Okay. Let’s get this right out of the way: Nobody knows the exact spice mix used in classic KFC™ fried chicken. This version is pretty close though, and it uses herbs and spices that you probably mostly have on hand. If you have a fairly stocked pantry, you might need to pick up only one or two spices to make this.
And yes, this looks like a lot of spices for one batch of fried chicken, but remember that it’ll be mixed with flour so the spices will lose some of their kick.
Look at all those spices!
Mix the spices together and then stir it into the flour with some salt and sugar. The sugar is actually really important. It adds just a tiny bit of sweetness to the chicken. Leave it out at your own peril!
KFC™ chicken isn’t overly breaded. Many fried chicken recipes will ask you to double bread the chicken. I like that method, but the classic restaurant version has a thinner crust.
So, I like to beat an egg white, dip each piece of chicken in the egg white, and then add it to the flour mix. The egg white gives the flour mixture something to stick to without being too thick. It’s perfect.
After each piece of chicken is well-coated, let them rest for a few minutes so the crusts can dry out. This is the difference between having fried chicken with a great crust and one where all of the crust falls off in the fryer!
When you’re ready to fry, cook the chicken in batches in 350ºF oil. Breasts and wings cook faster than legs and thighs. The white meat (breast/wings) will take 12-14 minutes (depending on thickness) and thighs and legs will take a few minutes longer.
As always though, those are very rough guidelines. I’ve fried breasts that needed 18 minutes to cook through because of how thick they were. So the best thing to do (as always) is use a meat thermometer and make sure the chicken hits an internal temperature of 165ºF.
Let the fried chicken drain on a few paper towels when it comes out of the fryer and then chow down while it’s still hot.
It’s hard to beat a really good piece of fried chicken!
Nick thinks fried chicken is the absolute best! Check out his blog, Macheesmo, and follow him on his Tablespoon profile.