Many moons ago, Americans fell in love with the not so subtle, smack ya’ in the face flavors of Kentucky Fried Chicken–most of us anyway. However, why are the secret spices so difficult to replicate anyway? The Colonel didn’t build a mass empire out of the use of simple salt, peppa and flour! Well, I knew the Colonel wasn’t fessin’ up. So I did a bit of research and after a few batches; along with a couple discriminating down-home taste testers, I believe we found the path down that culinary, Kentucky, country road. However, we could use a lot less grease in the mix right? Makes biting into a leg a little less guilt riddening?
Here’s my recipe; after a few channeling sessions with the white haired, smilin’ eyed, goat wearin’ master. Thanks for the intense jam sessions, Colonel!
a little history: KFC was founded by Harland Sanders, an entrepreneur who began selling fried chicken from his roadside restaurant in Corbin, Kentucky, during the Great Depression. Sanders identified the potential of the restaurant franchising concept, and the first “Kentucky Fried Chicken” franchise opened in Utah in 1952. KFC popularized chicken in the fast food industry, diversifying the market by challenging the established dominance of the hamburger. By branding himself as “Colonel Sanders,” Harland became a prominent figure of American cultural history, and his image remains widely used in KFC advertising. However, the company’s rapid expansion saw it overwhelm the ageing Sanders, and in 1964 he sold the company to a group of investors. However, we carry on his legacy today by visiting KFC restaurants and in essence, making the following scrumptious recipe in honor of his memory.
Having said the above, this is one of the best-to-date copycat recipes for duplicating Colonel Sander’s KFC ‘Extra Crispy’ chicken. It’s juicy and tender with just the right spices; ones that old Harland himself would approve.
Yields one batch of fried chicken (8-10 pieces, or up to 16 drumsticks)
1 premium quality fresh young roasting chicken, cut-up
2 quarts cold water
3 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons Accent seasoning
4 teaspoons corn flour or 4 teaspoons masa harina
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
2 1/2 teaspoons superfine sugar
2 teaspoons Accent seasoning
2 teaspoons celery salt
1 1/4 teaspoons Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/8 teaspoon citric acid
1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
3 3/4 cups self-rising flour
1/4 cup packed cornstarch
Deep frying oil: (I use peanut oil) but vegetable oil or vegetable shortening also work well.
Mix brine: cold water, kosher salt, sugar and Accent seasoning in a large bowl until dissolved; Add chicken pieces; Cover and transfer to refrigerator; Marinate chicken in brine for at least 4 hours in refrigerator.
In a large mixing bowl, add seasoned flour ingredients except *self-rising flour and cornstarch; Break up any clumps; Whisk with a wire whisk until well blended; Add self-rising flour and cornstarch; Whisk until thoroughly combined.
*Note: For best results use ONLY self-rising flour.
Remove chicken from brine; rinse & drain. Place chicken in large bowl containing the seasoned flour and coat well; Remove chicken from seasoned flour. Place pieces onto a platter; Repeat with remaining chicken pieces. Allow to sit for a few minutes until chicken begins to look wet and repeat flour dip for second coating; this makes it crispy.
Heat oil in fryer to 350*. Place breaded chicken into fry basket without crowding; Lower basket slowly into hot oil (or gently add breaded chicken pieces into stove-top skillet with hot oil, turning once halfway through frying). Fry chicken 16-20 (8-10 minutes per side if using skillet using medium heat) until golden brown and fully cooked (juices should run clear when chicken is done).
Drain on a wire rack over a paper towel-lined baking sheet; REPEAT the same cooking procedures until all chicken is fried. Transfer on a baking sheet and keep chicken warmed in a preheated 170°F oven until serving.
chicken photo source: budget101