KFC Original Recipe Chicken (Copycat)

KFC Original Recipe Chicken decoded by a food reporter and republished with all 11 herbs and spices to make picture perfect KFC chicken at home! KFC Original Recipe Chicken decoded by a food reporter and republished with all 11 herbs and spices to make picture perfect KFC chicken at home!

KFC Original Recipe Chicken has been a huge part of my childhood. As a kid my aunt would walk me home from school and we would stop at the KFC that was a half a block from my school. We’d share chicken and a strawberry parfait they used to sell. Unlike the Pioneer Chicken that my mom used to buy, this food memory is one I can still enjoy anytime I wanted.

So why make a copycat recipe of it if you have one a mile down the road? Well, A: Copycat recipes are a ton of fun and B: Way, way, way, way higher quality. Have you been to a KFC in the last decade? I’ve only been a few times but was disappointed each time because the chicken pieces have shrunken… a lot. Also, and hey to each his own (I’m definitely guilty of my fair share of food sins), but KFC uses MSG in the recipe for its KFC Original Recipe Chicken. Oh, and last thing, as far as fast food goes, it tends to be pretty pricy.

So here we are all trying to decode the famous 11 herbs and spices. Everyone has theories, and according to KFC no one has EVER been right. So I have sort of watched the copycat rounds develop from a distance. Then something pretty awesome happened. KFC Original Recipe Chicken decoded by a food reporter and republished with all 11 herbs and spices to make picture perfect KFC chicken at home!

A food reporter for the Chicago Tribune visited the nephew of good old Colonel Sanders himself. He has memories of this recipe that he used to make by the bucket. And lo and behold he has a copy of the recipe in an old scrapbook. So of course the reporter snaps a picture and proceeds to bring it back to Chicago for some serious taste testing.

Now, as a huge KFC Original Recipe Chicken fan, I’m interested. They recipe test and with the single addition of MSG find that they’ve recreated that distinct amazing flavor. KFC Original Recipe Chicken decoded by a food reporter and republished with all 11 herbs and spices to make picture perfect KFC chicken at home!

So here it is, in all its glory. I did make a couple of adjustments in my side by side comparison during recipe testing.

  1. I ditched the MSG, if you want to add it back in, Accent Seasoning will do the trick and you can add ½ teaspoon for every pound of chicken used. It definitely seems to be the X factor here for that final kick of nostalgic flavor, so again if you want the 100% real deal, grab a canister and add away.
  2. I reduced the paprika by 1 tablespoon. The flavor seemed off to me, and in a comparison of color I found 3 tablespoons to be a better representation of the original. Want to stick to the recipe the Chicago Tribune uncovered? Use the full 4 tablespoons.
  3. Last change, but a really big one. If you were to buy some KFC Original Recipe Chicken and really inspect the breading of the chicken you will find dark specks. Yes, those specks are your herbs and spices, but guess what else they are? Uniform. Maybe to hide the recipe since shapes may give away ingredients. Maybe to prevent the overpowering flavor of biting into an entire piece of dried thyme. Either way, I pulverized the thyme, basil and oregano in my small food processor. Bingo, tiny specks. 😉
  4. I added more oil (truth: I used my deep fryer, but if you just add more oil, you’ll have a full deep fry in a larger stockpot) instead of the cast iron skillet fry that was done in the recipe as printed.

Thanks so much to the awesome folks at the Chicago Tribune for this KFC Original Recipe Chicken “copycat.” KFC Original Recipe Chicken decoded by a food reporter and republished with all 11 herbs and spices to make picture perfect KFC chicken at home!

Or perhaps you want more copycat recipes!

Tools Used In This Recipe:
Deep Fryer: Easy for keeping temperature on point and kind of fun to use!
Accent Seasoning: The x factor, this is MSG, so use at your discretion.
Pigtail Flipper: I LOVE this tool for frying. I am able to drop and pick up pieces without removing any breading at all thanks to this awesome tool.

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KFC Original Recipe Chicken

KFC Original Recipe Chicken uncovered by a food reporter from Colonel Sander's nephew and republished with all 11 herbs and spices to make picture perfect KFC chicken at home!
Yield 4 servings
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried basil leaves
  • 1/3 tablespoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1 tablespoon celery salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried mustard
  • 3 tablespoons paprika (original recipe calls for 4 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 3 tablespoons ground white pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Accent Seasoning , optional (I left this out)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 chicken , cut into 10 pieces (2 wings, 2 legs, 2 thighs and 2 breasts each cut in half to make 4 breast pieces)
  • vegetable oil for frying


  • Add the spices to a small food processor until they're all uniform in size and the thyme, basil and oregano aren't larger in size anymore.
  • Add the flour in a bowl with all the herbs and spices and mix with a whisk.
  • In a second larger bowl add the buttermilk and egg together and whisk until combined.
  • Add the chicken to the buttermilk mixture for 20-30 minutes.
  • Remove chicken from the buttermilk soak and let any excess buttermilk drip off.
  • Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour mixture on all sides, then shake off the excess coating.
  • Let it rest on a cookie sheet for 20-30 minutes.
  • Add oil to a deep fryer or a large pot that is at least 5 inches high so that the chicken can be fully submerged.
  • Heat the oil to 350 degrees and fry in small batches for 15-18 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken from the oil and add to a drying rack on top of a clean cookie sheet.
  • If you add it to a paper towel or newspaper the bottom of the chicken will steam from the heat and become soft.


So here it is, in all its glory. I did make a couple of adjustments in my side by side comparison during recipe testing. More details of how/why available in the post above this recipe card.
I ditched the MSG.
I reduced the paprika by 1 tablespoon.
I pulverized the thyme, basil and oregano in my small food processor.
I added more oil
Thanks so much to the awesome folks at the Chicago Tribune for this KFC Original Recipe Chicken "copycat."


Calories: 729kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 46g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 190mg | Sodium: 6613mg | Potassium: 692mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 3010IU | Vitamin C: 4.1mg | Calcium: 149mg | Iron: 7.5mg
Keyword: KFC Original Recipe Chicken (Copycat)
KFC Original Recipe Chicken decoded by a food reporter and republished with all 11 herbs and spices to make picture perfect KFC chicken at home!
KFC Original Recipe Chicken decoded by a food reporter and republished with all 11 herbs and spices to make picture perfect KFC chicken at home!

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. I was concerned @ the salt amount so I kept the salt and celery salt amounts the same but used garlic instead of garlic salt and it came out fine. I also kept the black pepper amount but used only 1 Tbsp of white pepper instead of 3 since white is hotter than black.

  2. The breading was delicious. I gave only 3 stars due to the fact I fried them in a deep fryer and at 18 minutes they turned out very dark and almost burnt look. I lowered the time 2 minutes increments, down to 12 minutes and they still came out burnt looking.

    1. Oh no, that’s disappointing. Was the oil kept at 350 degrees and at least at 5 inches deep to fully submerge the pieces? I timed mine for a deep fry time of 15 – 18 minutes.

  3. Thank you so much for this recipe, my family and I love it. We live in Sitka, Alaska and can’t get KFC so this is the next best thing.

  4. Love this recipe! My family loves this recipe! Did exactly what you have said, and turns out like KFC every time. Even better! Thank you! Love the coleslaw recipe as well!

  5. Colonel sanders pressure cooked the chicken then fried it
    Everyone knows that
    I just wanted to know how long he pressure cooked it
    Other than that omission, I can’t wait to try this recipe. I’m strarving

  6. I tried this recipe and I honestly have to say it’s nothing like KFC can’t understand why they would put it in a copycat category of KFC absolutely no resemblance to the original not even close. Wasn’t bad but nothing like KFC hate to say this but I think the kernal took this recipe to the grave. Lol

  7. recipe as is when using the MSG is way too salty, I leave out the salt use a third of the celery salt and use garlic powder rather than garlic salt and this makes a wonderful coating for everything from chicken to pork chops.

  8. The only kfc recipe i will ever keep doing, 5 stars without any doubt! Better than the kfc of elsewhere and way more savory! whoever ate it, testified to that, so thank you Sabrina, for giving us this recipe!

  9. The only kfc recipe i will ever keep doing, 5 stars without any doubt! Better than the kfc of elsewhere and way more savory! whoever ate it, testified to that, so thank you Sabrina, for giving us this recipe ?

  10. I’ve noticed a distinct onion smell on my fingers after eating KFC. I wondered if they either soaked the chicken in a buttermilk\onion mixture or if one of the ingredients in the dredge was onion powder.

  11. My wife is gluten free. I useda Krusteaz gf flour. My wife loved it. She has not have fried chicken like this in over 20 years. I use thighs only. I tweek the reciepe
    a little used cajun spice to pick it up a notch. The first batch is a little light in color but
    I’m putting it in the oven to keep the process going. I also use lard, like my grandma would have. I added apple cider vinegar to the milk an egg.

  12. You should use the MSG. It got a bad rap. We analyzed the original study at University. Turns out when they fed MSG to the rats, no amount that went through the digestive system caused any harm. Finally, they injected it straight into a vein. Yep, they mainlined rats. Do this with any of the other herbs and spices and they will cause harm as well. MSG causes no harm and makes the recipe. Look it up! Thanks for the recipe

  13. I’m going to try this recipe and maybe reduce the white pepper so it’s not so hot. I might like it by my wife won’t. Then I’m going to try to fix it in the Ninja Foodi, first using the pressure cook first and then the air crisp. I’ll probably do some experimenting to get it right.

      1. The original notes look sketchy, at best, with all capital T’s, usually meaning ‘Tablespoons’, which he confirmed in the interview (yes, I looked them up).
        It also mentioned ‘pressure cooking’ as a major KEY to KFC OR. BUT… I don’t want to buy, nor do I trust pressure cookers.
        But… I’ll trust your research & experimentation, when I try it.
        I’ve LOVED ‘KFC Original Recipe’, since I was a kid!!!
        Thanks for your help in tracking it down!

  14. Thank you Sabrina for this awesome recipe, it is almost perfect, I think that is as close as a mere human can get to KFC flavours. It is the best approximation that I have tried. I have just started looking at your other recipes and all that I can say is thank you for sharing your expertise with the world.

  15. Hi, Sabrina,
    My name is Mike and in the late 1960’s, I worked in a KFC restaurant in Southern Saskatchewan in Canada. Kurt, the owner trained me to cook. He used fresh chickens purchased from the local Hutterite Colony. We prepped the chickens by cutting them into 9 pieces, soaked in buttermilk, coated in a way similar to your description, marked the time in pencil on each lid of the 6 pressure cookers, and when 14 minutes expired, would remove the weight, release the steam and remove the crispy chicken with a screen ladle, placed on a rack & tray and placed in a warming oven to be served on demand. One chicken per pot. The crisps that remained were strained and used to make gravy.
    Hope this helps.
    Best to you in Sunny California,
    Mike in C-c-c-cold C-c-c-canada

  16. I see where the problem is with the recipe. The linked Chicago Tribune recipe of the 11 herbs and spices are listed in teaspoons (Ts) and Sabrina listed the ingredients as tablespoons. This explains why some folks feel it is too much paprika when the recipe calls for teaspoons NOT tablespoons.

    1. You are mistaken. If you read the entire Chicago Tribune article you would know that this question was raised by the testers, recipes were tested (ie with herbs/spices measured by teaspoons, and then by tablespoons), and the issue put to bed. The “T”s stand for tablespoons.

  17. THIS IS AMAZING!!! Spot on! Whole family loved it, even my picky kids! Best KFC recipe I’ve tried. Thank you!!

  18. I think KFC used a pressure cooker instead of the fryer to precook the chicken then freeze and ship it to its franchises. Franchisees then bring chicken to room temperature before putting chicken in fryer.

  19. I like how you dont “cook” talk. over my head..lol.
    I can understand all, you make it seen so simple. Usually with so many seasonings. I skip the recipe all together. I’d like to know how to get you cook books, some read novels, I read cook books. And your good, Thank you

  20. I followed the recipe exactly as it was written. Exact measurements, exact oil temp etc. And sorry to say, I wasn’t happy. The breading was so bland and did not crisp up at all. It was nothing close to KFC style chicken. Not gonna use it again. Chicken needs soaked with some seasoning, not in just plain buttermilk. Breading needs more salt and less flour.

    1. Hello Sarah, Im so sorry this recipe didn’t work for you. Thank you for the tips for this recipe as well. Hopefully a different recipe of mine will work better for you 🙂

    2. If you eat the chicken straight out of the fryer, the meat with taste bland. An important step is the warming oven as the chicken rests. You can replicate this by loosley covering the chicken in foil and letting rest in a warm oven 280F for 15min then outside the oven for 10min. As the meat rests it will suck in the flavour from the skin and coating. Also recommend a dash of vanilla in the buttermilk for that cake like flavour that kfc has

  21. I am going to oven bake in a pan with butter. Won’t be a perfect KFC but will be less greasy. No need to fear MSG. It got a bad reputation but research says not to worry about it.

  22. Hello Sabrina, this is actually not the KFC original recipe. I’ve been researching it for a long time and the 11 herbs and spices are coriander, savory, garlic, sage, cloves, ginger, white pepper, allspice, thyme, cayenne pepper, tellicherry black pepper. These are what people found in the original chicken sample when they performed laboratory experiments. What I don’t know is the measurement for each. I would be appreciated if you could try to clone with these ingredients and post it on this website. I’m not a chef so I don’t know what measurements to come up with.

    1. Hey Phillip

      I used your ingredients as much as I could, missing coriander, savory, for which I substituted Montreal Steak seasoning. ITS VERY CLOSE! THE KIDS LIKED IT EVEN MY 9 YO DAUGHTER!!!!!
      2 c flour
      1 tbsp salt
      1 tbsp thyme
      1 tbsp black, red pepper
      1 tbsp yellow mustard
      2 tbsp paprika
      2 tbsp garlic
      1 tsp sage
      1 tbsp cloves
      2 tbsp Montreal steak seasoning

      I think it could be the spicy just by adding chili powder (big in Thailand) or red/cayenne pepper. I didn’t use any of the Italian spices.

      Anyway, no leftovers! Everyone happy. The coriander and savory would zip it up a little, although I think the Montreal replaced the savory well. It’ll be fun to add some coriander and taste the difference.
      Certainly the Cloves and mustard made a difference, a nice one.

      Anyhow thanks. Let me know how yours turn out.
      It wasn’t as thick as KFC, maybe if I added an egg to the mix?

  23. I learned to boil the chicken in water first – 15 to 20 minutes until the pieces are nicely cooked inside.

    Place the pieces on a rack over a baking sheet and let cool for 20 minutes. I like to shake some spices on just as I let them cool, the skin soaks in the seasoning as the skin tightens.

    After the chicken has cooled (20min), Place into your buttermilk/egg wash. (Some people will use just hot sauce, so make what you like)

    Dredge into the flour/spice mixture, shake off excess and let it rest a few minutes on the baking sheet.

    Heat your oil in the pot – 350 degrees

    After about 15 minutes, start adding in the chicken, don’t crowd the pot. You need only Cook for 5 minutes or so until the breading is a pleasing color.

    This method’s design is 2 fold; the chicken is completely cooked, and the breading isn’t dark, burned, or displeasing in color. The overall taste is dependant on your seasonings

  24. Made it exactly as recipe says.
    Cooks up and tastes nothing like NZ kfc.
    It’s ‘alright’ but I wouldn’t go to the trouble again

  25. We did this for the first time. Although good, it was very salty. I would be cutting the salt in half next time.

  26. Sorry, but this tasted nothing close to KFC. Recipe followed exactly and quickly followed by wasted time and disappointed. I much preferred the copycat Pioneer Chicken recipe.

    1. Sorry it wasn’t a recipe you enjoyed. I’m glad you enjoyed the pioneer chicken one, that’s my favorite for nostalgic reasons!

  27. I thought 3tbs of white pepper sounded a lot so i halved it, but i was still tasting white pepper all night.

  28. What confuses me is that KFC claims to use only water, not buttermilk and egg: are they incorrect?

  29. Some of these comments are lying. They clearly have no idea, the chicken is not cooked first and there is no egg dip. The basket contains completely everything, flour, spice, powdered milk and powdered egg. There is one orginal recipe box and a zinger box. The chicken gets dipped into water then breaded. The zinger side (used for wings, crispy strips and zinger fillets) is double dipped with the basket water. Zingers usually deep fried in open pressure cooker and original is pressure cooked.

  30. No matter what I did, the pieces came out with a very dark coating..looked burnt. Tasted good but looked bad.

  31. not going to rate because I’ve yet to try the seasonings. right off, though, this recipe is wrong.

    my aunt worked at a local Kentucky Friend Chicken for years post divorce, and the big secret other than those spices, they pressure cook the chicken pieces FIRST. Then it coat up and FRY for that wonderful skin and flavor.

    Ever notice how the chicken just nearly falls apart? this is the pressure cooking. my understanding is that the chicken is purely cooked in pressure cooker, also, not partially then finished up in deep fryer.

    Secret to the bar-b-que’d chicken – if you recall that they previously had such a type of chicken, it’s the day old chicken pieces or whole part that are then slathered in the Kentucky Friend Chicken house sauce that was thick, bright translucently red and sweet w/ a touch of savory.

    1. You are mistaken. KFC uses large professional pressure fryers. The pressure cooking/frying happens all at once. There is no need to transfer the chicken to different cooking appliances.

  32. Could you do a video on this? I followed all the instructions above but it came out horrible. I really want to see how you did it.

  33. KFC Doesn’t Let The Chicken Sit Around On A Tray , It’s Fixed And Then Straight Into A Broaster/Pressure Fryer !!!

  34. I never leave reviews on recipes but this horrible. I wasted food. It was so hot my kids couldn’t eat it. I find it hard to believe that it was a tested recipe. Skip this one for sure!

  35. I have worked for KFC for a couple years. The key missing step from all the recipes for this is that Col. Sanders, and KFC Restaurants, presser cook the chicken in a Original is pressure cooker. The extra crispy is deep fried, but the original is pressure cooked. Also, the chicken is prepped in a basket that sets in the prep machine until it reaches 70. Then it is breaded, dipped in an ‘egg dip and breaded again. The extra crispy is breaded twice and put into a deep fryer until it’ done. The breading comes premixed and in a 50 pound bag. When the chicken is done right….

    1. I didn’t see your comment before saying the same thing about the pressure cooking of the chicken.

      I do recall that it sat breaded up (?) in a basket waiting for frying? I believe that was what they basket was used for – dumping the extra flour as I recall it being explained by my aunt.

    2. Just adding my two cents…I’m with Linda B., I worked for KFC as a teen and I remember the pressure frying and double breading too. I agree the pieces are much smaller than they used to be, and remember the center breast? Best piece of chicken evah! 🙂

  36. where do you find the powered buttermilk, and other powered ingredients?
    thanks so much for the KFC recipe.
    Julie Warren

    1. I get it off of Amazon. In the recipe card, the word buttermilk is in green and if you click on it, it’ll take you to the product. Hope this helps!

    2. You can find powdered buttermilk in almost any grocery store, on the baking isle. Walmart carries it.

  37. I grew up 30 miles as the crow flies, in Eastern Kentucky. I met Colonel Sanders several times. He was a sharp business man known for his love of young ladies.
    I remember him hitting on a date when I was in college in 79′ at Boone’s tavern in Berea.

    The only ingredients that really mattered were MSG and white pepper. Both very unique in those days. Every house wife in Kentucky knew it.

    That was not his secret. He used fresh farm raised chickens, A different experience from our modern ones, and a pressure cooler to fry them in. High quality consistent food.
    I remember the original chicken. It was nothing like today. The original was better than Popeye’s or Churches.

    John Y Brown had to pay him an extra million dollars to get him to stop going into the restaurants in Lexington and Louisville and screaming about the quality of the food.
    Literally no one one tasted original KFC after 1964

    1. Hi Greg, are saying you make 1963 KFC at home ? Do tell , and please use a very clear step by step . I remember the 70″ s KFC being crazy good, so if you can top that , I need to know how ! Or just the version you believe can make it taste very KFC like, that would make me happy, I mean not today’s KFC , that’s just grocery store fried chicken . looking forward to it and thanks in advance !

  38. I tried this recipe and was very careful to follow the recipe. The chicken looked great. However, it was very “hot”. There seems to be far too much pepper and maybe paprika. The result tasted more like a very hot version of Chester’s Chicken and in no way resembled the taste of KFC. I was very disappointed.

    1. The Reason Is In The Amount Of White Pepper In This !!! White Pepper Is A Lot Hotter Than Black Pepper , And A Little Goes A LONG Way !!!

  39. I have been experimenting with this recipe and what I have discovered is that for the amounts of spices listed if made with 2 cups of flour, the concentration of spices is far too high. I found the sweet spot is 5 cups flour to the list of spices in the above recipe.

  40. Neat.
    Today I tried a blind attempt to do the KFC recipe, and it was not bad at all. I used dried bread that I grounded in breadcrumbs, and I mixed pepper, Delhi curry powder and paprika in it. Then I covered my pieces of meat like you did, with flour, egg and my spiced breadcrumbs. I sprayed all the stuff with oil, and then I air fried all of it. Since it was my first try, I cooked at 160 °C for 30 minutes and then 200 °C for 10 minutes. At the same time I cooked tempura veggies and tempura potato cubes the same way. At my biggest surprise, especially considering it was air fried, it looked nice and the chicken was very tasty. Maybe I’ll try to reduce the cooking time, because 40 minutes is very long compared to 10 minutes in a deep fryer, and most probably a KFC expert won’t be happy with my mix, but it was nevertheless delicious. Hard to tell if it was healthier than deep fried, though, because I added the equivalent amount of a few spoons of oil on the chicken.

    I’ll try your spice mix next time, but not the buttermilk. I don’t see the need to soak the chicken. In case it’s too stiff, I can simply tenderize it with a rolling pin. Of course no MSG.

    Anyway, it works well with air fryers too.

  41. Ok, so I’ve been trying multiple fried chicken recipes for over 20+ years, and have attempted to duplicate every recipe under the sun from Paula Deen to KFC and everyone else, ever. Literally.

    I am NOT a professional chef, however I do know a whole lot of things and stuff and have catered many many things with tremendous success. I really pride myself on my various recipes, both borrowed from others and heirloom family secrets passed down for generations.

    This recipe I followed ‘to the Tee,’ per se, minus the Accent seasoning, aka MSG. That stuff, although often used in a lot of food, us not good for anyone at all. But, hey, that’s just me. Long story short, no. This recipe tasted nothing like KFC. At least not the KFC that I’ve ever tasted, and I’ve had it in multiple states, in many different kitchens; deep-fried and also using a pressure cooker, fry daddy, what have you. Slightly, just slightly… But alas, no uh uh.

    So, being the weirdo culinary foodie OCD perfectionist that I am, I threw in a few tweaks. I added a little cumin, salt-free off-brand seasoning ala Mrs. Dash-like stuff I literally just randomly picked up somewhere, a few shakes if poultry seasoning and of course used garlic POWDER, not garlic salt. I also added Louisiana Hot Sauce to the marinade, just a few dashes to make the marinade slightly pink in color. I used gallon-sized Ziploc bags and separated the chicken into 2 gallon bags and doubled the marinade recipe to accommodate for the massive amounts of chicken I fried, haha. I actually made this for Christmas dinner this year because my family just loves fried chicken, being the Yankees that have a southern cooking soul that we are. I also only used drums and thighs. White meat takes too long, in my opinion.

    I used canola oil, not vegetable oil, and in a cast iron pan/Dutch oven in small batches – max 4 pieces at a time, depending on the size of the chicken parts. Yes, very time consuming, but very much worth the time!

    Long story short, the chicken we had was absolutely amazing and everyone claimed it was the best I’ve ever made.

    Side note: add just a little more flour, maybe a half cup, so 2.5c. of flour instead of just 2c. flour. We also really enjoy using Crystal with garlic brand hot sauce.

    Enjoy!!! ??

  42. When I make friend chicken I only fry it for three minutes, then bake for 10-15 minutes, or else, if I were to fry for 12 – 15 minutes, the result would be a very dark, almost burned looking chicken. How do you keep your chicken from looking to dark?

    1. Well, I have been eating KFC for 57 years and this generation of KFC friend chicken and coleslaw and mashed potatoes and the biscuits is fake, nothing, like what it use to be!!!!!! KFC is still good and makes my mouth water but, back when I was young it was all made from real chickens running in the fields, no instant potatoes and package gravy no MSG was none back then!!! No, carrots in the slaw and was hand shredded cabbage with Mayo vinegar sugar and black pepper!!! Also, biscuits had real butter, real lard!!! all in all, KFC is fake now but, hey it’s still memories of the good old days!!!

  43. It’s actually teaspoon, not tablespoon.
    1) 2/3 Teaspoon of Salt
    2) 1/2 Teaspoon of Thyme
    3) 1/2 Teaspoon of Basil
    4) 1/3 Teaspoon of Oregano
    5) 1 Teaspoon of Celery Salt
    6) 1 Teaspoon of Black Pepper
    7) 1 Teaspoon of Dried Mustard
    8) 4 Teaspoons of Paprika
    9) 2 Teaspoons of Garlic Salt
    10) 1 Teaspoon of Ground Ginger
    11) 3 Teaspoons of White Pepper

    Mix the given amount of herbs and spices in a small bowl (No Flour)

    Cut down the chicken into pieces, pour the whole spice mixture, and coat them evenly in a large bowl

    Mix 2 cups of milk and 2 whole eggs and pour over the chicken

    Cover the bowl and leave to marinate in a refrigerator for 12-24 hours

    Mix the same given amount of herbs and spices with 2 cups of all purpose white flour

    Take out each chicken piece and coat evenly in the seasoned flour

    Dip each chicken piece back into the milk and egg mix and coat it in the seasoned flour once more

    Heat a frying oil to 350F and fry for 10-12 minutes

    1. I thought so!!! After seeing the original note on-line, it was ambiguous, as to tablespoons or teaspoons, with the use of capital ‘T’s’ throughout the recipe.

  44. I don’t know if there was any alterations in the UK KFC recipe. A few year ago I tried replicating the recipe. Basically I agree with all of the herb’s and spices, however I can’t remember using ginger as I don’t like the taste. My method did not include buttermilk as there is not much call for this in the UK.
    First I divided the chicken into same sized pieces and lightly floured them.
    Secondly I made a simple batter as used by fish and chip shops, when the batter was a uniform consistency.
    Third I tossed the herb’s etc into the batter. Note I didn’t measure any of these out I relied on smell before adding the herb’s etc to the batter, I used all dried herbs so any spare can be kept In reserve in a separate pot.
    I then dipped each piece of chicken into the batter and fried until golden brown about 10 – 15 minutes.
    Each batch of fried chicken was placed in a baking dish when fried. After the last of the chicken was placed in a baking tray it was baked for around 35 minutes at 200 C.
    This recipe came from a very old cooking book for a Scottish fried chicken recipe, I was totally unaware that fried chicken was a traditional Scottish dish going back a few hundred years. The result was delicious and identical in taste to the original KFC, in other words Colonel Sanders only came across this recipe and gave it a lot of hype, but he did make this available to many satisfied customers via his franchise. I am searching my loft in the hope that I still have the original recipe. Please note that I am not a chef or cook, I am single and had to learn to cook for myself, as such I don’t measure ingredients basically chuck all that is required and cross my fingers. At my second attempt I did the same but let the chicken remain in the batter this enhanced but didn’t change the flavour.

  45. Just finished eating and it was very similar in taste. Of course, in my opinion, no one can make the same thing at home without professional kitchen units even if we had the exact recipe.
    The thing that didn’t actually go well for me was the crust color, too dark, and the spiciness. Even though so much pepper,I used 2 tb sweet and 2 tb hot paprika, it did not had that spicy kick. I believe there must be a chilly spice or something like that in the original.
    Last, I also think tb is for teaspoons . Had enough spice to cover a couple of more batches.

    1. It’s actually teaspoon, not tablespoon.
      1) 2/3 Teaspoon of Salt
      2) 1/2 Teaspoon of Thyme
      3) 1/2 Teaspoon of Basil
      4) 1/3 Teaspoon of Oregano
      5) 1 Teaspoon of Celery Salt
      6) 1 Teaspoon of Black Pepper
      7) 1 Teaspoon of Dried Mustard
      8) 4 Teaspoons of Paprika
      9) 2 Teaspoons of Garlic Salt
      10) 1 Teaspoon of Ground Ginger
      11) 3 Teaspoons of White Pepper
      6) 1 Teaspoon of Celery Salt
      7) 1 Teaspoon of Black Pepper
      8) 1 Teaspoon of Dried Mustard
      9) 4 Teaspoons of Paprika
      10) 2 Teaspoons of Garlic Salt
      11) 1 Teaspoon of Ground Ginger
      12) 3 Teaspoons of White Pepper

      Mix the given amount of herbs and spices in a small bowl (No Flour)

      Cut down the chicken into pieces, pour the whole spice mixture, and coat them evenly in a large bowl

      Mix 2 cups of milk and 2 whole eggs and pour over the chicken

      Cover the bowl and leave to marinate in a refrigerator for 12-24 hours

      Mix the same given amount of herbs and spices with 2 cups of all purpose white flour

      Take out each chicken piece and coat evenly in the seasoned flour

      Dip each chicken piece back into the milk and egg mix and coat it in the seasoned flour once more

      Heat a frying oil to 350F and fry for 10-12 minutes

      1. Hello,

        I noticed some herbs and spices are duplicated in the above. Is that a mistake? For instance you have 1 tsp celery salt twice along with other duplicates? Please advise

  46. This did not work for me at all.The breading was wafer thin and I double-dipped it.

    I’ve saved the leftover flour for pan fried fish, but it is nowhere near robust enough for chicken.

    Taste was fine, certainly not KFC, though.

  47. Halved the salt as plenty of celery and garlic salt. It was amazing. I wok fried for 5 mins then put in the oven to cook through 30 minutes Husband said it was better to Han kfc

  48. Way, waaaaay too salty. Triple the amount of flour to everything else and lower the temperature of the oil. Start hot and then lower a bit. 15 minutes at high temperature will fossilise the coating.

  49. I tried this today using soy curls instead of chicken. I do eat a wide variety of spices and cook many ethnic foods, so I’m always up for spice in my food, but this recipe seemed to have a ratio of too much spice to flour. Maybe it was due to the fact that soy curls are a lot smaller than a piece of chicken and would therefore have a much higher ratio of batter to soy curl? Not sure. It tasted ok, but not at all like KFC.

  50. There is waaaaaay too much pepper in this recipe. Maybe American pepper is weak compared to Australian pepper, but for us it was almost inedible because of the overuse of pepper. Didn’t taste like KFC either. Don’t waste your time, just go buy some actual KFC.

  51. There’s also a LOT of salt in this recipe. Not only just salt alone, but also two heavily salty ingredients. Since I’m afraid of oversalting I cut the salt in half and I replaced “X salt” items with “X” only without the salt.

  52. I’m so excited to find this recipe. Our family had to go gluten-free recently. I made this recipe using gluten-free flour and it turned out awesome!

  53. Hi Sabrina,
    You only ask for 1 cup buttermilk. How can you soak 10 pieces of chicken in 1 cup of buttermilk? Even if you soak them one at a time in a small bowl it will take 200-300 minutes and you’ll run out of buttermilk. Are you sure you don’t use more cups of buttermilk?
    Can’t wait to fry up this recipe soon, but would like advice on the buttermilk quantity.
    Thanks a lot!

  54. I can’t find any buttermilk anywhere…. is there anything else I can do or use??
    thanks, I love this recipe, my families fav!

    1. You can always make your own by mixing 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar. Let it sit for 10 minutes before using. Good luck!

          1. I just used it in an air fryer tonight. Just make sure there aren’t any dry spots before you put it in because some of the flour didn’t crisp like in an actual fryer. I also added half a tablespoon of onion powder to mine. Pretty good.

        1. I just tried today, and yes, it cooked very well in my air fryer. But I didn’t use any milk nor liquid. Only flour, eggs and breadcrumb.
          My air fryer doesn’t have any cold spot so far I know, but I cooked slowly the pieces at 160 °C for 30 minutes, and then 10 minutes at 200 °C to make it crispy, not without juggling the pieces a bit. Maybe I can reduce the time a bit for the slow cook.

    2. I’ve learned of using cream of tart seasoning to make substitute buttermilk. I think 1 tbsp per cup of whole milk and mix together and it will get thick like buttermilk and tasted close ?

  55. I only thawed 2 thighs for dinner, so I guesstimated, the amounts for the ingredients. They came out, very good. Thank you.

  56. Sabrina
    Would the result be different if I used a pressure cooker instead of a deep fryer.
    I know KFC used the pressure cooker. (at least they did way back around 1980 or so)
    I do not know if it was to do with flavor or if KFC just used pressure cookers because the chicken cooked faster.
    So I guess my question is:
    Does the pressure cooking change the flavor? Or the texture? Or anything else?
    Mel Heinrichs

    1. You’re right about it cooking faster as it breaks down the collagen faster but it also allows less moisture to be generated. I don’t think it would change the flavor though. If you decide to try, I’d love to know how it works out for you and if you notice any other changes. Thanks!

  57. Although the ingredients seem to be correct, the measurements are wrong. They should all be measured in teaspoons not Tablespoons. There is no buttermilk or eggs for original recipe only extra crispy. Dip in ice cold water before dunking in flour mix. Since you can’t duplicate the actual fry process at home. The best you can do is to deep fry in an open pressure cooker for 2 minutes. Make sure oil is between 350 and 360. Then close pressure cooker for 10 minutes. Then release the pressure and remove chicken. From start to finish cook time is 13 min. If you include the time it takes to release the pressure from the cooker.

  58. I ran 23 kfc stores. …. I used to mix the flour in cement mixers…. your close but some of your procedures are wrong… the chicken never went in any milk or eggs… only was warmed in water then breaded….. shake off the excess flour… deep fry temps at 375 in a pressure cooker and browned for 2-3 minutes then capped sealed and cooked for 12 minutes… Pepsi co played with all the recipes and messed things up!

    1. I pressure fried at 350 degrees in a henny penny for 11 mins and it came out way to dark. The skin was over cooked but the meat was spot on. Would it be better to fry at 275 or 300 for a longer period of time to stop the coating from over browning??
      if so for how long and at what temp ??

  59. Hi Sabrina,

    I want to try this recipe tomorrow after work. Do you recommend soaking in the morning then frying in the evening, or should I limit the buttermilk and egg soak to 30 minutes?
    Thank you.

      1. I have been working on flavor and texture and have found if I add my brine and a teaspoon of the herb mixture to a pressure cooker and pressure cook chicken for 6 minutes it takes longer by time you release pressure and get top off and then let chicken cool a few minutes then you can dip into the buttermilk and bread chicken then deep fry for 2 minutes and you are close to the original chicken.i am going to work on spices they seem a little off to me

  60. so a little different but as i’m a vegetarian i tried this with quorn fillets instead of chicken. i must say im very impressed with the flavour of this recipie, i left out the dried mustard just due to not having any and next time would use a little less pepper i think but all in all a very nice recipie. not fussed that it’s not 100% kfc flavour but it is still a very tasty recipie in my opinion

  61. Yes can I get good recipe for me to cook dinners n bake dinners pot lucks on how to make popcorn chicken

  62. I gave this recipe 0 stars, its crap. Does not taste anywhere close to KFC, I wasted my time & spices on this so called “good” recipe. I don’t know & don’t care where the author got this recipe from, but it does not work. I realize no one has the real KFC recipe, except the owner of course, but this recipe is absolute crap, don’t waste your time or spices on this. I’ll stick to my own pan fried chicken from now on. Should have read the reviews first before trying this disappointment of a recipe.

  63. The smaller chicken pieces cooked through well but the larger pieces were raw in the middle,Yep without the msg it still didnt cut the mustard for me,maybe I’ll add msg just to see how far off we are in terms of the taste,cheers.

  64. The original KFC shops would precook the chicken in a pressure cooker first then coat and deep fry quickly to have nice crunchy tasty coating.

    1. Not True. I was a cook at KFC. from freezer to warm water then into flour. Then into pressure cooker. vented at like 12 mins. Hung to rest above grease after a few mins. then on to racks and into warmers. I will say this was in ’83 when I was a cook for a few years.

      1. I agree with Walt. I worked for KFC in 85. In fact, my boss was named Walt (Walt, is that you – was Covina, CA?). The pressure cookers also had a deep fryer component (all one unit) so the chicken was both fried and pressure cooked in one run. Then hung above the grease, then on to the racks and into the Crescor unit. FYI – the gravy was made from scratch using the flour bits from the fryers that would drop down into this catch spot along with some of the grease. Biscuits also scratch made as well as the cole slaw.

    2. I agree with Walt. I cooked for KFC way back in about 1969 or so. Walt’s description of the cooking procedure is pretty much exactly as I remember.

      1. You’re both spot on! I worked there in the early 2000s and that’s exactly how it was done then too.

        1. Also agree. Worked in a KFC through high school and college. KC–I remember having to make everything. Coleslaw was a mess to clean up after grinding 🙁

  65. We were so excited to try this recipe. BUT it was NOT any where near the KFC chicken that we buy. We followed the recipe exactly and fried it in a deep fryer. So who ever gave you this recipe I don’t think was not giving you the real recipe. I don’t know what KFC chicken others are eating that makes them think this is the real recipe or even close to it . I would not waste any of the plethora of spices to try this. It was ok, but I am sorry I did not use my grandmothers wonderful southern fried chicken recipe instead. : (

    1. Original recipe chicken needs to be cooked in a pressure fryer at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. Heat the pressure fryer to 350. Put the chicken in larger pieces first. Make sure all the pieces are covered in oil. Stir gently after 2 minutes. Cap the lid and pressure fry at 15 psi for an additional 13 minutes (2.5 lb of chicken). Slowly release the pressure (be careful). You can put the fryer in cold water instead. That will automatically lower the pressure. Open the lid. Rack the chicken. Let the chicken drip for 2 minutes. Enjoy!!

      1. Hi RJG
        I remember cooking KFC back in the 80’s and your are absolutely right. We cooked the chicken in a pressure cooker. I have some questions for you though.
        Did you by any chance use an Instant Pot for this? Would this this work in an Instant Pot. Do you know if the oil vapors would clog up the relief valve on the Instant Pot? If so, would one be able to clean the relief valve to an as new condition? I would love to try this recipe in my Instant Pot but I am worried about ruining the pot.

  66. This is good fried chicken, but it no where near KFC’s chicken. If you really want a KFC taste, look elsewhere.

    1. Agree with Roger. I’m not sure how recently people here have tried KFC, but while this has hints of OR, it’s not in the same zip code.

  67. I don’t know if this is an exact replication of KFC’s 11 herbs and spices – mainly because I don’t eat there any more due to the excessive saltiness of their chicken – but boy, this is very close to what I remember! Definitely a keeper recipe.

    AND if you’re trying to cut back on your sodium intake you can adjust it to taste. You can substitute celery seed and garlic powder, just reduce those measurements by about 1/2 to 2/3. But I did use the MSG!

  68. I made this tonight for my family and it was very good. Really close to the original recipe. I followed the recipe but took others suggestions to halve the white pepper and I reduced the paprika to 3 Tbsp. Also I used 1 Tbsp salt and 1 1/2 Tbsp garlic powder. I used bone in skin on chicken thighs. I did not marinate the chicken pieces. Instead I first put them in the flour and coated them very well and got the flour mixture in all the nooks and crannies. Then I dipped them in the butter milk and egg mixture and back to the flour again for another coat. I immediately put them in my deep fryer at about 300 degrees and cooked for 9 minutes. I had to cook them one at a time so after cooking I put them in a 225 degree oven on a cookie sheet to keep warm and also to make sure I got 165F through out the thigh. So here is my verdict. The skin and coating texture and crispiness was spot on like the original. The meat inside was cooked thru and juicy. The taste was great and really close to original recipe. However, the ginger, white pepper and garlic stood out a lot. So my next batch I plan on reducing white pepper to 1 Tbsp, ginger to 1 Tsp, garlic powder to 1 Tbsp and increase black pepper to 1.5 Tbsp. I also used the MSG as suggested in recipe. Overall this is a keeper. Make adjustments to your taste level and enjoy! Thank you for sharing!

  69. For someone who has cooked a couple million pieces of the Original Recipe there are a couple of differences. O.R. has always been cooked under pressure even back when Harland did it. Until technology started catching up, we used freeze dried milk and fresh eggs. Never buttermilk. Buttermilk did not come into the restaurants until the making of biscuits when they replaced the dinner rolls. Also, we just coated the chicken in the milk & egg dip to coat it. We didn’t marinate anything except for the Extra Crispy and that recipe change multiple times.

    1. I worked as a cook at KFC in the ’80s. we never saw milk. I now assume it was powdered and in the flour mix. We thawed in warm water then into flour then into pressure cooker.
      Whats the process now?

    1. Nope. Original Recipe was never brined overnight. Chicken went straight from freezer to flour/water mixture to pressure cooker. Extra-crispy chicken was brined in a tumbler that I believe took around 45 minutes and was a sloppy mess when retrieved out of the tumbler. But it was never brined overnight.

  70. KFC perfected the use of the pressure fryer for making their fried chicken. Is that the same as a pressure cooker. I want to try making it authentically rather than a deep fryer or or regular fry pan.

        1. KFC doesn’t even taste like KFC anymore. Worked there in my teens and today’s chicken taste’s nothing like the original when we cooked in individual pressure cooker pots.

    1. Yes. The difference is they use a pressure cooker to fry their chicken. Seals in the juices and flavor.

  71. I followed this recipe yesterday and have to say its pretty dam close to KFC, I did change the flour to 1 cup of 12 a cup of corn flour and 12 cup of rice flour to get a little more crispness ( Worked well) , I took advice from reviews and cut Black and White pepper to 12 tablespoon of Black Pepper and only one tablespoon of White pepper, I also cut down on the salt ( Personal Choice) to just a 1 tablespoon ( I use pink salt living here in India)

    This recipe in my experience is great, the taste is as close as I have been able to come to replicating KFC at home . The family loved it.

    1. Totally agree…I live in the Caribbean and it is all about highly seasoned food,tried this recipe and the family loved loved loved it.

  72. As a teenager, (and I’m now 70) I worked for KFC and we always pressure cooked the chicken in oil. I don’t remember (go figure, ha) the oil temperature or the pressure that we cooked the chicken in but do remember the timers were set to 14 minutes. Do you happen to know that procedure, temperature, or pressure?
    This recipe is quite good but I would like to try the real original method of cooking.
    Thank you…..

  73. Many will think im mad here but u need add a half tbsp of custard powder to the mix ….in the eighties on the packaging in kfc it actually stated it contained custard powder then had ingredients of custard powder in brackets …. my uncle worked there for years just my two cents

  74. Thanks, I’m going to give it a try. I had KFC with the Colonel on the lawn of his mansion in Atlanta in 1967. KFC sponsored our group that summer. Gave us 5000 coupons for 3 piece meals. 🙂 We ate KFC for breakfast, lunch and dinner 17 days in a row to save money.

  75. I remember in the 60’s when we used to purchase the original fried chicken and it was the best chicken I had eaten. Ritz’s Drive-In fried chicken in the 60’s on the Westside of San Antonio came in a close second to KFC.

  76. I didn’t omit ANY ingredients. The 1st time I made it, deep frying at 350° slightly burned it. It would’ve been more burnt if I didn’t take it out when I noticed. The 2nd time I made it, I set the temp to 275° as suggested by a previous reviewer and it turned out perfectly. It took me back to when I was a child and KFC’s chicken was truly original. It doesn’t taste the same as it used to and for that, I am truly grateful to you for sharing this recipe. Thanks again!

  77. I have just now found your website and am enjoying exploring it. I would like to try this recipe. Just a question though I’m asking you. In general, can spices like garlic, celery, or onion salts be changed to the powder spices for health reasons without affecting the outcome of a recipe?

    1. Certainly! However, you will want to use smaller amounts of the powder. Seasoning salts use a ratio, for example garlic salt is 4:1 Salt to Garlic Powder. This also means less salt in the overall dish if you omit.

  78. Hello Sabrina!
    1) Can this chicken be baked in oven rather than deep frying?
    2) For extra crispy (especially if baked), what do you recommend adding to ingredient list? cornstarch or something else, and how much?
    Thanks so much; love your recipes!

  79. Thank you I’ll try this. also don’t forget KFC uses a pressure cooker to cook the chicken they cook it at 12 pounds for 10 mins. Have fun.

    The last fried chicken I made had 1-2 tsp of chili powder in it and I thought that was really tasty so try that sometime. I also used 1/3 pulverized crackers 1/3 flour and 1/3 bread crumbs. Not kfc but I was happy with it. I also discovered if you dredge the chicken in the flour and then squeeze it to push the breading in more you get the kfc like crunchy ridges!

  80. I used the recipe, it’s perfect. However, I always liked the extra crispy so I added 1 tbsp. Of cornstarch and 11/2 tsp. Of baking powder to the dredge, voila, extra crispy. It’s awesome. Thanks for the recipe.

  81. I made this chicken recipe. I followed the instructions exactly, including the MSG and the paprika. My family loved the chicken they thought it was delicious but none of them thought it taste like KFC original recipe. The funny thing is I thought that it tasted a lot like the KFC original and it was very good. I will definitely make it again but maybe I will use a little bit extra of each of the spices to give it more of a KFC Flavour

  82. Omg, was this ever pretty close to KFC!! The best KFC copycat recipe I’ve tried yet!!!! I’d give 10 stars if I could!!!

  83. A little disappointed that animal cruelty wasn’t on your list of reasons of why to make KFC chicken at home. It’s the reason I searched for a copycat recipe in the first place, and I would imagine why many search. There are chickens that aren’t factory farmed that live happy healthy lives right up until being killed for food, and as a conscientious animal-eater (I don’t believe the terms are necessarily mutually exclusive), I’m happy to spend a little more at the grocery store to ensure that my diet isn’t causing excessive suffering. In addition, MSG has a bad rap, but it’s largely undeserved, whereas animal cruelty goes widely ignored. It’s better to be educated as to real facts than to parrot “talking points” that you feel the mainstream will grab onto. Just something to chew on. 😉

  84. This was delicious! I would probably halve the amount of white pepper, as it was a bit too prominent. I pressure fried in my Wearever Chicken Bucket fryer, and left to drain on a rack over a tray on low heat in the oven. Damn close to KFC!!! I also used msg, as I don’t believe it causes any harm whatsoever. Thanks for the awesome recipe!!!

  85. Can’t wait to try this recipe! Thank you so much. Thanks to everyone for their tips as well!!!!

  86. Instead of using pieces I cut up some breasts and did tenders (I’ve always wondered why KFC tenders aren’t coated in the 11 herbs and spices). My kids and I thought our dinner was great.

  87. I worked for KFC and ran the kitchen solo. We used lard, not oil, and the original recipe was cooked in a pressure cooker called a Henny Penny. This was back in the 80’s. When I took a part time job for Christmas in 2006 I quit after the second day. Nothing is from scratch now… everything is in kits. I remembered making the biscuits from scratch and loving it.

    1. Barbara, KFC Biscuits are delicious. Since you worked back in the 80’s and made those biscuits from scratch…how about sharing that recipe. 🙂

  88. This recipe was delicious and I was wondering is there anyway to make this recipe in the extra crispy kfc chicken instead of just regular?

    1. I haven’t tested it that way yet but I’ll add it to my list. Thanks for the suggestion. I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

  89. I want to thank you and also correct you on this recipe. The spice mix in my opinion is right on the mark but the cooking process is way off. I worked for a local KFC for a while back and they do not use buttermilk or any other type of marinade/pre-breading technique. All that is done is that the seasoning comes in big bags already mixed and we were to mix it with flour at a 4 to 1 ratio. Then all that is done before frying is that the cut chicken is dunked in water to get rid of the blood and then held up above the water in the basket for a count of 10 and then just dumped into the seasoned flour mix. Then it was evenly coated with the excess shaken off and then trayed up to be put in the broasters. For the extra crispy the chicken after being breaded was then tossed back into the basket and then dunked back into the water and then dumped back into the flour for a second coat of breading. Also the extra crispy was then cooked in an open deep fryer and not the broasters like the original recipe was.

  90. I made it last night for the first time. Actually my 1st time ever deep frying chicken and it turned out pretty good. I made it without omitting anything to see if it would really taste KFC-ish. It was hard to tell because for the deep frying time specified, was too long so the crust was too crispy and dark. Plus, she didn’t specify whether to close the lid or leave it open. I closed it at first but it seemed to be getting too hot so I opened it. I was so anxious about which way to do it, I went back & forth and watched but it’s hard to see it when it’s submerged in boiling oil. Other than that it was fine. I’ll try it again with my own adjustments and let you know the differences. Thank you for sharing this coveted recipe.

  91. I made this last night as baked chicken instead of fried – used just the spices to coat boneless thigh pieces and drizzled avocado oil on top. It was delicious and a big hit with the kids! They commented on how great it smelled and how they didn’t miss the batter. I omitted MSG, went easy on paprika, black and white pepper and could have done with less salt, but still loved the flavor and aroma. It was a bit like my favorite Japanese fried chicken powder. Thank you for the recipe!

  92. I used this recipe last night and I had to fry a lot of chicken! I doubled the amts of all the ingredients and as one guest told me “This chicken is Off the chain!” I will use this recipe every time I fry chicken.

  93. Just created this recipe, followed your every instruction but substituted vegan goujons as an alternative to the chicken and it was absolutely delicious! Thanks so much for sharing.

  94. Made once but didn’t have all the spices, it was still really good! Making it again with the spices as written and my kitchen smells just like KFC!!!

  95. the pepper used in KFC is thellicherry pepper – kerala not paprika and oil they use in KFC store soybean oil

  96. This recipe is nice but the problem is you can’t deep fry chicken for 15 minutes and expect a golden brown piece of chicken reduces the temp to 275 it takes longer but your chicken is cooked not burnt you can use the oven also 325 till golden brown and cooked

    1. Thank you! I wish I would’ve read this before I made it but that’s what I get for forgetting to read these 1st. I will use this info the next time I make it. BTY, is the deep fryer lid supposed to be opened or closed? Thanks again.

  97. Hi Sabrina, I was pleased to find this recipe, and all the background you provided was very interesting. Do you think this recipe could be made in an air fryer oven following the cook time for regular fried chicken?

    1. I’ve not tested it so I’m not sure but if you decide to try, I’d love to know how it turns out. Thanks!

  98. I have researched a lot of KFC duplicate recipes, and this is, by far, the best one. Honest and detailed. Thank you Sabrina. I love your candor.

  99. I have read some recipes for fried chicken that call for peanut oil. Is there a big difference from vegetable oil? I am going to make this recipe tonight for the first time

  100. I followed the recipe to the letter and it was incredibly salty. ( I put 2 Tablespoons of salt plus the other celery & garlic salt’s as per the recipe). 5 to 6 Tablespoons of various salt types is way too much. Perhaps it should say Teaspoons? If I attempt to make this fried chicken again I would dramatically reduce the amount of the salt so that I can taste the other herbs and spices.

    1. Probably less salt in this receipt then the original. Just adjust the amount of coat and it rocks.

  101. Hello, I am writing from Brazil.
    The temperature of the oil to fry the chicken pieces is in degrees Fahrenheit?

  102. I tried this recipe, and it’s not even close to tasting like KFC chicken. It’s good, don’t get me wrong; but the same as what you get from KFC? No way. I give it three stars only because it does make decent fried chicken.

    1. I do know that the original recipe has tarragon in it, and i don’t see any recipe’s with that in it.

  103. I made this recently and I would agree to take it a bit easier on the paprika! Mine had a tinge of firey spice right to the back of the throat while eating. I thought the recipe was pretty close. I used an air fryer also and did not marinade the chicken. I will definitely marinate next time to see if it helps. I had too much breading stick to the chicken so even though the chicken was cooked I had sections of floured spice still powdery. I didn’t add the msg either so maybe I didn’t give it the full go. Excellent recipe though!

    1. White pepper is hotter than black but is less complex with fewer flavor notes. You can usually find it at Target, Walmart or even Amazon. Hope this helps!

  104. Though this makes adequate fried chicken it’s nowhere near being a copy-cat recipe. It doesn’t even come close to tasting the same. I will have to keep looking.

  105. HOLY WHITE PEPPER BATMAN!!I just made this tonight and ALL we could taste was white pepper. The other Ingredients were spot on. My recommendation would be to take the white pepper down to 1 tablespoon. 3 was WAY too much!

    1. Agreed! I just posted the same, perhaps teaspoons would have been better. Now reading through comments to see other responses for the same.

      1. same here. the spice mix smelled great, but now I’m looking at a batch of fried chicken so spicy I have to pull off the breading just so I can eat it!

        Way too much white pepper!

  106. This is my go to fried chicken recipe we love it. Your site is fab. Gonna try your chili recipe today. Thanks so much. ?

  107. The original KFC recipe called for cooking in a pressure cooker using lard. The oil was changed after every 5th or 6th batch.

  108. Made this tonite instead of buying kfc. WOW! Tastes just like it. Sorry, that statement is incorrect. Tastes nothing like it, this is MILES better.. Made a big batch, whole family agreed this is better than kfc. Will defo make this again, is a total hit in our house. Magnificent recipe. For those about to eat this, i salute you x

  109. This recipe was SO delicious! I had to substitute turmeric for the dry mustard (because I didn’t have any) and believe it or not, I actually substituted coconut-almond milk for the buttermilk, and it still turned out wonderful! I’m definitely bookmarking this one, AND sharing it with my mom! Thanks for posting it! ?

  110. This was the 2nd recipe I made from your website. I made it for my brother-n-law, my husband and my precious daughter. It was a hit! They loved it! It was so wonderful sitting around the table with all of them really enjoying their dinner and having a great time being together. I would recommend this to everyone I see!

  111. I worked at KFC when I was 15 (many years ago) back before the Colonel passed. This is the first recipe I have seen which even comes close to the original. At KFC, the chicken was soaked in their milk batter, sometimes overnight, then placed into the flour/spice mixture, as this recipe indicates . The only difference between the two cooking methods is KFC had fryers that were also pressure cookers. They would begin the frying process to brown the chicken and would then put the cooker’s lid on and pressure cook the meat, I believe for 20 or 25 minutes, in the hot oil. That final step really is what “makes” KFC’s chicken stand out.

  112. Are you sure there should be 3 tablespoons of white pepper in this recipe? I used one and it was more than enough!

  113. One thing that should have been really noticeable from the original KFC is the way you cooked it. You put the oil in a pressure cooker, when it reaches temperature add chicken and fry it, stirring as it browns, for a couple minutes. Then put lid on the cooker and cook under pressure for 15 or 20 minutes. I cooked many, many pots of original and then my husband I went around teaching other managers how to use the big pressure cookers, that cooked up to 180 pcs of chicken at a time, when they were installed in each store. Also the seasoning came in a small package that was added to
    25 pounds of flour. Not the ingredients that are hard to figure out but the amounts.

  114. I made this recipe for dinner. I used 9 chicken thighs & used all the spices, including Accent & the 4 T. of paprika. It was absolutely amazing! Thanks for posting this recipe.

  115. Many cooks confuse or “mix-up” celery salt with celery powder and garlic salt with garlic powder.
    I followed the recipe as printed and I found it too salty.
    I modified the recipe to use celery powder and garlic powder….and it was perfect!

    1. Hi Ron. Unlikely you’ll see this since it’s 4 years on! Did you adjust the volume of garlic powder and celery powder when you adjusted from Garlic salt and celery salt?

  116. I was really looking forward to making this recipe! Unfortunately it did not taste anything like KFC and the cooking time almost burnt my drum sticks, the temperature left them over cooked on the outside but any less they were raw… was very disappointed

  117. I did the recipe almost to a T but I went for the extra 1/2 TB paprika and I didn’t have white pepper so I just added an extra tb of black pepper. I loved KFC back in the day but this was so salty is was almost unedible. It was super crunchy and could of been the best thing ever but next time I’m only doing 1/2 tb celery Salt and 1/2 tb garlic salt and no regular salt. I can salt it after if needed but I’ll be retaining 5 pounds of water for the next week after eating this.
    I could taste the layers of those 11 herbs and spices but this was way overboard. If anything do a sample first. The wife agreed as well it was over the top salty but so crunchy it was still edible.

  118. So far all the recipes I have found on the net for KFC chicken are way off. Use poultry seasoning instead of basil, oregano, etc. and powdered chicken broth instead of msg.

  119. I added 1 small change & that was 1 cup of potato flour as well. I increased the herbs by 1/2 so that the recipe spice ratio stayed the same, the potato flour makes the chicken so crispy & light. Fabulous recipe that is now everyone’s favourite so thank you so much for sharing it.

  120. Having seen a copy (published on Pintrist) of the original recipe found there is no MSG in any form, no buttermilk , milk or eggs used.
    I’m sure that your version of the chicken is very nice, but it is not a true copy of the original recipe published

  121. This looks amazing! Hubby and I have been trying to crack “the code” for years, but we will try this most definitely! Thank you for sharing this!

  122. There was another man who put out a youtube with this same recipe, and he fried the chicken for 1 1/2 minutes in the oil, then baked it the rest of the way in an oven for 1 hour at 350 degrees…he used 4 eggs with 1/4 cup of half and half for extra crispy and 2 eggs and 1 cup of milk or half and half for original recipe..when chicken came out he foil vented it for 15 min. I havent tried it yet, but I noticed people on here said it burned immediatle

  123. This recipe was really great!
    I like the crunchy KFC, so I floured the chicken with 1/2 the quantity of herbs and spices. I dipped in egg and milk( I did not have buttermilk, but could have made it:just lazy) ,then coated in breadcrumbs and cornflakes ( whizzed in a food processor) with the other 1/2 of the herbs and spices. I rested chicken in the fridge for a couple of hours. I did not add MSG.( gives me the shakes, headaches, thirst etc) . What I liked about it doing it this way is that you get the flavour pretty quick. And if you are looking to replicate a world renowned recipe, you WANT TO to get that flavour pretty quick. The mental capabilities of humans and their memory is pretty exceptional. With food ,colour, texture. Any anomaly will be detected in an early stage.
    Thank you so much. Love this recipe.xx

  124. I followed the recipe (almost) exactly, (I used all chicken legs instead of cutting up one). However, when I fried it, the breading started to burn and and turn dark brown/black before even 10 minutes were up. I had a fryer/candy thermometer reading 350°F the entire time.

    I used a large pot 3/4 filled with canola oil.

    What am I doing wrong?

    1. It sounds like it’s a tempature issue….maybe the pieces were too big or the tempature changed too much once the chicken was in the oil. So sorry that happened.

  125. So should it be Garlic salt or garlic powder? I notice one comment you replied that garlic salt and powder are two different things which are true.. seems like a lot of salt I just wanted to clarify. Is it really all that salt or should it be powder?

  126. It was good but it did not taste like Kentucky Fried Chicken. There are dozens of these recipes out there that claim to be “copycat Kentucky Fried Chicken.” I haven’t found one yet that tastes like Kentucky Fried Chicken.

    1. I totally concur, this tastes nothing like KFC, KFC has a very slight sweetness and none of the above would add that, KFC is such a wonderful taste and i’d so love to even get half close to it, fingers crossed one day……
      Have given three stars as it is still tasty, thanks for sharing.

  127. I made this last night for my family and it was fantastic – absolute perfection, tastes just like kfc. I’m so happy I found this thanks for sharing.

  128. I tried making a keto version of this. I subbed almond flour for the white flour and I baked it. It was really good, but a little peppery for me. Do you think maybe it was the change in flour. I thought of reducing the white pepper and paprika to 2 tablespoons each.

    1. I haven’t tested it so I’m not sure. You could always make those adjustments for next time and see how that works out.

  129. Made the KFC chicken last night. Was a big hit everyone loved it. My neighbor came down and had 2 pieces. Thanks for posting the recipe. You have a new follower!

        1. You can leave out the MSG. If you want the flavor enhance though you can substitute 2 TB fish sauce in 1 gallon water and marinate the chicken in that for at least 4 hours. Makes the chicken just as juicy as pressure frying and does NOT taste like fish from the fish sauce. It’s amazing but it works! I’ve been told my “KFC” chicken tastes spot-on when I use this marinade beforehand.

          I’ve even made it without the flour, just lightly sprinkle on the herb/spice mix and pan fry in it’s own juices, no oil. Really good when you’re tired of battered fried chicken.

  130. i worked at kfc they do not use milk they take chicken from freeze place in bowl of water wash it dip in preseason flour that came in a bag then place in a big covered deep fryer im wondering how milk got in it lol they dont use milk and no way anyone could know what the spices was because it was from a bag already mixed up only person would know the spices would be the old man hisself and the people who maded up the flour seasoning bags that we used people who worked at kfc have no idea what they were sorry but i see a lot of made up stuff people are putting out there based on what they think it is

    1. The bagged mix does have a dried milk product in it so that’s where the milk comes from. I’d love for you to try it and let me know what you think!

    2. As stated… a reporter visited the nephew of Colonel Sanders. The nephew had in his possession the Colonels recipe. The reporter snapped a picture of it and published it. And yes, there is dry milk in the batter that you used.

  131. I can’t rate the recipie yet as I have not made the chicken. My question: Can you use an airfryer? If so, what would be the temperature volume and time required (5.3 qt). Would pre-heating be required?

    1. I have not used an airfryer but I don’t believe you’d get an authentic taste using one with this recipe. Sorry

    2. I know this thread is from last year but wanted to let you know I made this tonight in my airfryer and it was awesome! I did change a couple things. I took out half cup of flour and replaced it with corn starch. And didn’t use much pepper at all. Then cooked it at 380 for twenty five minutes and flipped it then cooked another twenty minutes.

  132. Maybe it’s the garlic salt/celery salt I used (I’m in South Africa) but this was SUPER salty…will reduce that next time. 🙂

    1. I’m not familiar with the difference but reducing should solve your problem. Glad you were able to enjoy it still!

      1. Garlic powder and Garlic salt are two different ingredients.No wonder the chicken tasted salty.You are adding more salt than you need to garlic and onion powder are different from garlic salt an onion salt.

        1. I’m confused. Are you implying garlic powder should be used instead of garlic salt? The above recipe calls for salt, celery salt, and also garlic salt. Not garlic powder.

          That does sound like quite a bit of salt.

  133. I meant to add, I’m not giving a bad rating for the spices. If it didn’t burn, I’m sure it would be delicious.

  134. I’m going to make this tonight cutting back on the paprika as recommended and including the Accent. I’ve done a bit of research on MSG and I’m OK with it.

    I’ll report back tomorrow!

  135. Hello, this recipe sounds so good, thank you for sharing. My question is, the recipe calls for quite a bit of ginger…can you actually taste the ginger or does it just add to the chickens depth of flavor? Ginger isn’t my favorite spice, though I do use it to cook with as long as it is not too overpowering in any given recipe. Thanks again and I really can’t wait to try it!! -Aimee

    1. There are so many spices in the mix that the ginger doesn’t overpower the flavor. You won’t bite into it thinking you’re tasting something gingery, if that makes sense 🙂 You could alway leave it out or lower the amount of ginger but that will change the flavoring as well.

  136. One of the keys to the colonels chicken was that he pioneered the use of a “pressure” type deep fryer.makes a huge difference

  137. I prepared the recipe exactly as is (with the 3 tbls of paprika & the accent) and it was absolutely amazing. I made it with boneless chicken strips and my family just loved it. This is a keeper for sure and one that we will enjoy for many occasions.
    Thank you.

    1. So glad you enjoyed it! I am pretty obsessed with it too since I have become to disappointed in the size of the chicken pieces they use and now I make them with chicken tenders like you did really often too!

  138. Super curious why you process the spices down.. Does this have to do with the flavor or is it more of an aesthetic thing?

    1. Sorry this comment took so long to get to, it ended up in my spam filter somehow! Aesthetics, less intense than biting into a whole piece of thyme and a more balanced flavor 🙂

  139. I also like to add some Texas Pete red pepper sauce to the buttermilk I marinate my chicken in overnight. The buttermilk both flavors the chicken and helps the crust stay on while frying. I only fry my chicken in a cast iron pan in just a little oil because the brown crust you get from searing in a cast iron pan gives the chicken so much more flavor. I finish the chicken in the oven with a probe thermometer in the meat to make sure it’s cooked all the way through. Try it this way, I do love deep fried chicken –I’m a Bojangles girl–but my favorite chicken will always be the cast iron browned chicken my grandmother and mom always made.

    1. Yes! totally true. They have these crazy pressure fryers that look like vaults on their sides. I am not about to pressure fry though (this just feels like an oil bomb in the kitchen), so I went with a classic deep fry. That is how they keep a certain softness to the chicken.

      1. I am planning to make this asap and once finished, I will put it in an inset pot, cover tightly with foil and put it on a trivet in my electric pressure cooker for about 10 min. I’ve done this with other fried chicken recipes and I am able to eat it without destroying my gums.

  140. Hey, I am grateful for the copycat recipe, and I’m sure you cut out a lot of msg (since they soak +inject the chickens with it and put it in the breadong) but “Accent Seasoning” *is* MSG MonoSodiumGlutimate.
    Just as an FYI 😉

  141. KFC was always a treat when I was growing up, but I love the thought of being able to make it at home. Love all of your tips!

  142. I haven’t had KFC in years, but this chicken looks perfect! My mom used buy Pioneer once a week, so I’m definitely checking that recipe out too!

  143. Not only is homemade higher in quality, but I bet this is way cheaper than buying a bucket of chicken from KFC 🙂

  144. How fun is this recipe! And you’re so right – I’m sure the quality is so great. This would be perfect for the upcoming football watchings season 🙂 So comforting!

  145. That really does look pretty spot-on perfect! I’m am SO craving fried chicken now 🙂