried Chicken is the quintessential comfort food of Southern American cooking, in particular in African American households. Combining garlic, paprika and thyme maintains the traditional components of fried chicken while the suya spice adds a very spicy kick. Peanut Flour and frying in peanut oil gives the chicken a hint of nuttiness, but these can be omitted due to allergies.

10 chicken wingettes                                      2 tsp Ginger powder

1 ½ cups Flour                                                1 ½ tbsp Smoked Paprika

1/2 cup Peanut flour                                        1 ½ tbsp. Adobo seasoning

2 ½ tbsp Suya pepper*                                    2 tsp Allspice

2 tsp Dried thyme                                                       2 tsp Garlic powder

1 ½ cup Buttermilk                                         Salt/pepper

Peanut Oil for frying                                       ½ tsp White pepper

1 tsp Nina Brand Ground Chili Pepper***


Rinse the wings well in cold water and drain. Add the buttermilk and 1 tbsp of the suya spice. Let it marinate for 24 hours or overnight in refrigerator. Remove from the fridge and let the chicken sit for about 20 minutes. Heat 1 ½ cup of oil in a heavy bottom pan or skillet, such as a cast iron pan.**  Mix the flours and seasonings in a bowl or paper bag and add the chicken, tossing to coat evenly. Use a thermometer to check the temperature of the oil. It should register at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Carefully add the chicken to the oil in batches, frying on each side between 10 – 15 minutes until browned, not burnt. Do not overcrowd the pan. To check for doneness, use a thin knife to pierce the meat through to the bone. If the juices run clear, the chicken is done. Once the chicken is done, drain on a wire rack over a baking sheet. Season the chicken with salt, pepper and more ground chili pepper serve.

*Suya is actually a shish kebab using meats, chicken, and fish and is popular in west Africa. Suya pepper is a spice blend using hot chilies, peanuts, and spices. Suya pepper is sold in some international markets featuring African foods. If one cannot find suya pepper in store or online, here’s a basic recipe:

Ground peanuts or peanut flour

Dried red chilies and/or cayenne

Smoked paprika

Salt, Pepper

Ginger powder

Garlic powder

** When frying chicken, pour enough oil to cover about 1/3 from the bottom of the pan. Always use a thermometer to check the temperature of the oil. Once the chicken is added, the temperature may dip a little bit, but will rise again and should maintain a steady temperature. Cooling on a wire rack to drain the oil helps keep the chicken crunchy. Paper towels will cause the chicken to steam and the skin to become soggy.

***Nina International – The Best Brand ground chilies was used in this recipe. This brand imports their chilies from Ghana and it tastes hotter than cayenne. This product can be found in local international food stores selling African products, and in particular in the Baltimore/DC area where the products are based. Cayenne can be used in lieu of the ground chilies.



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