Spiced Lime Fried Chicken


“Ouch!” It felt like the wrath of God had just rained down on me.

Cooking can be a dangerous sport. There are the occasional little cuts and the accidental burns from searing hot sauce pans. But the most dangerous (and painful) of them all is carelessly working with fresh peppers.

And no matter how often I try to remember to wash my hands after working with jalapenos or scotch bonnets I still sometimes forget.

On those occasions I am usually painfully reminded of this lapse of judgment when I inevitably rub my eyes. It’s a special hell that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemies (well, maybe some of them).

So before I go any further with this recipe, here’s a warning to the wise…the recipe calls for fresh jalapenos. Please don’t forget to wash your hands after you handle them.


That’s the note of caution. Now here’s the good news…the reward of this recipe is totally worth the risk. 🙂

As a former Southerner, I love fried foods – especially chicken. And I am always looking for different ways to enjoy this Southern pastime – a recipe that brings something different to the table. I think this recipe for Spiced Lime Fried Chicken just may fit the bill.

It’s not your average fried chicken fare. There are a few twists.

First, there’s no flour. So it’s missing the heavy and thick oil-soaked crust that plagues many traditional fried chicken recipes. Instead, this recipe uses egg whites, corn starch and sesame oil batter to form a beautiful golden “crust” on the chicken. It’s gluten free fried chicken, y’all!

And then there’s the flavor. It’s a nice layering of flavors. Key to this recipe’s uniqueness are the notes of citrus and heat/spice that really help to make this dish come to life on your tongue. None of these elements overpower the chicken. Actually, the hint of lime gives the chicken a nice, bright lift. And the five spice marinade and the toss with jalapenos really give the chicken a slight kick of heat in the end.

I love this recipe. I make it often. Even my mom and aunts, who are Southern/Soul Food aficionados, give this ‘new fangled’ version two thumbs up.

This is no one note snoozer. This fried chicken has a full symphony of flavors that will make you stop and taste the roses. And cut into strips, they are perfect for a cocktail party.

NOTE: You can easily adjust the heat of this dish. For more heat, toss the fried chicken and jalapenos for a longer period of time. You want to the lime and jalapenos almost directly after frying. The heat from the chicken really helps the lime and jalapenos to release their flavors.

Like this recipe? Check out our Brined Southern Fried Chicken recipe. It’s slightly spicy and endlessly flavorful.


Some like their food spicy and then some people like it SPICEY. For those who can’t get enough spice you can try to use unseeded jalapeno slices when tossing the chicken at the end – just be careful to remove the jalapeno slices so that no one bites into a jalapeno seed. Also, the longer you toss the jalapeno with the chicken the spicier it gets. So adjust this per your taste.


  • 2 egg whites
  • 1½TSP toasted sesame oil
  • 1½TSP Chinese Five-Spice
  • 2TBL corn starch
  • 1½TSP Kosher salt
  • ¼TSP freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 TSP dried oregano
  • 1/4 TSP red pepper flakes
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 2lbs), cut into thin long strips
  • 2 cups canola oil
  • 1 lime, cut into eights
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and thinly sliced cross sections


  1. In a large bowl, whisk egg whites, sesame oil, five-spice, corn starch, salt, grounded pepper, oregano and red pepper flakes until the egg whites have loosened.
  2. Stir in the thinly sliced chicken breast into the bowl until the chicken is completely coated. Let chicken marinade in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
  3. In a large saucepan or wok over medium high heat, heat canola oil until it shimmers (about 325˚).
  4. Being careful not to over crown the pan, cook chicken strips until they are light-golden brown and cooked through, about 5-6 minutes. Let each batch drain on a rack or paper towel.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly toss chicken, lime and jalapeno slices in a bowl (keep in mind the longer you toss the jalapeno and chicken, the spicier it gets). Salt and pepper to taste. Serve.
  6. Serves 4-5.


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