Better Than The Colonel’s Fried Chicken Recipe

Better Than The Colonel’s Fried Chicken Recipe

For the first test of the leaked KFC fried chicken recipe ingredients, I tried deep frying the chicken in a Fry Daddy since there were no instructions for cooking. The chicken was good but the crust got too dark for our liking. Read about the results at Social Media Recipe Fails.

Determined to make the recipe work, I decided to take a two-step cooking approach from Ina Garten’s fried chicken recipe in the cook book Barefoot Contessa Family Style. The two-step method involves (1) a quick deep fry on each piece of chicken, and (2) finishing the chicken in the oven.

The result: the fried chicken turned out delicious, the crust was browned just right, the flavors of the spices came through, it didn’t taste overly salty (even afterwards), and the cook didn’t have to stand over a hot fryer for a long period of time. It still didn’t really taste like KFC original recipe, and the texture wasn’t the same, but it was excellent fried chicken.

For this fry-up, I modified the original KFC leaked ingredient list to eliminate the silly garlic salt and celery salt. No need to purchase those pricey items in the store when they are mostly salt. Just use the following ratios to make your own:

  • celery salt = 1 part celery seed to 1 part salt
  • garlic salt = 1 part garlic powder to 3 parts salt

The seasoned flour mixture makes enough coating for two birds. If cooking two chickens, most all of the mixture will be used; for one bird, save half of the mixture in a sealed bag for another time.

Cooking Tips

Get outside to fry, if possible. Frying outside will keep the kitchen clean and won’t stink up the house like a fast food restaurant. Set up the deep fryer on a sturdy table and have everything in place on the table (chicken, coating, tongs, paper towels, rack on baking sheet) when you start. Don’t allow people, dogs and cats to run around while using dangerous hot oil to fry. Use a splatter screen to protect yourself and wear an apron.

3.5 lb. chickens are currently available in the grocery section at Super Target.

kfc oven fried chicken recipe

Better Than The Colonel's Fried Chicken


  • One to two 3.5 lb. chickens cut up into legs, thighs, wings, breasts, with breasts halved again crosswise
  • 2 to 3 cups buttermilk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons salt plus 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ tablespoon dried thyme leaves
  • ½ tablespoon dried basil leaves
  • tablespoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1 ½ teaspoons celery seed
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried mustard
  • 4 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 3 tablespoons ground white pepper
  • Vegetable oil for frying


  • Marinate the chicken in buttermilk, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated, for at least an hour. For the last 30 minutes of marination, remove the chicken from the refrigerator so it is not so cold going into the fryer. This helps to maintain proper oil temperature.
  • Preheat the oven to 350º F and place a rack on a baking sheet. Preheat the Fry Daddy.
  • Mix all dry ingredients together and divide evenly between two gallon-size ziplock freezer bags. If not cooking two chickens, save one bag of seasoned flour for another time.
  • Coat the individual pieces of chicken by shaking two to three pieces at a time in the sealed freezer bag.
  • Using a Fry Daddy, deep fry two to three pieces of chicken at a time for three minutes to get a golden crust. Be patient and don’t crowd the pieces or the oil temperature will drop too much and you’ll have soggy, greasy chicken. Place each piece of quick-fried chicken on the rack resting on the baking sheet. Hint: use long kitchen tongs to get the chicken pieces in and out of the deep fryer safely.
  • After all the chicken pieces have been quick-fried and placed on the rack, put the rack and baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, check the temperature of several pieces with an instant read thermometer. If the temp has reached 160ºF, the chicken is done. Otherwise, continue to bake and check every five minutes until safe temperature is reached. It should be totally done after 40 minutes at 350ºF.


If you don’t have a Fry Daddy or other deep fryer that heats oil to 375ºF, brown the chicken pieces in a one-inch depth of oil, heated to 360ºF in a deep skillet. Turn each piece with long tongs until brown all over, then put them in the oven as instructed above. Again, don’t crowd the pieces while frying.

Serve this fried chicken with potato salad and cole slaw.



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