A simple and delicious chicken recipe when you feel like indulging, this Copycat KFC Chicken recipe uses the Colonel’s special blend of 11 herbs and spices to create a delicious flavor and uses a combination of flash frying and oven baking to achieve a crispy chicken skin.
Copycat KFC Chicken Recipe
Okay, so I’m just going to say it from the start: while I call this recipe a “Copycat KFC Chicken recipe” it truly is better than the original.
With a crispy skin thanks to a combination of flash frying and oven baking, the perfect blend of seasoning based on the Colonel’s own combination, and my special trick for brining the chicken overnight before cooking to help keep the chicken moist, this chicken is going to be a new family favorite!
If you don’t have all of the herbs and spices called for in the recipe, it’s not a huge deal but if you’re missing more than two, I highly recommend heading to your nearest bulk store to grab them so that you can experience the full glory of this super simple recipe. There’s a reason why KFC has been using this special blend for years!
If you need to prep the chicken in advance, I would do the brining, coating and deep frying in advance and then leave the “oven baking step” until right before you need to serve. You could even bake it fully (to 165F) and then reheat in the oven, but I would strongly recommend not reheating in the microwave as the perfectly crisped chicken skin is definitely a key feature in this recipe, and the microwave is notorious for taking deliciously crispy food and transforming it into a soggy mess.
This Copycat KFC Chicken recipe really is a perfect recipe for a party, potluck, or just a laid back family meal. Pair it with super buttery crockpot garlic mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, and some homemade coleslaw for a slightly healthier take on a Family Pack! (And don’t forget the biscuits!)
Also, I highly recommend picking up some peanut oil for this recipe. It’s what KFC traditionally used for a long time (and according to my research, some franchises still use it) and it is lower in saturated fats than using lard or shortening. Peanut oil has a high smoke point and neutral flavor so you don’t have to worry that your chicken will end up tasting like peanuts (it won’t). Using something with a low smoke point (like olive oil) will result in a bitter flavor as the oil will slightly burn at the temperature needed to fry the chicken.
I hope your family loves this homemade KFC chicken recipe as much as my family does – and do yourself a favor: make sure you make at least 2 pieces of chicken for everyone because everyone is going to want seconds of this meal!
Ingredients for KFC Chicken
- 10 chicken drumsticks or thighs
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups flour
- 2/3 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon basil
- 1/3 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon celery salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried mustard
- 4 teaspoon paprika
- 2 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 3 teaspoon white pepper
- 6+ cups oil of choice (peanut or vegetable oil)
Tip: brining the chicken overnight in a saltwater mixture – or even pickle juice – to really amp up the flavor and moisture.
Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful
How to Make KFC Chicken
Preheat oven to 300F
If possible, soak the chicken legs in salt water (brine) for up to 24 hours before starting this recipe. You can also use a pickle juice to brine the chicken.
Place the eggs in one bowl and the flour and spices in a second bowl. Stir the spices well into the flour and beat the eggs.
Place an oven-safe cooling rack overtop of a baking sheet – this will serve two purposes during your recipe.
Dredge each chicken leg in the flour, then the eggs, and then the flour once again. Place the coated drumstick on the cooling rack and repeat with remaining chicken.
Place your oil in a large dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat. (You can alternatively use a deep fryer.)
Fry the chicken legs in batches of 3 for 2-4 minutes until the coating is golden.
Remove the chicken to the cooling rack and repeat with remaining chicken.
Bake for 35-45 minutes until an inserted thermometer reads 165F
Grab your free printable for our crispy, flavorful KFC chicken recipe:
This flavorful homemade KFC Chicken recipe has an amazing crispy skin that is perfectly spiced with a combination of 11 carefully selected herbs and spices. It’s even better than the original!