• 4 cups sweetened tea
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 chicken, 4 1/2 to 5 pounds, cut into 10 pieces
  • 2 cups sweetened tea
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 or 4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped and gently chopped
  • Peanut or vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch


Tired of your standard dinner staples? Try adding a twist to your entrees, recipes courtesy of Sunny Anderson. The Food Network star makes favorites from her new cookbook: sweet tea chicken, spicy garlic-studded meatloaf and kale in coconut milk.


For the brine:In a large bowl, whisk together 2 cups water, the tea, and salt until the salt dissolves.

Squeeze the lemon halves into the pot, add the halves and the chicken pieces, submerge, and soak for 2 hours at room temperature.For the syrup: In a medium pan over medium heat, combine the tea, sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice.

Simmer until reduced and thickened like syrup. Taste and add a pinch of salt. Stir in the thyme.

Prepare to fry. In a large pot, heat 6 inches of oil until a deep-fry thermometer reaches 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cayenne, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of black pepper.

In a paper bag, shake together the flour, cornstarch, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of pepper.

Drain the chicken from the brine and pat dry.

Dust the chicken in the flour and shake off excess.

Dip each piece in the egg, then back in the flour to coat. Set on a wire rack to let the coating sink in for 15 minutes. Fry the chicken.

In batches, fry the chicken until golden brown on both sides and cooked through,15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the piece.

Remove from the oil and set on a paper towel–lined plate to drain. Drizzle with the sweet tea syrup.