Pigeon River Chicken Recipe
Pigeon River Chicken Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Pigeon River Chicken Recipe

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For a picnic on the Pigeon River, we made chicken marinated in yogurt with a touch of cayenne. It’s delectable warm or cold. —Lib Jicha, Waynesville, North Carolina
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. + marinating Cook: 15 min.
MAKES:12 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. + marinating Cook: 15 min.
MAKES: 12 servings


  • 2 cups (16 ounces) plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 2 broiler/fryer chickens (3 to 4 pounds each), cut up
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons paprika
  • 4 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Oil for deep-fat frying

Nutritional Facts

1 serving: 608 calories, 42g fat (7g saturated fat), 109mg cholesterol, 1031mg sodium, 19g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 1g fiber), 37g protein.


  1. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the yogurt, pepper sauce and 3 teaspoons salt. Add chicken; seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
  2. Drain chicken, discarding marinade. In a shallow bowl, mix flour and seasonings. Add chicken, a few pieces at a time, and toss to coat; shake off excess. Transfer to a 15x10x1-in. pan; let stand 20 minutes.
  3. In a Dutch oven or other deep skillet, heat 1/2 in. of oil over medium heat to 350°. Fry chicken, uncovered, 7-8 minutes per side or until coating is dark golden brown and meat is no longer pink, turning occasionally. Drain on paper towels. Yield: 12 servings.
Originally published as Pigeon River Chicken in Taste of Home April/May 2016, p48

Full-Bodied White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied white wine such as Chardonnay or Viognier.

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BeckyJCarver User ID: 59111 256369
Reviewed Nov. 3, 2016

"I let this sit overnight in the marinade. The yogurt made the chicken really tender. I used half a bottle of tabasco because we like things super spicy. I fried it in the skillet then drained it & baked it another 25 min in the oven because it wasn't cooked all the way through. It had a very good flavor. If you fry your chicken in batches, make sure you let the oil heat back up between batches to avoid soggy chicken.

Becky- VFE"

Lor207 User ID: 978905 247558
Reviewed Apr. 27, 2016

"Let me start by saying this chicken was very juicy from marinating it in the yogurt overnight.

However I didn't like the strong taste of the tabasco. It wasn't that it was too spicy it was just the flavor. To the people complaining of it not being cooked through, you need to use a oil thermometer to keep the temperature at 350 and cut large breasts in 1/2.
I am not sure why this was the meal to make this month in the magazine?"

cherib435 User ID: 829827 247008
Reviewed Apr. 12, 2016

"Very disappointed with this. chicken was not done in the center so had to bake it in the oven for 25 minutes. Had trouble keeping the oil temp consistent. Flavor was ok, but will not make it again.."

cookiemouse User ID: 3900007 246995
Reviewed Apr. 12, 2016

"@pepper munch - the best pans for frying chicken are Dutch ovens or cast iron pans. Be sure the oil is hot enough before adding chicken or it will not fry properly. I also learned this the hard way many years ago. Good luck!!"

pepper munch User ID: 6966287 246704
Reviewed Apr. 6, 2016

"I had serious trouble. Used a whole bottle of oil and it still stuck terribly. I greased a pan and put the last half on it and drizzled butter over it and baked it. Those pieces were beautiful. Was not brave enough to put 4 teaspoons of cayenne. Still trying to clean my electric fry pan."

dublinlab User ID: 1682119 246617
Reviewed Apr. 5, 2016

"This chicken was amazing. It was so simple. I used a cast iron chicken fryer to keep the spatters down. I really liked how little oil was used. I will mak this again and again. Janet VFE"

LindaS_WI User ID: 7202558 245062
Reviewed Mar. 7, 2016

"So I've never made fried chicken before because I was afraid it would get my kitchen all filthy and greasy. But my granddaughter begged me to try this with her and I have to say it was surprisingly easy to do and the mess wasn't bad at all. I did fry the pieces in a Dutch oven so that kept the grease splatters to a minimum. The chicken was amazingly juicy even if the first few pieces got a little dark. Took me a few tries to get the hang of the oil temperature. This is going to be made again and again I'm sure."

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