Copycat KFC Roast Chicken. A 90’s flashback recipe to KFC’s Tender Roast Chicken using a copycat seasoning mix on roasted chicken pieces.
Originally published April 2020.
Our regular fried version of Copycat KFC has been particularly popular in recent weeks.
Not surprising, considering our traffic has doubled during that time and folks are definitely cooking and baking more.
Rather than order take-out, many people are opting for a homemade version of some of their favourites. It gets so many rave reviews and some people are making it every couple of weeks in their regular meal rotation.
Quite recently I was reminded of this particular roasted chicken version, when I saw a photo on a friend’s timeline on Facebook.
He had seen the recipe for the fried version and added all of his herbs and spices to a mason jar. Then he shook the jar well.
This was to ensure they were all evenly distributed in the mix before adding them to the flour dredge to fry them. A very good idea indeed.
However, I immediately thought, “Hey, that would make a great seasoning mix all on its own!”. Then another memory struck me. “Didn’t KFC used to make roast chicken pieces.
A quick internet search, and yes, my recollection was right. A quick Youtube search took me to the TV commercials during that time. The one below is for Kentucky Fried Chicken Tender Roast Chicken from 1997.
Testing the seasoning for Copycat KFC Roast Chicken
That bottle of herbs and spices got me thinking that I should try a homemade version of that would be easy and a little healthier. Suddenly that idea had me anxious to try it, which I did the very next day.
I decided to straight up just use the amounts of herbs and spices in the other recipe as a test. It was very good indeed but it was apparent that it needed just one tweak.
One thing about the “leaked” recipe that Colonel Sanders nephew revealed in an interview is that it is very heavy on pepper. Both white and black pepper appear in the recipe in very healthy amounts.
Now I love pepper, but this was a little too much. When mixed with flour to dredge the fried chicken in, it is not so concentrated and is just fine.
In a seasoning mix though, there is too a high a concentration of pepper, even for my taste. So, I just reduced the pepper accordingly in this recipe and it was just fine; utterly delicious really!
Copycat KFC Roast Chicken. The result.
The chicken pieces cook in only about 45 minutes and as you can see the chicken was tender and juicy on the inside.
Everyone in the family loved it and we have since used the same idea on oven baked wings. They were exceptional too!
Next time, to make them even more juicy, I think I will brine the pieces overnight, using the same brine as in our Brined Chicken recipe.
I’ll just use the water, brown sugar and salt in the recipe though. There’s no need for other flavouring in the brine for this recipe.
Half of that amount of brine should be enough to soak a whole chicken cut in pieces.
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Copycat KFC Roast Chicken. A 90's flashback recipe to KFC's Tender Roast Chicken using a copycat seasoning mix on roasted chicken pieces.
- 2 tsp table salt
- 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 4 Tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 Tbsp celery sal
- 2 Tbsp garlic salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 Tbsp dry mustard powder
- 2 tsp white pepper
- 1 Tbsp ground ginger
- 1 Tbsp MSG, (optional)
- Simply mix all of the ingredients together well, or shake them together in a mason jar.
- To roast the chicken pieces, sprinkle them liberally with the seasoning mix.
- If you have the time, you can cover the pieces and leave them in the fridge for several hours or overnight. This will give the herbs and spices time to penetrate into the meat but it is not completely necessary to do this. It is convenient, however, to do this the day before. Then it is only to pop them into the oven for a fuss free dinner in no time.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Place the seasoned chicken pieces on a parchment lined baking pan and bake for approximately 45-55 minutes, depending on the size of the pieces.
- The best way to see if they are completely cooked is to use a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the large pieces (without hitting a bone). The temperature should be around 175 to 180 degrees F at the centre of the pieces for them to be fully cooked.
Nutritional information is for the seasoning mix only, based upon 1 tsp seasoning per piece of chicken.
Amount Per Serving Calories 4Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 296mgCarbohydrates 1gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 0g
The nutritional information provided is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only. Exact accuracy is not guaranteed. For recipes where all ingredients may not be used entirely, such as those with coatings on meats, or with sauces or dressings for example, calorie & nutritional values per serving will likely be somewhat lower than indicated.