Copycat KFC Recipe

Kentucky Fried Chicken copycat recipe

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Yield: 6 pieces
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
868 Calories
56g Fat
21g Carbs
67g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 868
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 56g 71%
Saturated Fat 18g 91%
Cholesterol 254mg 85%
Sodium 3412mg 148%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 8%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 67g
Vitamin C 1mg 5%
Calcium 126mg 10%
Iron 5mg 30%
Potassium 701mg 15%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

When asked what makes KFC fried chicken so special, Colonel Sanders used to say, "It's still freshly prepared in every restaurant, seasoned with a secret blend of 11 herbs and spices, and then hand-breaded all day long by a certified cook." This copycat Kentucky Fried Chicken recipe (the original remains a secret) contains 11 herbs and spices, but the keys to the delicious flavor are monosodium glutamate (MSG) and the use of a pressure fryer.

A pressure fryer works similarly to a pressure cooker, but the two cannot be interchanged; do not attempt to fry the chicken in a pressure cooker such as an Instant Pot. If you don't have access to a pressure fryer, you can prepare the chicken in a deep fryer or heavy Dutch oven, but the result won't be quite as authentic.

Recipe reprinted with permission from America's Most Wanted Recipes by Ron Douglas (Atria Books).


Click Play to See This KFC Copycat Fried Chicken Recipe Recipe Come Together

"I’ve always wanted to duplicate the coveted secret spice mixture used in KFC’s recipe. This hit the nail on the head. Not skimping on the MSG makes this a really great copycat option!" —Renae Wilson

Copycat KFC Recipe Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 large egg

  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • 1 (3-pound) chicken, cut into 6 pieces

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 teaspoon dried sage

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons paprika

  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano

  • 1 tablespoon onion salt

  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram

  • 1 teaspoon dried basil

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 2 tablespoons Accent (MSG seasoning)

  • 1 (24-ounce) container lard, enough to cover chicken in fryer

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for KFC chicken
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  2. Combine the egg and buttermilk in a large bowl. Soak the chicken pieces in the mixture.

    Combine egg and buttermilk and soak chicken pieces
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  3. Put the flour in a separate bowl and whisk in all 11 herbs and spices—salt, sage, pepper, paprika, oregano, onion salt, marjoram, dried basil, chili powder, garlic powder, and MSG seasoning.

    Put the flour in separate bowl and mix in spices and seasonings
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  4. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk mixture, letting the excess drip off. Roll the chicken in the seasoned flour until completely covered.

    Remove chicken from buttermilk mixture and roll in dry mixture
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga 
  5. Add the lard to a Dutch oven or pressure fryer and heat to 365 F. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's directions if using a pressure fryer.

    Melted lard in a Dutch oven
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  6. Using a utensil, lower 4 pieces of the chicken into the hot oil, and if using a pressure fryer, lock the lid in place. Be careful not to burn yourself with the hot oil.

    Lower chicken into hot oil
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  7. Allow to fry for 8 to 10 minutes, until the chicken turns golden brown and thoroughly cooks.

    Allow chicken to fry
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  8. If using a pressure fryer, release the pressure according to the manufacturer's directions. Then, remove the finished chicken to paper towels or a metal rack to drain.

    Fried chicken draining on a metal rack over a pan
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  9. Repeat with the remaining 2 pieces of chicken.

    Repeat frying process with rest of the chicken
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  10. Serve and enjoy.

    KFC copycat chicken
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga


  • Accent, or MSG, adds authentic flavor, so do not eliminate it if you want your chicken to closely resemble the original KFC recipe.
  • Let the chicken sit for 20 to 30 minutes after you roll it in the flour mixture so the coating sticks when you drop the pieces into the fryer.​
  • For KFC-level crispiness, you need to use a pressure fryer. (Do not try to substitute a pressure cooker such as an Instant Pot.) Make sure to bring the oil to 365 F before you add the chicken.
  • To avoid making a mess and burning yourself, use tongs or another utensil when you add the chicken.
  • Quickly lock the lid on the pressure fryer after you add all the chicken in the batch.
  • For crispier chicken, use Crisco (one 3-pound can) instead of lard and double-coat the chicken with the flour mixture.

Recipe Variations

If you can't get your hands on a pressure fryer, you can use a deep fryer or heavy Dutch oven. Add enough vegetable oil or lard to keep the chicken pieces submerged and make sure the temperature reaches 350 F. Fry the chicken in batches for a total cook time of 15 to 18 minutes, or until it turns golden brown and crispy.