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.
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.
1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
3 beaten eggs
4 tablespoons oil
For the coating
2 cups flour
4 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning (or chicken stock powder)
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon tarragon
1 teaspoon parsley
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon chives
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
Sift flour and add together all the coating ingredients and grind finely with a mortar and pestle and place in a clean plastic bag. Coat each chicken piece first with the beaten egg, then with the flour mixture in the bag. Make sure you coat each piece completely with the flour.
Heat the oil in a skillet. Brown the chicken in oil slowly, uncovered. Once browned, cover the skillet and keeping frying on a very gentle heat until the chicken is fully cooked. Place on paper towels to drain out the excess