This Kentucky Fried Chicken Recipe brings KFC’s famous spice blend to the traditional flavor of fried chicken. Each piece of chicken has the perfect crispy texture that is sure to make your mouth water!
What’s in this KFC Recipe?
This copycat Kentucky fried chicken recipe has the ever-so-famous KFC spice blend, making for a flavorful crust on your chicken that would even make colonel sanders himself envious.
- Chicken: We part out a whole chicken so everyone gets their favorite bits.
- Buttermilk: Makes the chicken tender and flavorful.
- Egg: Helps the coating stick to the chicken.
- All-Purpose Flour: Helps form the crispy coating.
- Spices: A savory blend of paprika, garlic powder, ground white pepper, celery salt, ground black pepper, ground mustard, kosher salt, onion powder, thyme, basil, oregano, ginger, and MSG makes this chicken finger-lickin’ good!
- Vegetable Oil: The perfect high smoke point neutral oil for frying.
Pro Tip: After marinating your chicken, pat it dry before breading it. This will help the breading stick better.
Variations on Kentucky Fried Chicken
[talk about how they can modify the recipe ingredients (to make meatless, spicy, etc)]
According to the Chicago Tribune, the original recipe consists of 11 herbs and spices, including: salt, thyme, basil, oregano, celery salt, black pepper, dried mustard, paprika, garlic salt, ground ginger, and white pepper. To amp ours up a bit, we added onion powder and MSG (optional).
With the chicken breast side up, pull each leg away from the body, then slice through the skin between the breast and drumstick. Turn the chicken onto its side and bend each leg back until the thighbone pops out of its socket. Cut through the joint and skin to detach the leg completely, then pull each wing away from the body and cut through the joint. Lift up the chicken and cut down through the ribcage and then shoulder joints to separate the breast from the back. Place the breast skin side down. Split the center bone using a chopping motion, then slice through the meat and skin to separate it into 2 pieces. To divide the legs, turn each skin side down and cut through the joints along the white fat line to separate the thigh from the drumstick.
I recommend marinating the chicken overnight if you have time, but 30 minutes is sufficient if you’re in a hurry.
If your heat is set too high, you’ll end up with chicken that has a burnt exterior but is still raw and uncooked inside. Be sure to use a thermometer to check your oil temperature often, and use an instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat.
If your heat is set too low, it can take too long for the chicken to fry, and it will become dense, oily, and soggy. Be sure to use a thermometer to check your oil temperature often, and don’t overload the Dutch oven with too many pieces of chicken at once.
Yes! Preheat your air fryer to 390°F and lay parchment along the bottom so that the chicken doesn’t stick. Place the chicken in the air fryer in a single layer with no pieces touching one another (you may have to fry in batches) and air fry for about 25 minutes, flipping once halfway, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
How to Store and Reheat
Store leftover Kentucky fried chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, place the chicken pieces on a wire rack set in a baking sheet in a 400°F oven for 15-20 minutes, or until 165°F internally.
How to Freeze
Freeze Kentucky fried chicken tightly wrapped in aluminum foil and set in a Ziplock bag for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Serve Kentucky fried chicken with classic sides, such as mashed potatoes, french fries, cole slaw, mac and cheese, corn, or biscuits. Dip in your favorite sauce, such as honey mustard, BBQ, ranch, or hot sauce!
Copycat Kentucky Fried Chicken Recipe
- 1 whole chicken cut up into 8 pieces
- 1 cup buttermilk (see note)
- 1 large egg beaten
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup ground paprika
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons ground white pepper
- 1 tablespoon celery salt
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon dry ground mustard
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon MSG optional
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Cut the chicken into its respective parts, discarding the carcass.1 whole chicken
- Pour the buttermilk and egg in a large bowl and whisk well, then place the chicken in the bowl and toss to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and soak for at least 30 minutes. You can marinate the chicken in this mixture overnight in the refrigerator, if desired.1 cup buttermilk, 1 large egg
- When ready to fry, combine the flour with the seasonings in a separate large bowl.2 cups all-purpose flour, ¼ cup ground paprika, 2 tablespoons garlic powder, 2 tablespoons ground white pepper, 1 tablespoon celery salt, 1 tablespoon ground black pepper, 1 tablespoon dry ground mustard, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 2 teaspoons onion powder, 2 teaspoons dried thyme, 2 teaspoons dried basil, 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, ½ teaspoon MSG
- Preheat oven to 175°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set an oven-safe wire rack on top of the baking sheet; set aside.
- In a deep fryer or large Dutch oven set over medium-high heat, heat about 3 inches of oil to 350°F.Vegetable oil
- Remove a piece of chicken from the buttermilk, shaking off any excess liquid. Press the piece of chicken into and through the flour mixture, adhering the mixture to all sides. Shake off excess flour and carefully drop the chicken into the hot oil immediately. Repeat with more pieces, frying no more than 3-4 at a time depending on size.
- Fry the chicken for 12-15 minutes, turning halfway through, until golden brown.
- Remove the chicken from the oil and place it on the wire rack. Place the baking sheet in the oven.
- Once the oil returns to 350°F, repeat the dredging and frying process with the remaining pieces of chicken.
- When all the chicken is fried, keep them in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, maintaining the internal temperature of 165°F until ready to serve.
- Buttermilk: If you don’t have any buttermilk, you can make your own by measuring 1 cup of milk, removing 1 tablespoon of it, and mixing in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar. Let this mixture sit for 5 minutes before using in the recipe.
- After marinating your chicken, pat it dry before breading it. This will help the breading stick better.
- Coat the chicken thoroughly with flour.
- Make sure to shake off any excess flour. Excess flour will cause the breading to fall off.
- Be sure not to overcrowd the pot. Overcrowding will reduce the oil temperature, leading to oily, soggy chicken.
- Resist the urge to turn the chicken over until you see a golden brown line all the way around the sides of the chicken. This line tells you that the breading is evenly crispy.
- Place the chicken pieces in a warm oven to keep them crisp while you continue frying the rest of the chicken.
- Nutritional information does not include optional ingredients.