Hot Cheetos Fried Chicken


  • 3 pounds chicken, a variety drumsticks, thighs and bone-in breasts
  • 3 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup pickle brine
  • 1 head garlic, smashed
  • 6 tablespoons kosher salt, separated
  • 2-3 turns with a pepper grinder
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups Flamin' Hot Cheetos
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 6-8 cups peanut or canola oil, for frying


  1. Mix buttermilk, pickle brine, smashed head of garlic and 3 tablespoons kosher salt in a large bowl. Add chicken and stir to coat. Cover and let chicken brine in the fridge for at least 2-4 hours to overnight. Remove chicken from fridge, and as it comes to room temperature prepare your coating.
  2. Place Hot Cheetos into a food processor and pulse until there are no large bits left. Mix together the flour, Hot Cheeto dust, 3 tablespoons kosher salt, paprika, cayenne and garlic powder.
  3. Heat your oil in a heavy-bottomed (preferably cast-iron) pan with high sides. Place a thermometer on the side of your pan so you can keep the oil temperature around 350°F. When your oil is heated, take the chicken piece by piece from the brine and dredge it in the flour mixture. Fry each piece until golden brown, usually between 6-12 minutes per side, depending on the size of the chicken pieces, taking care not to crowd the pan while frying. Let cool on a wire rack.