Fried chicken is a classic, delicious treat for any family. If you have ever attempted to make it at home, though, you’ll know that places like KFC seem to make it better.
There are ways to make the best fried chicken at home, just know that it will not taste the same as it does in a restaurant. This is actually a good aspect, since you are not adding the artificial ingredients the “professionals” do. Plus, you are free to add your own variations and different flavors to the mix.
This recipe for the best fried chicken is adapted from a KFC duplicate. While we didn’t think it tasted like fried chicken from KFC, we still liked it and have followed some of the basic instructions every time we do make fried chicken.
Step 1 ‘” Selecting the Chicken
In the original KFC recipe, it stated to use a full chicken cut into pieces. This is far too much work, and no one really wants pieces like wings and breasts. For our family, we buy packages of chicken legs and thighs, but you are welcome to use any type of chicken you’d like.
Check your local store’s meat department for fresh cut pieces, or in the frozen section for pre-packaged pieces. Since you are making traditional fried chicken, it’s best to use chicken with the bone in.
Step 2 ‘” Marinating the Chicken
From the original recipe, it says to use the following as a marinade:
4 cups water
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon MSG
According to the directions, you are to soak the chicken pieces in this combo for 20 minutes. Generally we just don’t have the time for this step, and have found it somewhat pointless. We do, however, use the mixture to dip our chicken in before moving on to the next step. The 20 minutes part we just don’t bother with.
Step 3 ‘” Preparing the Coating
You will need two separate bowls for dipping the chicken in ‘” your milk and egg mixture, and your flour mixture.
For the egg and milk mixture, it’s recommended you use one egg per one cup of milk. You may need more, depending on how much fried chicken you plan to make, but do start with at least one egg and one cup of milk.
For the dry mixture, I recommend placing it in a large freezer bag. It’s much easier to properly coat the chicken inside of a zipped plastic bag, and a whole lot less messy. From the KFC recipe, it says to use the following for the dry mixture:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
3/4 teaspoon MSG
MSG is an optional ingredient, although you can find it at the grocery store if you’d like to add it. We have tried it, but didn’t really see the purpose of using it. However, if you cook like me, your dry ingredients probably won’t be measured in the least, and you’ll find other interesting flavors to add here (such as ranch dressing mix, Cajun spices, or other interesting dry spices).
Step 4 ‘” Coating the Chicken
This is where making fried chicken gets messy, yet is also what gives it the most fantastic flavor. You’ll want to first dip it in your dry mixture, then the egg and milk combo, and back to the dry. Repeat this step a few times if you’d like it on the “extra crispy” side.
Step 5 ‘” Cooking the Chicken
There are a few ways you can fry the chicken, or even bake it if you don’t want to deal with frying oil. The recommended temp for a deep fryer is 350*, and fried for 12 to 15 minutes.
If you plan pan fry the chicken, keep it at a medium or medium high heat, and keep a close eye on the chicken pieces to make sure it doesn’t burn on one side.
For baking, bump the temperature up to 375* and allow to bake for at least 30 minutes in a greased pan, or until the chicken is brown on the outside and no longer pink on the inside. Depending on the size of the pieces, it may take longer to cook. Also, you can pour butter (or use spray butter) over top of the chicken pieces to give it more of a crispy flavor.
That’s it! The easiest, most versatile, best fried chicken recipe. Enjoy!