The Southerner's Handbook

How to Fry Chicken Skins

Expert tricks for preparing a perfectly crispy snack

Photo: Peter Frank Edwards

Fried chicken skins might be the ultimate comfort food. But there is a trick or two to perfectly crispy skins. At McCrady’s, in Charleston, South Carolina, the snack often makes its way onto the chalkboard bar menu. Here’s chef de cuisine Jeremiah Langhorne’s home-friendly recipe.


    • 12 chicken skins (breast skins are easiest to work with)

    • 1 cup high-quality buttermilk

    • 3 tbsp. hot sauce, divided

    • 1/2 cup good local honey

    • 6 cups vegetable or canola oil

    • 1 cup flour

    • 1 cup cornstarch

    • Salt and pepper (a pinch of each)


  1. With a butter knife, scrape off excess fat from the skins, then place the skins, buttermilk, and one tablespoon of hot sauce in a ziplock bag. Marinate overnight.

  2. Mix together honey and remaining two tablespoons of hot sauce; set aside.

  3. Pour oil into a 2-quart (or larger) pot. Using a deep-fry thermometer, slowly bring the temperature up to 375 degrees.

  4. Meanwhile, mix flour and cornstarch in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper. Drain chicken skins and toss in the seasoned flour, making sure to coat evenly. Knock off excess flour.

  5. Place the breaded skins in the oil, and fry until crispy and golden brown, around 2 to 4 minutes. Using a metal strainer or a slotted spoon, remove skins to a towel to drain. Season with salt and pepper, and drizzle a small amount of the hot sauce and honey glaze over top. Serve remaining glaze on the side for dipping.

Recipe from chef de cuisine Jeremiah Langhorne at McCrady’s in Charleston, South Carolina.


For more Southern recipes, get The Southerner’s Cookbook, from the editors of Garden & Gun. It features more than one hundred recipes, from well-loved classics to uniquely regional dishes, along with the stories behind them.