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KFC-Style Fried Chicken Recipe

KFC-Style Fried Chicken Recipe

Introduction to KFC-Style Fried Chicken

Fried chicken, a dish beloved worldwide, has roots tracing back to various cultures. However, it’s the American South that popularized this comfort food, leading to the global phenomenon of KFC-style fried chicken. Known for its crispy coating and succulent meat, KFC’s unique recipe has captivated taste buds globally. This article explores the journey of creating your own KFC-style fried chicken at home. From selecting the right ingredients to mastering the cooking technique, we’ll guide you through each step to replicate the iconic taste of this world-famous dish.

Ingredients and Preparation

Choosing the Right Chicken

The foundation of great fried chicken begins with selecting the right type of chicken. Opt for fresh, quality chicken pieces like drumsticks, thighs, or breasts. The size and cut of the chicken not only influence cooking time but also the flavor and texture of the final dish. Choosing the right cut is crucial for achieving that perfect balance of crispy skin and juicy meat, reminiscent of KFC’s beloved recipe.

Brining: Importance and Method

Brining is a critical step in ensuring your fried chicken is tender and flavorful. This process involves soaking the chicken in a saltwater solution, often enriched with herbs and spices. Brining helps to:

  • Tenderize the meat by breaking down proteins.
  • Lock in moisture, ensuring the chicken remains juicy after frying. To brine, submerge your chicken pieces in a mixture of water, salt, and optional flavorings like garlic, herbs, or sugar. Let it sit in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. This simple step makes a significant difference in the texture and taste of your fried chicken.

Seasoning: Customizing Flavors

The seasoning blend is what gives KFC-style fried chicken its distinctive taste. While the original KFC recipe remains a secret, you can create a similar flavor profile using a mix of common spices. Consider including:

  • Paprika for warmth and color.
  • Garlic powder and onion powder for depth.
  • Herbs like thyme, basil, or oregano for complexity.
  • Cayenne pepper or black pepper for a hint of heat. Mix these spices with flour or breadcrumbs to create your coating. Feel free to experiment with proportions or add other spices to tailor the flavor to your liking. The right seasoning blend will elevate your fried chicken from good to unforgettable.

Cooking Techniques

Traditional Frying Method

The traditional frying method is key to achieving the signature crispiness of KFC-style fried chicken. Start by heating a generous amount of oil in a deep fryer or a deep skillet. Once the chicken is breaded, carefully lower the pieces into the hot oil. Fry them until they turn a deep golden brown, ensuring each piece is evenly cooked. This method, while simple, requires constant attention to maintain consistent cooking and prevent burning.

Choosing the Right Oil

Selecting the right oil is crucial for frying chicken. Oils with a high smoke point, such as vegetable, canola, or peanut oil, are ideal. These oils can withstand high temperatures without burning, ensuring your chicken cooks evenly and acquires a golden-brown crust. Avoid oils with strong flavors or low smoke points, like olive oil, as they can affect the taste and texture of your fried chicken.

Temperature Control and Safety Tips

Maintaining the correct oil temperature, typically around 350°F (175°C), is essential for perfect frying. Use a thermometer to monitor the oil’s temperature. Too hot, and the chicken will burn on the outside while remaining raw inside; too cool, and it will absorb excess oil, becoming greasy. Always be cautious when working with hot oil to prevent splatters and burns. Never leave the frying chicken unattended, and keep a fire extinguisher nearby as a safety precaution. For more detailed techniques, visit Culinary Techniques.

Breading and Seasoning

Breading Techniques for the Perfect Crust

The breading is what gives KFC-style fried chicken its iconic crunch. To achieve this:

  • Start by dredging the brined chicken in a mixture of flour and your seasoning blend. Ensure each piece is thoroughly coated.
  • Dip the coated chicken into beaten eggs, then into a second layer of seasoned flour or breadcrumbs. This double coating creates a thicker, crisper crust.
  • Let the breaded chicken rest for a few minutes before frying. This step helps the coating adhere better and prevents it from falling off during cooking.

Seasoning Mix: Creating the KFC Flavor

The secret to the unique flavor of KFC-style chicken lies in its seasoning mix. While the original recipe is a closely guarded secret, a blend of common spices can mimic its taste. Combine:

  • Paprika for a smoky flavor and color.
  • Garlic powder and onion powder for savory depth.
  • Dried herbs like oregano, thyme, and basil for aromatic notes.
  • A hint of cayenne or black pepper for mild heat.
  • Salt to enhance all the flavors. Mix these spices in with your flour or breadcrumbs for the breading. The key is to balance the flavors to suit your taste, creating a seasoning mix that gives your fried chicken that distinctive KFC-style flavor.

Cooking Methods

Deep Frying: Step-by-Step Guide

Deep frying is the classic method for achieving the authentic KFC-style texture. To deep fry:

  1. Heat oil in a deep fryer or large pot to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Carefully place the breaded chicken pieces into the hot oil, avoiding overcrowding.
  3. Fry until golden brown and cooked through, typically about 10-12 minutes for larger pieces.
  4. Remove the chicken and let it drain on a wire rack or paper towels to keep it crispy.

Air Frying: A Healthier Alternative

Air frying offers a healthier way to enjoy fried chicken with less oil. To air fry:

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Arrange the breaded chicken in a single layer in the air fryer basket, ensuring pieces don’t touch.
  3. Cook for about 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through, until golden brown and cooked through.

Baking: For a Less Oily Option

Baking is a great alternative for those avoiding fried foods. To bake:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Arrange the breaded chicken on a greased baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 40-50 minutes, turning halfway, until the chicken is golden brown and crispy.

Serving and Presentation

Serving Suggestions

Serve your KFC-style fried chicken with classic sides like mashed potatoes, coleslaw, or buttered corn. For a healthier meal, pair it with a fresh green salad or steamed vegetables. Don’t forget dipping sauces like honey mustard, barbecue sauce, or a simple ketchup to enhance the flavors.

Presentation Tips for Maximum Appeal

Presentation can significantly elevate the dining experience. Arrange the chicken on a platter lined with lettuce leaves for a pop of color. Garnish with lemon wedges or fresh herbs like parsley for an added touch of elegance. Serve the sides in separate bowls or on the same platter for a family-style meal. Remember, the key to an appealing presentation is simplicity and a touch of creativity.


What Makes KFC Chicken Unique?

KFC chicken is renowned for its unique blend of 11 herbs and spices, which gives it a distinctive and memorable flavor. This secret recipe, combined with the specific cooking method that ensures a crispy exterior and juicy interior, sets KFC chicken apart from other fried chicken varieties.

Can I Make KFC-Style Chicken in an Air Fryer?

Yes, you can make KFC-style chicken in an air fryer. While the texture might slightly differ from traditional deep frying, air frying is a healthier option that still offers a crispy exterior and tender interior.

Tips for Keeping Fried Chicken Crispy

To keep fried chicken crispy, let it rest on a wire rack after cooking to allow excess oil to drip off and air to circulate around the chicken. Avoid covering it tightly, as trapped steam can make the crust soggy.

Nutritional Information

KFC-style fried chicken, while delicious, is high in calories and fats, particularly saturated fats. A single piece can contain several hundred calories. It’s important to enjoy this dish in moderation as part of a balanced diet, considering the nutritional content and potential health implications.


In conclusion, making KFC-style fried chicken at home allows you to enjoy this classic dish with a personal touch. Whether you choose traditional frying, air frying, or baking, you can achieve delicious results. Remember, the key to perfect fried chicken lies in the preparation, cooking technique, and seasoning. We encourage you to try this recipe at home and enjoy the process of creating a culinary delight that brings comfort and satisfaction.

KFC-Style Fried Chicken

KFC-Style Fried Chicken Recipe

Enjoy the iconic taste of KFC-style fried chicken right from your kitchen with this easy-to-follow recipe. Perfect for family dinners, gatherings, or when you crave that unique blend of crispy and juicy chicken. This recipe brings the classic flavors of KFC into your home, complete with a blend of spices and herbs for that authentic taste.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Brine Time: 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Southern
Servings 4 people
Calories 600 kcal


  • Large mixing bowl
  • Deep fryer or large heavy-bottomed pot
  • Tongs or frying spatula
  • Wire rack and baking sheet (for draining)
  • Meat thermometer (optional, but recommended)


  • 1 whole chicken cut into pieces (or your preferred cuts)
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper adjust to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Oil for frying vegetable, canola, or peanut oil


Brine the Chicken:

  • In a large bowl, mix the buttermilk with 1 teaspoon of salt and a pinch of black pepper.
  • Submerge the chicken pieces in the buttermilk mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

Prepare the Seasoning Mix:

  • In a separate bowl, combine the flour, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, oregano, basil, thyme, salt, and black pepper. Mix well.

Coat the Chicken:

  • Remove the chicken from the buttermilk and let the excess drip off.
  • Dredge each piece of chicken in the seasoned flour mixture until well coated. Shake off any excess flour.

Fry the Chicken:

  • Heat oil in a deep fryer or large pot to 350°F (175°C).
  • Carefully place the coated chicken pieces in the hot oil. Fry in batches to avoid overcrowding.
  • Cook for about 10-12 minutes or until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through. The internal temperature should reach 165°F (75°C).

Drain and Serve:

  • Remove the chicken from the oil and drain on a wire rack or paper towels.
  • Serve hot with your favorite sides like mashed potatoes, coleslaw, or a simple green salad.


  • Adjust the level of spices to suit your taste preferences.
  • Chicken can be brined overnight for enhanced flavor and tenderness.
  • Ensure the oil is at the correct temperature before frying to avoid soggy or overly greasy chicken.
  • Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Keyword KFC-Style Fried Chicken

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