May 7, 2018

Joanna Gaines’ Fried Chicken With Sticky Poppy Seed Jam

Recipe: Joanna Gaines

Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus overnight soaking (for the chicken)

Total Time: 1 hour

Try Joanna Gaines’ recipe for Fried Chicken With Sticky Poppy Seed Jam from her cookbook Magnolia Table.

I don’t do much deep-frying, but hot fried chicken is so delicious and satisfying to have every once in a while that I think every home cook should have a great recipe for it. Some people may be reluctant to fry at home because it requires a big pot of very hot oil, but it’s really pretty easy, and it doesn’t require any special equipment. A deep, heavy pot works great. My family prefers white meat so I usually fry halved chicken breasts, but you can do a whole chicken, cut up, or all thighs or all legs — whatever your family likes best. I often pair this fried chicken with green beans and scalloped potatoes.


Sticky Poppy Seed Jam

  • 1 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest
  • 1 tsp fresh orange juice
  • ½ tsp dark brown sugar

Fried Chicken

  • 4 cups buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 pieces bone-in chicken, such as a mixture of drumsticks, thighs, and chicken breasts (halved crosswise)
  • Vegetable oil, for deep-frying (about 10 cups)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt
  • Sticky Poppy Seed Jam, warmed


Yield: Makes 4 to 8

Sticky Poppy Seed Jam

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the honey, poppy seeds, lemon zest, lemon juice, orange zest, orange juice, and brown sugar and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. The jam will thicken as it cools and should appear sticky, like honey.
  2. The seeds will separate as the jam sits. Stir well before using. Serve warm.
  3. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Warm gently before serving.

TIP: Spray or rub the measuring cup with vegetable oil before measuring the honey so that it will pour right out without sticking to the sides of the cup.

Fried Chicken 

  1. In a large (14-cup) container with an airtight lid, whisk together the buttermilk, garlic powder, garlic salt, and 1 tablespoon pepper. Add the chicken and turn the pieces to coat completely in the buttermilk. Cover the container and refrigerate overnight.*
  2. Pour 4 inches oil into a large fryer or deep, heavy pot. Attach a frying or candy thermometer to the side of the pot. Heat the oil over medium-high heat to 350°F.
  3. While the oil is heating, whisk the eggs in a shallow dish. In a separate shallow dish, whisk together the flour and 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Set a wire rack over a large baking sheet to hold the floured, uncooked chicken and set another wire rack over a baking sheet lined with paper towels to hold the hot fried chicken.
  4. Dredge each piece of chicken in the eggs and then in the flour, shaking to remove any excess flour. Set on the rack.
  5. When the oil is hot, add a few pieces of chicken to it. Do not crowd the pot. The temperature of the oil will drop as you add the chicken, so adjust the heat as necessary to maintain the oil temperature between 330°F and 350°F (let it go to the lower temperature if the chicken is browning too quickly).
  6. Fry the chicken until the juices run clear when pierced, about 10 minutes. The inside should be cooked thoroughly when sliced open. Use tongs, a spider, or a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken to the wire rack to drain for 5 minutes. Lightly salt the chicken. Return the oil temperature to 350°F. Repeat with the remaining chicken in two or three batches.
  7. Transfer to a platter. Serve warm with the poppy seed jam served alongside or drizzled on top.
  8. Store the chicken in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in a 350°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

*You don’t want to skip the overnight soak. The buttermilk needs time to break down the muscle tissue and make it tender.


From Magnolia Table by Joanna Gaines. Copyright © 2018 by Joanna Gaines. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.