Jollof Fried Chicken

Jollof Fried Chicken
Nassima Rothacker

By far the most popular dish on both our street-food and restaurant menus is this super-crispy and succulent fried chicken recipe—giving KFC a run for its money with all those herbs and spices in the Jollof Dry Spice Mix!

Subscribe today for full access to this recipe and hundreds more!

You can now find Salt + Spine on Substack, where our latest episodes and recipes live.
Get bonus content, exclusive recipes, and subscriber-only posts today for less than a cup of coffee a month.


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips


  • 800ml-1L (27-34oz) water
  • 100g (3 ½ oz) sea salt
  • 80g (3oz) honey
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon Jollof Dry Spice Mix (see page 244)


  • 2  tablespoons Jollof Dry Spice Mix (seepage 244)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • ½ tablespoon canola oil
  • 200ml (7fl oz) buttermilk
  • 500ml–1 litre (18fl oz–1¾ pints) vegetable oil, for deep-frying


  • 150–200g (5½–7oz) cornstarch
  • ½teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • ½teaspoon (hibiscus) sea salt
  • 1teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Mix together the brine ingredients and add the chicken breasts to ideally soak overnight, but at least for two hours. This is an extra step that will tenderize lean chicken breasts to ensure super juicy fried chicken, but if you don't have time for this step, simply follow the steps below and you'll still get a juicy-licious fried chicken.
  2. If you followed the steps for the brine, mix 1 tablespoon of the jollof dry spice mix with sea salt, black pepper and canola oil in a large bowl.If you skipped the brine, add all 2 tablespoons of the jollof spice mix. Add the chicken strips and buttermilk to coat them. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours, and up to overnight if you haven't already brined the chicken overnight. The buttermilk acidity and cultures will do the work of tenderizing while also providing an easy sticky surface for the coating.
  3. Heat the oil in a heavy-based, deep saucepan filled to just under half the depth of the pan to 350–375°F or until a cube of bread browns in 30 seconds.
  4. Meanwhile, put the cornstarch in a separate bowl with the seasoning and nutmeg and cinnamon and mix well.
  5. Dip each chicken strip into the seasoned cornstarch to coat evenly– try to do 4 or 5 pieces in quick succession, as you need to drop them into the hot oil straight away.
  6. Fry the chicken, in batches, for no more than 3–4 minutes to keep them succulent and juicy yet cooked through, and golden and crispy but not burnt.Remove from the oil and drain on paper towel, keeping the cooked chicken hot while you fry the rest.
  7. It’s that easy – the best fried chicken you’re ever going to eat! Serve with Jollof (One-pot Rice), Scotch Bonnet Coleslaw or Chunky Yam Fries, with a side of Shito Mayo (see Zoe's Ghana Kitchen pages 142, 64, 36 and 231).

Excerpted from ZOE’S GHANA KITCHEN by Zoe Adjonyoh. Copyright © 2021 by Zoe Adjonyoh. Photographs by Nassima Rothacker. Used with permission of Voracious, an imprint of Little, Brown and Company. New York, NY. All rights reserved.

^ TOP ^