Seasoned with cayenne, Sichuan peppercorns and black pepper, this 3-pepper fried chicken has ultra crispy seasoned crust studded with fennel seeds.

Alex’s 3-pepper Fried Chicken

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 3
Author Connie Veneracion


  • 6 large chicken thighs skin on and bone in, 700 to 800 grams total weight

For the spice rub

  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

For the coating

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 3 cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

To cook the chicken

  • 4 to 6 cups cooking oil for deep frying
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten


  • Pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towels. Place in a bowl.
  • Whisk together all the ingredients for the dry rub. Add to the chicken and mix well. 
  • Cover the bowl. Marinate the chicken in the fridge for at least six hours (overnight is best).
  • Using a food processor or a mortar and pestle, grind the ingredients for the coating excluding the flour and starch. Do NOT grind too finely. Visible specks of the individual spices, especially the Sichuan peppercorns and fennel seeds, add better texture to the coating.
  • Whisk the flour and starch in a bowl. Add the ground spices. Stir to blend evenly.
  • Heat the cooking oil in a frying pan to 350F.
  • Dredge each chicken thigh in the seasoned flour, dip in the beaten eggs, then dredge in the flour a second time. Shake off the excess.
  • Fry the chicken in the hot oil for eight to 10 minutes until cooked through and the coating is crisp. If your frying pan is rather small, fry the chicken in batches to avoid the temperature of the oil from dropping.
  • Drain the 3-pepper fried chicken on a stack of kitchen paper to get rid of excess oil. Serve at once.