The KFC Original Secret Chicken Recipe


Are you ready to unlock the secrets behind the world-famous KFC Original Chicken Recipe? This article will walk you through everything you need to know to recreate this iconic dish right in your own kitchen. Get ready to dive into the rich history, carefully selected ingredients, and the step-by-step process that makes KFC’s fried chicken so irresistibly delicious.

Table of Contents

2The Origin of the KFC Secret Recipe
3The Legendary Blend of 11 Herbs and Spices
4Essential Ingredients for KFC Original Chicken
5Step-by-Step Preparation Guide
6Making the Perfect Marinade
7Mixing the Coating Mixture
8Properly Breading the Chicken
9Frying to Perfection
10Serving Suggestions and Pairings
11Tips for Achieving the Best Results
12Common Mistakes to Avoid
13Variations on the Classic Recipe
14Healthier Alternatives


Is there anything more comforting than biting into a piece of perfectly fried chicken? If you’re like most people, KFC’s Original Recipe has likely crossed your mind as the epitome of delicious fried chicken. Have you ever wondered what makes it so special? You’re in luck! We’re about to delve into the specifics of the KFC Original Secret Chicken Recipe, offering a complete guide on how you can recreate this legendary dish at home.

The Origin of the KFC Secret Recipe

The KFC Original Recipe dates back to the 1930s when Colonel Harland Sanders first developed the blend of 11 herbs and spices that would make his fried chicken famous. Originally served in his small restaurant in Corbin, Kentucky, Sanders perfected his recipe over many years. The recipe remains a closely guarded secret, locked away in a vault in Louisville, Kentucky. However, after years of experimentation and some leaked information, we have a good approximation of the Colonel’s secret formula.

The Legendary Blend of 11 Herbs and Spices


The heart of the KFC Original Recipe lies in its unique blend of 11 herbs and spices. While the exact proportions are a well-kept secret, we know the ingredients that make up this magical mix. Here’s a list of those herbs and spices:

  • Paprika
  • Black Pepper
  • White Pepper
  • Garlic Salt
  • Celery Salt
  • Dried Mustard
  • Ground Ginger
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Salt

These spices are blended in specific ratios to create the unmistakable flavor that KFC is known for.

Essential Ingredients for KFC Original Chicken

To make KFC Original Chicken, you will need a variety of ingredients, some of which are for the marinade and some for the coating. Here’s what you’ll need:

For the Marinade:

  • 4 cups of water
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup MSG (Monosodium Glutamate)
  • 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces

For the Coating:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2/3 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1/3 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon celery salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon ground white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons garlic salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ground MSG

Step-by-Step Preparation Guide

Making KFC’s Original Chicken is a process that involves careful preparation and attention to detail. Let’s break it down step by step to ensure you get the best possible results.

Making the Perfect Marinade

Marinating the chicken is a crucial step in ensuring that the meat is flavorful and tender. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Combine the Marinade Ingredients: In a large bowl, mix the water, salt, and MSG until the salt is completely dissolved.
  2. Marinate the Chicken: Submerge the chicken pieces in the marinade. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but overnight for best results. This allows the flavors to penetrate deeply into the meat.

Mixing the Coating Mixture

The coating is where the magic really happens. This mixture of flour and spices creates the crispy, flavorful crust that KFC is known for.

  1. Combine Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl, mix together the flour, paprika, salt, thyme, basil, oregano, celery salt, black pepper, yellow mustard, white pepper, garlic salt, ground ginger, and MSG.
  2. Blend Thoroughly: Ensure that all the spices are evenly distributed throughout the flour. This ensures a consistent flavor in every bite.

Properly Breading the Chicken


Breading the chicken correctly is essential for achieving that perfect crispy crust.

  1. Prepare the Workstation: Set up a dredging station with the marinated chicken, the bowl of coating mixture, and a tray for the coated chicken pieces.
  2. Coat the Chicken: Take each piece of marinated chicken and dredge it in the flour mixture. Make sure to press the flour firmly onto the chicken to create a thick, even coating.
  3. Resting the Coated Chicken: Place the coated chicken on the tray and let it rest for about 20 minutes. This helps the coating adhere better to the chicken during frying.

Frying to Perfection

Frying the chicken correctly is key to achieving the perfect texture and flavor.

  1. Heat the Oil: Fill a large, heavy-bottomed pot or deep fryer with enough oil to submerge the chicken pieces. Heat the oil to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Fry the Chicken: Carefully place the chicken pieces into the hot oil, being careful not to overcrowd the pot. Fry the chicken in batches for about 15-18 minutes, turning occasionally to ensure even cooking.
  3. Drain the Chicken: Once the chicken is golden brown and crispy, remove it from the oil and place it on a wire rack to drain excess oil.

Serving Suggestions and Pairings

Now that your chicken is ready, it’s time to think about how to serve it. KFC’s Original Chicken pairs wonderfully with a variety of sides. Here are a few classic suggestions:

  • Mashed Potatoes with Gravy: Creamy mashed potatoes topped with rich, savory gravy.
  • Coleslaw: A tangy, crunchy complement to the crispy chicken.
  • Biscuits: Soft, buttery biscuits are perfect for soaking up any leftover gravy.
  • Corn on the Cob: Sweet and juicy corn adds a nice contrast to the savory chicken.

Tips for Achieving the Best Results

Achieving the best results requires some practice and a few insider tips. Here are some important ones to keep in mind:

  • Use Fresh Chicken: Fresh chicken tends to have better texture and flavor than frozen chicken.
  • Don’t Skip the Marinade: Marinating is essential for tender, flavorful chicken.
  • Maintain Oil Temperature: Keeping the oil at a consistent temperature is crucial for even frying.
  • Rest the Coated Chicken: Allowing the coated chicken to rest before frying helps the coating stick better.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Even with the best intentions, mistakes can happen. Here are some common pitfalls and how to avoid them:

  • Overcrowding the Fryer: This can cause the oil temperature to drop, resulting in greasy chicken. Fry in small batches.
  • Incorrect Oil Temperature: Too hot and the outside burns before the inside cooks; too cool and the chicken absorbs too much oil.
  • Skipping the Rest Period: Not allowing the coated chicken to rest can result in the coating falling off during frying.

Variations on the Classic Recipe

While the original recipe is a classic, there are many ways to tweak it to suit your taste:

  • Spicy Version: Add cayenne pepper and more black pepper to the coating mixture for a spicier kick.
  • Herb-Infused: Experiment with different herbs like rosemary or sage to add a unique twist.
  • Buttermilk Marinade: Substitute the water in the marinade with buttermilk for extra tender chicken.

Healthier Alternatives

If you’re looking to enjoy this delicious chicken with a bit less guilt, consider these healthier alternatives:

  • Baked Version: Coat the chicken and bake it in the oven at 375°F (190°C) for about 40 minutes, turning halfway through.
  • Air Fryer: Use an air fryer to achieve a crispy texture with less oil. Cook at 360°F (180°C) for 25-30 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through.


Recreating KFC’s Original Chicken Recipe at home is a fun and rewarding challenge. By following these steps and tips, you can enjoy the irresistible flavor and crispy texture of KFC’s famous chicken without leaving your kitchen. Whether you stick to the classic recipe or try one of the variations, you’re sure to impress your friends and family with this delicious dish.


1. Can I use boneless chicken for this recipe? Yes, you can use boneless chicken breasts or thighs. Just be mindful that cooking times may vary, so use a meat thermometer to ensure they are cooked through.

2. What type of oil is best for frying the chicken? Vegetable oil, canola oil, or peanut oil are all good choices for frying chicken as they have high smoke points and neutral flavors.

3. How can I store leftover fried chicken? Store leftover chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven at 350°F (175°C) to maintain crispiness.

4. Can I freeze the marinated chicken for later use? Yes, you can freeze marinated chicken. Just make sure to thaw it completely before breading and frying.

5. Is it necessary to use MSG in the recipe? While MSG adds to the umami flavor of the chicken, it can be omitted if you prefer to avoid it. The chicken will still be delicious without it.

Meta Title: KFC Original Secret Chicken Recipe: Full Recipe with All Details
Meta Description: Discover the full KFC Original Secret Chicken Recipe with all details. Follow our step-by-step guide to make the famous KFC chicken at home.


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