When I was a kid, a bucket of KFC was a huge treat. It is one of those “nostalgic” foods. I remember craving KFC one day and couldn’t get it out of my head. We live far away from a KFC, or any fried chicken place, so I did what I do best – I went down a rabbit-hole of recipes and articles to find the closest copycat recipe possible. It paid off because I found an article with a picture of a handwritten list of spices that was the mix used for KFC. The only thing not on the list was MSG but the article mentioned that it was part of the mix just not listed as a spice.
Now, don’t run because of the MSG. It does elevate the flavor to match KFC but if you cannot have MSG, then leaving it out is okay; or you can let each person sprinkle some on their pieces of chicken. Either way, you will still have fantastic fried chicken.
I’ve made homemade fried chicken many times, but this changed everything and now I won’t make it any other way. Give it a try and I am sure you will be amazed, and your family will be thrilled!
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. salt
1 ½ tsp. dried thyme leaves
1 ½ tsp. dried basil leaves
1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
1 Tbsp. celery salt
1 Tbsp. ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. dried mustard
¼ cup paprika
2 Tbsp. garlic salt
1 Tbsp. ground ginger
3 Tbsp. ground white pepper
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg, beaten
1 chicken, cut up into 8 pieces or a mix of your favorite bone-in pieces
Neutral oil for frying, like canola or peanut oil
MSG seasoning, like Accent
In a large bowl, combine the flour with the herbs and spices and set aside.
In another large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg, mixing until they’re well combined.
Add the chicken to the buttermilk bowl and toss to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and let it sit for 30 minutes or refrigerate and marinate as long as overnight.
Preheat the oven to 175° F.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Set an oven-safe wire cooling rack inside the sheet and set aside.
In a large Dutch oven, heat about 3 inches of oil. If you’re using an electric tabletop fryer, fill the unit to its MAX line.
Preheat the oil to 350° F over medium-high heat and use a deep-frying thermometer to check the temperature. When the
oil reaches 350° F, reduce the heat to medium-low.
Remove a chicken piece from the buttermilk, allowing any excess liquid to drip off.
Place the piece in the flour mixture and press down firmly, allowing the flour to adhere on all sides. Shake off any excess flour and carefully drop the chicken into the hot oil.
Continue dredging chicken until the fryer is full but not overcrowded; you should be able to fry three to four pieces at a time.
Cook the chicken for about 12 minutes, turning halfway through, until the crust turns an appealing golden-brown color.
Transfer the chicken pieces to the prepared baking sheet and place it in the oven.
Allow the oil to return to temperature before adding more chicken.
Repeat the dredging and frying process with the remaining pieces of chicken.
When you have fried all the chicken, let the pieces sit in the oven until each reaches an internal temperature of 165° F.
Sprinkle each piece of chicken with a few shakes of MSG before serving or let each person sprinkle it on their pieces.
- Sides: I usually serve with coleslaw, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and gravy, and biscuits because those are my family’s favorite sides.
- For the crispiest crust place chicken in hot oil immediately following dredging in the flour mixture.
- When dredging in the flour mixture, press down so the flour adheres well to the chicken.
- Leaving the chicken in a preheated oven after frying is key. It not only ensures that the internal temperature is 165° F, the skin and crust is kept nice and crunchy.