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Chef Michael W. Twitty’s Fried Chicken

“My grandmother Hazel C. Todd (“Grammy”) was an amazing cook. At first she didn’t know how to make much, her mother Mary and father Joseph had a lot of kids and my great grandmother, affectionately known as “Big Mama,” didn’t really do to much culinary training. She learned a lot by watching her father who made the large Sunday midday meal after church and after she married my Grandfather gleaned a lot from her aunties and the ladies in her circles. She really knew how to impart the taste of Alabama in her food.

A survivor of the Jim Crow South, my Grammy was dedicated to Civil Rights and Pan Africanism. She used to tell me, “sit up straight like Mr. Garvey!” Her food—her chicken and greens and candied yams and homemade rolls were always a hit and she gave away a lot to friends and neighbors even though she never really had a lot. One of the first things she taught me to master was her fried chicken and I’m sure this herby, spicy melange will perk up fried chicken, fish, seafood, hush puppies and oven or air-fried goodies too! The trick is to season the protein or veggie well not the flour. My grandmother was keen to remind me the spices would burn in the hot grease.”

Serving Size: 4-6


  • 1 whole chicken, divided into parts
  • 2 tablespoons of Hazel C. Todd Chicken Seasoning
  • 1 tsp of kosher salt if a kosher chicken, 2 tsps if not.
  • 1 cup of buttermilk or buttermilk substitute (optional)
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • 2 cups of all purpose flour

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Photo of Chef Michael W. Twitty’s Fried Chicken


    1. Mix the chicken with the Hazel C. Todd spice mix and salt. Get it in there, every nook and cranny! Add buttermilk and mix well.. Let it sit in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours.
    2. Dip each piece of chicken in the flour. Tap to rid of any excess coating but make sure each piece is well coated. Place on a covered plate for 30 minutes.
    3. Bring the oil to medium heat in a deep frying pan. The oil should register about 375 F.
    4. Dark meat first for 3-4 minutes then breasts and wings for another 10 minutes. Use accurate digital thermometer for doneness.
    5. Cook until golden brown and thenet rest on a cooling rack above a sheet pan covered with paper towels or parchment paper. Let rest 5 minutes.
    6. Sprinkle a bit more seasoning on top before serving.

Recipe Note

- This recipe can be used for fried or baked chicken, pork chops, fried okra fish or seafood, and even chicken fried steak!

- Hazel C. Todd seasoning can also be used on potato salad, macaroni salad, a sprinkle in gravy, and it doesn’t hurt to put on some grilled vegetables!


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