• 16 chicken drumsticks (or a combination of drumsticks and thighs) • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk • 1 1/2 tablespoons Tabasco sauce • 2 teaspoons salt • 2 tablespoons black pepper (split) • 2 cups all-purpose flour (for frying, about 3 cups)
1- Preheat the oven or warming drawer to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
2- To dry the chicken, pat it with paper towels.
3- Combine the buttermilk, Tabasco sauce, salt, and 1 tablespoon black pepper in a large mixing basin. Toss the chicken legs in the mixture to coat them. Cover and marinate for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator (or up to 24 hours).
4- Remove the chicken from the buttermilk and drain any remaining liquid.
Combine the flour, 1 tablespoon black pepper, and the cayenne pepper in a mixing bowl. While waiting for the oil to heat up, dredge the chicken legs in the seasoned flour and set on a rack.
6- Heat at least 3 cups of oil to 365 F in a large, heavy saucepan, deep skillet, or sauté pan. Fry the chicken legs in batches, flipping once, for about 10 minutes. Use an instant-read food thermometer inserted in the thickest section of the largest drumstick, but not touching bone, to check for doneness. The safest temperature for fowl is 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
7- Place the chicken on a plate lined with paper towels to drain.
8- Place the drained chicken on a baking sheet and cover loosely with foil before transferring to the warming drawer or the oven Keep heated in the oven while frying successive batches.