Miss Lamie's Fried Chicken

Serves 8
One of the best fried-chicken recipes I’ve encountered comes from Miss Lamie, of Westmoreland in Jamaica, who has happily cooked for more than her fair share of hungry men. The method used to fry the chicken certainly isn’t conventional, and the seasoning creates fantastically deep flavor. Serve with her Tomato Onion Stew (page 210), boiled potatoes, and a fresh vegetable salad. It’s also great for a picnic, eaten cold.


  • 2 3- to 4-pound chickens, cut into 8 pieces and each breast cut in half again (reserve the neck, back, and wing tips for another purpose)
  • 3 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 onions, peeled and sliced
  • 3 cups plain dried bread crumbs
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups vegetable oil


  1. Place the chicken parts into a large bowl. Toss with 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt, pepper, thyme, and onions. Cover and let season in the fridge for at least an hour or up to overnight.
  2. Spread the bread crumbs, combined with the remaining salt, out on a plate. Pour the eggs over the chicken, coating each piece completely. Roll each chicken piece in the bread crumbs. Discard the onions.
  3. Heat a 14-inch skillet (or two smaller skillets) over high heat until a drop of water skitters around, then swirl 1 inch of oil into the pan. Reduce the heat to medium high, add the chicken pieces in a single layer, and fry until the chicken is well browned on all sides, about 30 to 40 minutes.
  4. Work in batches if necessary. Drain on paper towels and serve.
cook's note
Preseasoning Meat
Recipes such as this one rely on early seasoning to bring a big flavor punch into the meat. It’s a good strategy for time management as well: If you have the meat on hand, season it in the morning or the night before and leave it to soak up all the flavor. No sauces or last-minute marinades and flavoring are needed for a delicious taste—just the final cooking. Meat can also be seasoned and then frozen when you first bring it home from the market. As the meat defrosts, the flavor will have even more time to intensify.
Need help with the ingredients? Check our pantry list: