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What is Deviled Chicken?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 16, 2024
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Deviled chicken is a dish which is popular in the American South, where people have an appreciation for simple yet spicy food. Like other “deviled” foods, the name is a reference to the heat of the dish, which is adjusted with ingredients like Tabasco sauce, cayenne pepper, and mustard. The chicken is typically baked or broiled, although deep fried versions do exist, and it is traditionally served with vegetable sides like collard greens or corn. Deviled chicken is a not uncommon offering at Southern restaurants, and it can also be made at home.

Many people like to make deviled chicken with chicken parts, rather than a whole chicken. Breasts, thighs, and wings are all acceptable. The best deviled chicken is marinated overnight before cooking, to allow the meat to fully absorb the flavor, although it is possible to make a quick marinade. Common ingredients in deviled chicken include mustard, pepper, salt, cayenne, paprika, garlic, Tabasco, mustard, green onions, and parsley. When the chicken is broiled, some people like to lightly bread it as well.

To make deviled chicken, cooks mix their ingredients of choice to taste to make a marinade which will be used to cover the chicken. Yogurt is an excellent carrier for the ingredients, and it will add a faint tang to the finished dish. When mixing the marinade for deviled chicken, it is important to remember that the spiciness will be diluted through the marinating and cooking process, so don't be afraid to make the sauce spicier than you think it should be.

Once the marinade is mixed, the chicken can be tossed with it and refrigerated overnight. To make your task easier, you can mix the marinade in a Tupperware container so that all you have to do is drop the chicken in, close the lid, and shake the container to distribute the marinade. After a night of marinating, the chicken can be grilled, broiled, or baked, depending on your personal taste. Cooking times vary, depending on which technique you use.

Some cooks also like to make a sweet or tangy sauce to serve with their deviled chicken. Sweet sauces can pair very nicely with the spicy flavor of the deviled chicken, and they provide an excellent excuse to serve fresh cornbread with the dish for the purpose of sopping up sauce. This very flexible recipe can also be adjusted with additional ingredients like Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, and so forth, for cooks who like to experiment with their food.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a DelightedCooking researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By whitesand — On May 21, 2011

@goldensky - Traditional deviled chicken recipes always use three main ingredients, yellow mustard, fresh ground pepper and hot sauce.

A little vinegar, curry powder and some honey are sometimes added and the coating is usually nothing but ordinary bread crumbs.

By goldensky — On May 18, 2011

I’ve been searching for a good fiery chicken recipe. This deviled chicken sounds like the answer to my quest.

I did find several variations to it though. I guess it’s one of those recipes that give you the base ingredients and you can go from there. Some of the recipes sound just like an ordinary barbeque sauce with worchestershire sauce, ketchup and brown sugar.

But I did find a couple that I really like. Now all I have to do is decide on whether I want baked or fried deviled chicken.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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