Prep2 hrs 30 mins
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
BASE MIXTURE (SEE NOTES)
- 4 1⁄2 teaspoons fine sea salt (level)
- 1 tablespoon nonfat dry milk powder
- 2 teaspoons Accent seasoning
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons egg white powder
- 1⁄8 teaspoon garlic powder
11 SECRET HERBS AND SPICES
- 4 teaspoons ground tellicherry black pepper
- 1 tablespoon seasoned mild chili powder
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground sage
- 1 teaspoon ground winter savory
- 1⁄2 teaspoon hickory smoke salt
- 3⁄8 teaspoon ground anise seed
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground celery salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground tarragon
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground vanilla bean
- 2 cups unbleached bread flour
- NOTES: PREPARE RECIPE EXACTLY AS DIRECTED. DO NOT OMIT ACCENT SEASONING (IT LENDS THE AUTHENTIC SWEET FLAVOR). EGG WHITE POWDER IS SOLD IN HEALTH FOOD STORES. 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, MARION-KAY BRAND GROUND GINGER, GROUND (WINTER) SAVORY, AND HICKORY SMOKE SEASONING, AND WILLIAMS-SONOMA BRAND GROUND TAHITIAN VANILLA BEAN. WINTER SAVORY MAY BE SUBSTITUTED WITH THE FOLLOWING BLEND (GRIND INGREDIENTS IN A SPICE MILL, THEN USE 1 TEASPOON): 1/4 teaspoon ground chamomile, 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander, 1/4 teaspoon ground parsley, 1/4 teaspoon ground rosemary, 1/4 teaspoon ground thyme, 1/8 teaspoon ground dried lemon peel, and 1/8 teaspoon ground mint. 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. REPLENISH 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 tablespoon 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 only the BASE MIXTURE and 11 SECRET HERBS AND SPICES ingredients into a large sealable container, such as a Glad food storage container or a Ziploc bag; BREAK up any clumps (and dry milk powder) 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!