Prep 2 hrs 30 mins
Cook 1 hr
My reverse-engineered recipe for replicating KFC's 'Original Recipe' chicken at home. Yields 8-10 pieces whole fried chicken, or up to 16 drumsticks. For a bulk mix seasoning for quick and easy breading, use Bulk KFC Original Recipe Seasoning (Copycat). PLEASE NOTE: The Nutritional Information listing here is inaccurate -- since only a fraction of flour and salt actually end up in the finished product. So be aware -- the suggested sodium, sugar, carbohydrate and calorie levels are ridiculously exaggerated!
- 1 premium quality fresh young roasting chicken, cut-up
- 2 quarts cold water
- 2 tablespoons morton lite salt
- 2 teaspoons Accent seasoning (optional)
BASE MIXTURE (SEE NOTES)
- 5 teaspoons nonfat dry milk powder
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons fine sea salt
- 2 teaspoons Accent seasoning (optional)
- 2 teaspoons egg white powder (cornstarch okay)
11 SECRET HERBS AND SPICES
- 1 tablespoon fresh milled tellicherry black pepper
- 2 1⁄2 teaspoons barbecue seasoning (use the recipe provided below)
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground sage
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground savory
- 1⁄4 teaspoon crushed basil
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground vanilla bean
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground cardamom
FOR THE BARBECUE SEASONING
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1⁄2 teaspoon celery salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1⁄4 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon onion salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1⁄4 teaspoon crushed parsley
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 cups unbleached bread flour
- NOTES: FOR AUTHENTIC RESULTS, PREPARE RECIPE EXACTLY AS DIRECTED. MSG (ACCENT SEASONING) IS IN THE ACTUAL ORIGINAL RECIPE, BUT MAY BE OMITTED IF NECESSARY. EGG WHITE POWDER IS SOLD IN HEALTH FOOD STORES. YOU MAY SUBSTITUTE EGG WHITE POWDER WITH CORNSTARCH. FINELY GRIND REQUIRED HERBS AND SPICES SEPARATELY IN A CLEAN SPICE MILL OR COFFEE GRINDER. USE A PEPPER MILL TO MEDIUM-GRIND TELLICHERRY PEPPERCORNS. I RECOMMEND MCCORMICK BRAND TELLICHERRY BLACK PEPPER AND SMOKED PAPRIKA, SPICE ISLANDS BRAND GROUND SAGE AND CARDAMOM, SPICE APPEAL BRAND GROUND SAVORY, AND WILLIAMS-SONOMA BRAND GROUND TAHITIAN VANILLA BEAN. CHICKEN NOTES: DO NOT DOUBLE-BREAD CHICKEN SINCE IT PLACES AN EXCESS OF SODIUM AND SPICES ONTO FINAL PRODUCT AND COMPROMISES AUTHENTICITY (IF YOU INSIST ON DOUBLE-BREADING, DIFFUSE THE BREADING MIX FIRST BY ADDING A LITTLE MORE UNSEASONED FLOUR). BRINING BONELESS CHICKEN SHOULD BE DONE MUCH MORE QUICKLY (NO MORE THAN 45 MINUTES, TO AVOID OVER-SATURATION OF SALT). BONELESS CHICKEN COOKS MUCH MORE QUICKLY THAN BONE-IN CHICKEN (BE CAREFUL TO NOT OVERCOOK!). FRYING FAT NOTES: ALWAYS BEGIN WITH FRESH VEGETABLE OIL. AFTER USING LET IT COOL. FILTER, THEN REFRIGERATE TIGHTLY SEALED TO YIELD 6-12 FRYING BATCHES, REPLENISHING OIL AS NEEDED.
- RINSE and blot chicken; CUT chicken into 8 pieces (or 10 pieces with breast portions cut in half); MIX 2 quarts (8 cups) cups cold water with 2 tablespoons Morton Lite Salt (OR 2 tablespoons fine sea salt), and 2 teaspoons Accent seasoning in a large container with an accompanying lid, until dissolved; ADD chicken pieces; COVER and transfer to refrigerator; MARINATE chicken at least 4 hours in refrigerator. NOTE: FOR A QUICKER STOVETOP MARINATION METHOD, PIERCE CHICKEN PIECES WELL WITH A FORK, THEN HEAT THE MARINADE WITH CHICKEN, COVERED, OVER LOW HEAT UNTIL HEATED THROUGH, TURNING ONCE).
- MEASURE the BASE MIXTURE and 11 SECRET HERBS AND SPICES into a large re-sealable container (this includes the prepared BARBECUE SEASONING); BREAK up any clumps (and nonfat milk granules) using the back of a spoon; SEAL the container with mixture; SHAKE to mix well; OPEN container and add the BREADING FLOUR (2 cups unbleached bread flour), then seal the container again; SHAKE well until thoroughly combined.
- REMOVE chicken from brine; PLACE one piece chicken at a time into the breading mixture container; SEAL container firmly; SHAKE chicken gently in all motions to thoroughly coat chicken until evenly and generously breaded; PLACE breaded chicken piece onto a rack to rest; REPEAT with remaining pieces chicken; ALLOW breaded chicken to absorb the breading for a few minutes before frying.
- ADD the manufacturer's recommended amount frying oil for deep-frying; PLACE deep-fryer basket into place in deep-fryer; PREHEAT fryer to 315°F (or preheat enough fat to immerse chicken completely in deep heavy stovetop pot between 315°F to 325°F, using a standard deep-fryer thermometer to gauge).
- CAREFULLY drop each piece breaded chicken one at a time, gently into the deep-fryer basket without crowding (if a standard size home fryer is used, add no more than 2-3 pieces at a time); (if stovetop frying, gently place breaded chicken pieces into hot oil using tongs, turning once halfway through frying duration).
- FRY chicken between 15-18 minutes until golden brown and fully cooked, depending on chicken portions/sizes (juices should run clear when chicken is done); BLOT chicken lightly to absorb excess oil; PLACE cooked chicken into a large resealable container to steam (the steam will soften the breading for added Original Recipe authenticity. If you prefer crisp breading, skip this procedure).
- MAINTAIN frying fat temperature for each new batch and repeat the same cooking/steaming procedures for the remaining chicken.
- REHEAT chicken if necessary before serving in a microwave oven, using a reduced-power setting, as if reheating 2 frozen pastries, pausing in intervals to turn chicken for even heating if necessary.
- SERVE and enjoy!
This was awsome! My family says it's better than KFC. Don't change a thing. I tried double dipping it because some of the family like a thicker breading and I also dipped it once. Both were great! I also mixed up alot of the flour/spices and put it in a container as I never know from time to time how much chicken I will be making. This makes it easier when I need just a little more breading but not a full batch. I will keep this as one of my favorite recipes.
Excellent! If you follow the instructions this is easy to make and delish. Everyone ate more than usual, it was that good. Donna
Oh my goodness! This is perfect! I do remember how Kentucky Fried Chicken tasted, but i think this is even better! We ate every piece, just the two of us. I wish there were ten stars to give.