Southern Fried Chicken

On August 29 2016 rumors hit the internet stating that Colonel Sanders’ secret recipe was accidentally revealed.

A sheet of paper with the hand written ingredients are supposedly Colonel Sanders’ secret herbs and spices. Fact or fiction, I don’t know.

There are of course other factors at play, such as pressurized deep fryers which most of us don’t own. Plus brining your chicken in salted buttermilk will always render a more succulent juicy chicken.

So see for yourself, how to make what I feel is, if not the original, the closest KFC recipe ever.


  • 2 whole chickens (Small work best)

  • 1 litre - 1 quart peanut oil (or other good frying oil)

  • 2+ cups Buttermilk

  • 4 eggs (whites only)

  • A splash of milk

Herb and Spice Mixture:

  • 2/3 Tbsp salt

  • 1/2 Tbsp thyme

  • 1/2 Tbsp basil

  • 1/3 Tbsp oregano

  • 1 Tbsp celery salt

  • 1 Tbsp black pepper

  • 1 Tbsp dried mustard

  • 4 Tbsp paprika (not smoked)

  • 2 Tbsp garlic salt

  • 1 Tbsp ground ginger

  • 3 Tbsp white pepper

  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (not in original)

  • 3 cups of flour (2 cups in original)

  • 1 cup cornstarch (not in original)


Break up the chickens into pieces with the bones. (watch video )

In a wide, shallow dish or pie plate, whisk together spice mixture ingredients. Transfer 2 cups flour mixture to a an airtight container; set aside.

In another large glass bowl, separate the yolks away from whites keeping only the whites (use yolks for another recipe). Add a splash of milk, a little salt and pepper and whisk together. Dredge chicken in egg mixture and then in the flour mixture. Submerge all the pieces in buttermilk. Cover and refrigerate 3 hours or up to overnight.

Bring your deep frying oil to 350°F over medium heat (you can go a little higher as chicken will cool it down, but bring it back to at least 325° once cooking)

Transfer reserved flour mixture to a wide, shallow dish. In batches of 4, lift chicken from buttermilk, letting excess drip off, and dredge in flour mixture. Shake off excess leaving some clumps. Carefully fry the chicken pieces no more than four at a time. 10 min each side. (try and maintain that same temperature).

Remove and leave to drip on a wire rack with paper towels. sprinkle with salt.

Serve with Grandma's Biscuits

Little Tips:

This recipe seems a lot stronger in flavor than the real KFC (see video above). You can always add an additional cup of flour or two to the mix bringing it closer to the real deal. I personally prefer it stronger, as per this recipe. Seems more like the old fashion KFC recipe. Try it first on a few fried chicken pieces, if it's too strong, it's always easier to add the additional flour to the mix later. Also if you marinate your chicken with a little salt and butter milk overnight, you will get a juicier and more tender meat. Some suggest that MSG is added to the original recipe and that could be the missing ingredient, I'm not a fan of MSG, I prefer to go without, but it's another ingredient that may bring it closer to the original. MSG enhances flavors. Cooking it in a pressure cooker will also cook it faster giving you a less dark outer coating the way KFC does it, however I don't recommend it as hot oil under pressure is quite dangerous!!! KFC had special pressure cookers designed specifically for that purpose. That's why it's best to use smaller chickens, as large chickens will need to cook much longer making the outer crust too dark. Either way, home made fried chicken beats any takeout chicken! ENJOY! :)