Inspired by Spanish flavors, this fried chicken from chef Suzanne Goin of Los Angeles’ A.O.C. gets a spicy boost in both the marinade and the seasoned breading. At A.O.C., Goin serves the dish with a romesco aioli. For a similar sauce, combine equal parts romesco and mayonnaise.


  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo-style pepper or 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, divided
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided, plus more
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2″-thick strips
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2–3 quarts vegetable oil (for frying), plus more for brushing
  • 2 firm, ripe California avocados, cut into quarters, skin removed
  • Spicy mayonnaise or combine equal parts romesco and mayonnaise (for serving; optional)


  1. Combine garlic, buttermilk, Aleppo-style pepper, cumin, coriander, 1 tsp. paprika, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. black pepper in a large resealable plastic bag. Add chicken and toss to coat, then chill at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
  2. Whisk flour, cayenne, and remaining 3 Tbsp. paprika in a medium shallow bowl.
  3. Fit a large heavy pot with deep-fry thermometer. Pour in oil to a depth of 2″; heat over medium-high until thermometer registers 350°F. Reduce heat to medium and raise or lower as needed to maintain a temperature of 350°F. Working in batches, remove chicken from marinade, shaking off excess, and dredge in flour mixture. Fry chicken, turning once, until golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes per batch. Transfer to a paper towel-lined rimmed baking sheet; season with salt.
  4. Heat a grill pan over medium. Brush avocado with oil; season with remaining 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Grill, turning occasionally, until lightly charred, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a platter and arrange avocado alongside; serve with spicy mayonnaise, if desired.


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