The Best Fried Chicken Recipe. With 12 and not 11 herbs and spices, this delicious recipe ups the ante on KFC! Plus it’s juicier & contains no MSG either!
See below for an update on how to make this recipe as amazingly delicious chicken burgers.
Another family favourite at our house that my son liked to refer to as DFC or Daddy Fried Chicken is our best fried chicken recipe. I wasn’t specifically trying to create a copycat KFC recipe and in fact I ended up with 12 herbs and spices instead of the “11 secret herbs and spices” in the Kentucky Fried Chicken recipe.
I suspect that the secret is not so much the actual herbs and spices that are used in their recipe but more importantly, the amount of each that is used in proportion to the amount of flour in the coating.
I read somewhere that KFC also uses cornstarch with the flour in their coating mix. That’s probably for added crunch, so I may experiment with that at some future point.
I do like to brine my chicken before frying but this stage is optional. You will find that your chicken is moister, better seasoned and more flavourful if brined. It is also a good opportunity to infuse some herb flavour into the meat.
You will need to plan a day ahead for this for the brine to fully penetrate and season the meat overnight in the fridge. Use Kosher salt for the brine or else finer grinds of salt may actually be adding more salt. If using sea salt or regular salt for example, I’d cut back by about 1/4 the amount.
Remember, all of that salt is not absorbed by the chicken, it is just the amount that’s dissolved in the brine liquid to properly season the meat. The vast majority of the salt will actually be discarded with the brine after use.
As is noted in the recipe below, the coating mix in this recipe is enough to do about 3 batches of chicken. Make less of the flour dredge mix if you like or just separate it into 3 portions and store the other two portions in Ziploc bags or an airtight container until next time. You can use the same coating on fried chicken burgers using boneless chicken breasts, turn it into chicken nuggets or strips or use it on the Oven Fried Version of this recipe.
We love to serve homemade buttermilk biscuits with our fried chicken for an authentic Southern cooking meal.
This recipe was originally published on October 6, 2007 with updated photos and instructions on February 4, 2016.
UPDATE: Fried Chicken Burgers
Since I last updated this recipe I thought I’d give you readers a reason to keep that leftover coating mix in your freezer to use on homemade chicken burgers anytime. It took me only about 20 minutes to pound boneless skinless chicken breasts to an even thickness, dredge them in the same way as in tho recipe instructions and fry them up to golden perfection. I fried some bacon at the same time while Spouse made the guacamole and sliced the tomatoes. What a spectacular combination of flavours. Highly recommended by our family.
You might also like this recipe for Double Crunch Orange Chicken.
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- 3-4 lbs fresh chicken pieces
- 2 cups buttermilk or whole milk
- 2 liters water
- ¼ cup kosher salt
- 1 tbsp peppercorns
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- 2 cloves chopped garlic
- 2 leaves bay
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 3 cups flour
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp powered thyme
- 1 tbsp powdered sage
- 1 tbsp dried basil
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp dried marjoram
- 1 tbsp dry mustard powder
- 1 tbsp powdered ginger
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
Cut a whole large chicken (about 4 lbs) in to pieces and trim them well or use 4 lbs of well trimmed chicken pieces. I like to remove the backbone from the thigh portions in particular to get quicker more even cooking.
I like to brine my chicken before frying but this stage is optional. You will find that your chicken is moister, better seasoned and more flavourful if brined. It is also a good opportunity to infuse some herb flavour into the meat.
A simple brine can be made by mixing together all the ingredients listed until the salt and sugar is dissolved.
Soak the trimmed chicken pieces in the brine for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.
Remove the chicken pieces from brine, rinse pieces well in cold water and pat dry. Let the pieces air dry for a half hour which will also allow the chicken pieces to come up to room temperature before frying. This is very helpful in maintaining a consistent temperature in the fryer.
Combine all of the ingredients in the coating mix well.
Mix thoroughly to make sure spices are evenly distributed in the mix.
Fill your deep fryer to the appropriate level with vegetable oil, Canola or peanut oil is good. Preheat the deep fryer to 350 degrees F.
Dunk the chicken pieces into the buttermilk and let the excess drip off.
Dredge chicken pieces in the flour and herb/spice mix. I like to cover each pieces with the coating mix and then give it a good press down to make sure all of the chicken comes into good contact with the flour dredge.(Some people like to double dip their chicken for a thicker, crunchier crust, returning the pieces to the buttermilk and then the flour and spice mix for a second time.) Place chicken pieces on a plate and allow to sit for 10 minutes before frying.
Drop chicken pieces into hot oil, starting with the largest pieces first. Try and maintain the oil at 350 degrees F throughout the cooking time. Do not crowd your fryer. 4-5 large pieces or 5-6 small pieces at a time is enough. Large pieces can take about 20 minutes minutes to cook, smaller pieces 15-20 minutes. I always use my meat thermometer as a guide to get the internal temperature of the chicken pieces to a safe 165 degrees F.
My fryer can only take 4-5 pieces at a time, so hold the cooked pieces in a 175 degree oven while the other pieces fry.
Remove cooked chicken to a wire rack to cool slightly before serving.
The coating mix in this recipe is enough to do about 3 batches of chicken. Make less of the flour dredge mix if you like or just separate it into 3 portions and store the other two portions in Ziploc bags or an airtight container until next time.