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Whether you call it KFC or Kentucky Fried Chicken, the restaurant that made founder Colonel Sanders a household name is one of the world’s biggest and most successful fast food chains. But even if no Sunday dinner is complete without a bucket of that “finger-lickin’ good” chicken, we bet there’s a lot you didn’t know about this international chain.
15 Things You Didn’t Know About Kentucky Fried Chicken (Slideshow)
The story of KFC begins, of course, with Harland Sanders, and his is truly a rags-to-riches story. After a rocky childhood in Henryville, Indiana, near the Kentucky border, he left home at age 13 and worked lots of jobs, with mixed success, before taking over a Shell filling station in small-town Kentucky in 1930, at the age of 40. His cooking (which he served to travelers at his own dining room table) was such a success that he expanded to a larger location across the street. By 1937 his operation had expanded to 142 seats and a motel, which he named Sanders Court & Café.
Sanders became a bit of a local celebrity when the governor bestowed upon him the honorary title of Kentucky Colonel — Sanders took the honor very seriously, and even dressed the part. After a newly constructed highway hurt his business, Sanders sold all his properties and began selling his fried chicken recipe to restaurants, allowing them to use his name and likeness for promotion. The name Kentucky Fried Chicken was soon adopted by all the restaurants that sold the product, and by 1963 they had turned into the largest fast food chain in the country.
In 1964, the 74-year-old Sanders sold his company to a group of investors for $2 million, guaranteeing himself a lifetime salary and the opportunity to stay on board as quality controller and to appear in commercials for the company, which made him a full-fledged celebrity. The company was sold again in 1971 to Heublein (a packaged food and drink company), and by the time Sanders died in 1980 there were about 6,000 KFC outlets in 48 countries. In 1982, KFC was sold to tobacco giant R.J. Reynolds; in 1986, it was sold to PepsiCo; and in 1997, PepsiCo spun off its restaurant division (which also included holdings Pizza Hut and Taco Bell) into a public company called Tricon, which was renamed Yum! Brands in 2002.
While KFC is still a major international brand (with nearly 20,000 locations worldwide and $23 billion in revenue in 2013), the company has seen better days. Its dominance in the chicken world has been threatened by chains like Chick-Fil-A, which has surpassed it as the leading chicken retailer, and it’s bringing in less money than chains half its size, like Panera Bread. The company is currently completing a $175 million makeover, complete with throwback-style commercials starring a string of comedians and actors including Darrell Hammond, Norm MacDonald, Jim Gaffigan, and Rob Lowe as an eccentric Colonel Sanders; and stores are being remodeled with touches like blackboards indicating what farm the chicken comes from and lots of photos of the Colonel himself. They've also rolled out some succesful new menu items, like Nashville hot chicken.
Whatever the future holds for KFC, it’s clear that the Colonel’s creation isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Click here for 15 things you didn't know about it.
12 Things You Didn't Know About KFC
That Colonel's full of surprises (gun fights, gravy battles, $20,000 suits, just to name a few).
You're well acquainted with the questionably low-carb, chicken-on-chicken wonder that is the Double Down and you remember that time KFC tried to rebrand as "Kitchen Fresh Chicken," but there are a few things about the fried chicken chain that might surprise you.
Here's what you need to have on your radar, you know, just in case you find yourself starring in a a reboot of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? with Colonel Sanders as the host, or need an emergency "fun fact" to revive an awkward lapse in small talk at your next office birthday party.
1. Only Two People Know the Exact Herb and Spice Blend for KFC's Original Chicken.
You know the recipe uses 11 herbs and spices, but the exact ingredients and measurements are protected in a way that'd make Dr. Evil proud: Behind a vault that's walled in with concrete blocks, with motion sensors and security cameras running around the clock to protect that yellow slip of paper baring Sanders' original recipe.
Only two company execs can know the recipe at any given time, and KFC won't release their names or titles, the Huffington Post reports.
2. In KFC's Early Days, You Could Buy the Recipe for Pennies.
Sanders franchised his fried chicken recipe&mdashand seriously time-saving method of cooking fried chicken in pressure cookers instead of cast-iron skillets&mdashto his first partner, Pete Harman, for 4 to 5 cents per piece of chicken sold. He traveled to make sales pitches, often sleeping in his car and subsisting on the fried chicken he made during demos, to save money.
3. KFC Battled Mutant Chickens&mdashAnd Won.
If you've scrolled Facebook and come across stories that KFC had created mutant chickens with six wings and eight legs, you've been duped&mdashand three tech companies are paying for it. A Shanghai court fined the three companies roughly $191,000 for spreading the false story on social media, along with Photoshopped images of the birds, according to Reuters.
4. Someone Paid $21,510 to Take the Suit Off the Colonel's Back.
When Colonel Sanders' iconic white suit and black Western bow tie went up for auction, Masao Watanabe jumped at the chance to take it home, shelling out more than $20,000 for it. It was a fitting purchase, considering he's the president and chief executive of KFC Japan.
"Every child in Japan knows Colonel Sanders' face and his uniform," Watanabe told The Associated Press. He immediately tried the suit on after buying it, and said he'd display it at a restaurant in Tokyo, so others could revel in its pressed, bright white glory.
5. KFC Gave Carson Daly a Truly One-of-a-Kind Gift.
Celebrities are given all kinds of free swag, but the gift the Colonel bestowed upon Today show host Carson Daly is on a totally different level. The chain sent him a pair of Chicken nugget cufflinks after Daly joked that the brand, which was selling $20 drumstick corsages for prom, should offer a dressy option for guys.
6. There's an Entire Museum Devoted to the Colonel.
When you make like Britney Spears and plan your Crossroads-style, coming-of-age road trip with your besties this summer, you might want to make a pit stop in Corbin, KY. It's where you can find the Sanders Café, the restaurant that predates the fast food chain, and its attached museum, where you can learn all about Harland Sanders' history (before the café, he set up shop in a Shell gas station, serving people off of his dining table, which he carted into the store).
You can also pose next to a statue of the Colonel, scope out some sweet vinyl albums featuring the brand (Christmas Eve with Colonel Sanders sing-along, anyone?) and gawk at the kitchen where Sanders came up with his pressure-frying method of cooking.
7. KFC's Deliciousness Was Once Seriously Lost in Translation.
When Kentucky Fried Chicken advertised its meals in China, its "finger lickin' good" slogan was accidentally translated as "We'll eat your fingers off." Somehow, the image of a cashier going all Hannibal Lector on your digits seems . not delish. Go figure.
8. The Chain Has Tested Much Crazier Foods Than the Double Down.
Using two boneless chicken breasts to sandwich cheese and bacon was just the beginning. Since then, KFC has tested&mdashand released in select markets&mdashsuch wonders as Funnel Cake Fries, Deep-Fried Soup, Mac and Cheese Bites, and two new uses for its chicken: as a hot dog bun and as the crust for a pizza (or "chizza").
9. The Colonel Has His Own Comic Book.
He battled his evil doppelganger from Earth-3, Colonel Sunder, with the help of The Flash and Green Lantern, in The Colonel of Two Worlds, a limited-edition comic book distributed at New York Comic Con this past year. Earlier that year, he starred in another comic at San Diego Comic-Con, but he's far from a newbie in battling lookalike evil-doers&mdashColonel Sanders also starred in a 1960s comic book where he foiled an imposter from stealing his secret recipe.
10. Sanders Shot a Man Over a Business Dispute.
When Sanders painted a sign directing people to his Shell station&mdashthe very same one where he first started selling his fried chicken&mdashit riled up the owner of a nearby gas station, Matt Stewart, who promptly painted over it. Sanders painted back over it, and it wasn't long before Stewart headed back to the sign to cover it back up. Draaaama!
As soon as Sanders heard his rival was painting over his sign for a second time, he and two colleagues decided to catch them in the act. A gun fight ensued, which killed one of Sanders' coworkers. Sanders shot Stewart in the shoulder, Entrepreneur reports. (He also frequently cheated on his wife and is not actually a military colonel, according to the website. He was named an honorary colonel by the state of Kentucky in 1935.)
You can find a recreation of the fight on KFC's website.
11. You Can't Get Sanders' Original Gravy Recipe Anymore.
The Colonel prided himself on making a sauce that was so insatiably good you'd "throw away the durn chicken and just eat the gravy," but the recipe was so complicated, time-consuming and expensive to make that executives nixed it in favor of a simpler recipe, the New Yorker reports.
Even though Sanders sold the chain in 1964, that didn't stop him from occasionally visiting KFCs and sampling the gravy, offering Gordon Ramsay-caliber critiques, like, "How do you serve this God-d*mned slop? With a straw?"
12. Many Different Men Have Been the Colonel
Though Sanders passed away in 1980, a caricature of the founder lives on, with comedians like Darrell Hammond, Norm MacDonald and Jim Gaffigan playing him in ads.
Biscuits are a true Southern staple. I don&rsquot think you can even call it a Southern meal without biscuits on the table!
And oh my, the pairing of fried chicken and biscuits is just to die for. The flakiness of the biscuits perfectly complements the tenderness of the chicken.
While there are a ton of biscuit recipes out there, for me simple buttermilk biscuits are always the best.
2. The founder was only 28
Popeyes has been around since 1972 and amazingly, the huge and successful food chain was started by a young entrepreneur by the name of Al Copeland. He was just 28 years old when he started the now famous fast food chain. Of course, it wasn’t the huge success it is now when it first began, but it didn’t take long for the public to realize what a gem it was. It quickly gained notoriety with the public and loyal customers who spread the word about the delicious and fast meals you can buy there brought in friends and family and the revenues from sales allowed them to expand at a fairly rapid pace.
How to Make KFC Original Fried Chicken
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Have you ever craved that Kentucky-fried taste, but just can't get behind the fast food scene? This recipe for copycat KFC may have some crazy ingredients, but it will definitely have the whole family enjoying take out food from the home! The best way to deep fry the chicken would be with an actual deep fryer, but you may be able to use a pot or skillet instead.
KFC Facts You Never Knew
KFC is one of the most iconic fast food brands known to man. Its finger lickin' good Kentucky Fried Chicken is the stuff that breaded chicken dreams are made of. But do you know the story behind the first KFC? Or how Colonel Sanders started his fried chicken empire in the first place?
Hopefully these 16 KFC facts will teach you a thing or two about how Kentucky Fried Chicken became such a hit all across the world, and especially in Japan at Christmas. More on that later.
1. KFC was founded by a man called Harland Sanders aka Colonel Sanders. He started serving his trademark fried chicken when he owned a petrol station just outside North Corbin, Kentucky, back in 1930. After impressing the locals, he was given the title of honorary colonel from the Kentucky governor in 1936 and a mention in Duncan Hines&rsquo 1939 book Adventures In Good Eating.
As soon as he realised it was his chicken people were into and not his petrol, he scrapped the petrol station and turned it into a 142-seat roadside restaurant and motel called Sanders' Court & Cafe.
2. The first restaurant going by the name Kentucky Fried Chicken opened in 1952 in Salt Lake City after The Colonel met restaurant owner Peter Harman at a food seminar.
3. In 1991, the KFC name was officially adopted, although it was already widely known as this as opposed to Kentucky Fried Chicken. Kyle Craig, president of KFC US, admitted the change was an attempt to distance the chain from the unhealthy connotations of "fried".
4. The KFC recipe is super-secret. During his lifetime, Colonel Sanders always kept the blend of 11 herbs and spices for his trademark chicken in his own head, before writing it on a scrap of paper, which he kept in his wallet. These days, the recipe is kept under literal lock and key at the KFC headquarters with just a few select members of the company privy to the information. Although, this guy thinks he's figured it out.
5. KFC is traditionally eaten on Christmas Day in Japan. Buckets of fried chicken are enjoyed by millions of Japanese families from November through to Christmas Day every year. It's so popular that orders are made weeks in advance and massive queues form first thing on Christmas Day. But why? Well, it's all to do with a hugely succesful marketing campaign from 1974 called "Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii", which roughly translates into "Kentucky for Christmas!"
6. You can get yourself a pair of KFC Crocs. Yeah, I'm afraid that's true - KFC Crocs are a thing, and there are actually two versions: The first is the classic clog, which looks like your typical croc but with a KFC twist. It's got the classic KFC bucket design on the bottom, while the top has a fried chicken print complete with two removable chicken-scented Jibbitz, which look exactly like chicken drumsticks. Yes, I said CHICKEN-SCENTED. But you can't actually eat them.
7. Oh, and Kim Kardashian has a pair, because, of course she does.
8. A KFC pizza exists, and it's hella tasty. In 2019, KFC and Pizza Hut joined forces to create the greatest pizza in existence. The two fast food giants have launched the Popcorn Chicken Pizza, making all our wildest dreams come true.
The pizza features KFC&rsquos iconic gravy on a large classic crust base, with mozzarella cheese topped with Popcorn Chicken and sprinkled with sweetcorn.
9. A couple got engaged at a KFC in South Africa and the fast food chain paid for their wedding. After a video Hector Mkansi's proposal to Nonhlanhla Soldaat went viral (sadly, because some miseries slammed Hector for proposing in a fast-food restaurant), a load of people came forward and said they wanted to contribute to the wedding. KFC South Africa provided a wedding planner, Airlines Kulula and Mango offered to fly the couple to their honeymoon, and Uber, Lexus, and Audi all offered their services as far as transport goes.
Mzansi please help us find this beautiful couple, re batla ho ba blesser 😊 DM us any leads, there might be a Finger Lickin' Good surprise in it for you too. Batho ba Vaal re thuseng! We love love 😍❤️ #KFCProposal pic.twitter.com/6bj89dtj4j&mdash KFC South Africa (@KFCSA) November 7, 2019
10. There are around 23,000 KFC locations across the world.
11. The Colonel has his own video game. It's called Colonel Quest and the aim of the game is to collect as many chicken drumsticks as possible. You do this by learning information about The Colonel's colourful life.
12. Oh, and there's a comic book about him too. The Colonel&rsquos Adventure Comics depicts early events in Colonel Sanders&rsquo life that eventually led to the discovery of his real super power: fried chicken.
13. According to Forbes, KFC is valued at $8.5billion and places 86th on their World's Most Valuable Brands 2019 list. Not bad for something that started out as fried chicken at a petrol station, eh?
14. The first KFC bucket meal wasn't sold until 1957, despite The Colonel starting his chicken empire back in 1939.
15. Colonel Sanders sold his Kentucky Fried Chicken company for $2million to investors in 1964. He sold it on the proviso that he'd still have a place on the board as a quality controller, a lifetime salary and appearances in the adverts.
16. Rather unfortunately, "finger lickin&rsquo good&rdquo wasn't translated correctly in the first few locations in China, so the famous catchphrase was &ldquoeat your fingers off&rdquo in China for a while.
How Harland Sanders Became The Colonel
Believe it or not, the starting path leading to Kentucky Fried Chicken began with a humble start at a gas station. Harland Sanders, who would later receive the title of ‘honorary colonel’ from the governor of Kentucky, actually owned a petrol station. The station was located in North Corbin, Kentucky, a town that not many, if any, outside of Kentucky know of.
Karlis Dambrans / Shutterstock.com
It was there that Sanders began whipping up batches of fried chicken and selling them to locals and passersby, which is where he gained a local reputation for having some of the best fried chicken around. The first mention of his name in regard to any type of recognition was by Duncan Hines in 1939, in a book titled Adventures in Good Eating.
My Oven Fried Chicken (KFC Copycat)
Baking instead of frying was the goal and when you bake the chicken the skin renders the fat and gets crispy. The tough part was getting the right consistency in coating the chicken and I believe I have it covered.
First you’ll need to start off by soaking the chicken in buttermilk. This not only tenderizes the chicken, but allows the spice and coating mix to adhere better to the chicken pieces.
While I did a tremendous amount of reading and testing I can’t believe some of the nonsense I saw passing as KFC copy fried chicken out there!
Some even said they got the recipe online from the Colonel’s family, and I’ve seen that “handwritten” recipe from the supposed grandson, but some people didn’t even follow that! He had the ingredients written with “tsp” as in teaspoon and people had tablespoon in their ingredient lists, with the same amounts of flour he had. OVER KILL.
I made several batches with several different versions and techniques.
The image below shows the seasoning and breading I came up with although the photo shows the batch that I double dipped. As in buttermilk marinated chicken, then shake it off, dredge in the seasoned flour and then back in the buttermilk with an added beaten egg and dredged again. Double dipped and ready to bake. Melted butter gets drizzled over each chicken piece and in the oven they went.
What I found out was this double dredge technique is great if your actually frying the chicken (yes, I tested it that way, too!). It was good, though the breading was too much and got slightly steamed on the inside while baking. It was crunchy on the outside, but half of it slide off when taking a bite. Not that crunch-tastic fried chicken feel I was looking for.
While it did indeed taste great, I adjusted the paprika and black pepper and used white pepper for the next batch and liked that better as well only doing one dredge. To get the extra crunch my secret is to add some baking powder to the dredge.
Here is the batch of the double dipped and dredged version. Looks and tastes amazing, but was not perfect.
I wanted a baked version that tasted like it was fried. Back to the drawing board and the store for more chicken (thank goodness it was on sale).
For the oven fried chicken batch I have written in this recipe I added turmeric for added color, lessened the paprika and black pepper and used white pepper, did only one dredge in the seasoned flour with a little Panko for added crunch after soaking in buttermilk and the crunch was spot on! Don’t forget to add that baking powder to your batch, that’s my secret for mega crunch.
I like a bit of heat and kick so a little cayenne was added in the seasoning, too. That is totally optional, but I highly recommend it. This is THE version. What started out as a test to get the KFC version ended up being better than I had hoped. This oven fried chicken is the way to go for me and I hope you enjoy it. Lightly coated, crunchy, flavorful and juicy on the inside. You could tap a fork on it and hear how crunchy it is going to be!
Fried chicken feel and taste, though baked in the oven with just a little butter.
If you like baked chicken dishes try my Apricot Baked Chicken, Cherry Roasted Honey Chicken or my Bacon Wrapped Chicken. Here’s the recipe for my Classic Potato Salad recipe seen in the photos, too. Enjoy!
This recipe first appeared on Kevin Is Cooking in March 2017 and has been updated with new photos and a video.
Subscribe to my Newsletter, follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube for all my latest recipes and videos.
KFC Denies Recipe Is Real
Although its authenticity has been debated, and KFC denies that the recipe is real, chicken lovers have been attempting to make fried chicken using the list Ledington provided.
It seems what makes the chicken special is using a lot of paprika, along with garlic salt, white pepper, and a number of other herbs.
Some people have tried it and loved it. However others don’t find the recipe to even be close, So far, though, it’s the closest match out there.
If you want to make your own KFC chicken at home using the recipe, here’s how to do it:
- 2 cups flour
- 2/3 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 tablespoon thyme
- 1/2 tablespoon basil
- 1 tablespoon celery salt
- 1/3 tablespoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried mustard
- 4 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons garlic salt
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 3 tablespoons white pepper
1. Add oil to a large frying pan, and heat it up.
2. Combine flour and spices in a large bowl.
3. In a separate large bowl, add some milk and egg. Then add the chicken into the liquid mixture, and then coat the chicken with the flour and spice mix.
4. Fry the chicken for 10-15 minutes. Finally, let cool and serve.
Check out this video from Business Insider for a visual guide to making KFC Chicken. Even if this is isn’t the restaurant’s secret recipe, it sure sounds delicious.
This Is Not Your Grandma’s Fried Chicken—It’s Better
Chef Edward Lee shares his tips and tricks to making perfectly crispy and tender fried chicken. The best part? It’s really simple.
O ne of the only recipes my grandmother taught me before she died was how to make her fried chicken. For most of my life, I didn’t think the dish could be improved upon. While she never gave me written instructions, the process is ingrained in my memory, having watched her do it so many times. And it always resulted in a delicious meal, so why mess with tradition, right?
Well, despite my nostalgia for this family recipe, there was plenty of room for improvement, as there often is. After speaking with chef Edward Lee about fried chicken, which he’s spent most of his career perfecting, I had to admit that a few subtle updates would result in a better fry.
And, oh my stars (to borrow one of grandma’s favorite expressions), it did. Though Lee’s recipe didn’t reinvent the fried chicken wheel, his tips created a crispier crust and far more tender meat than I had ever achieved before. All it required was lots of buttermilk, one empty egg carton saved from my recycling bin and an afternoon spent re-seasoning Grandma’s old Griswold No. 9 cast-iron skillet.
The James Beard Award-winning author and owner of 610 Magnolia in Louisville, Kentucky, and culinary director of Succotash, in Washington, D.C., is quite vocal about his love for fried chicken, whether in its classic form or in one of the many equally delicious variations he’s developed over the years.
So, whether you’re a fried chicken rookie or you’re curious to see if you can inject new life into your family’s recipe, Lee’s advice will help you achieve the perfect contrast between crispy crust and tender chicken every time.
To end up with the best tasting fried chicken, Lee recommends starting off with bone-in dark meat. “Flavor-wise, you’re better off using drumsticks, thighs and even wings—they’re the best for fried chicken.” (If you have full chicken legs, he advises that you divide them at the joint before proceeding.) And it’s best to avoid using the breast, since it won’t fry well. “The size is uneven and it doesn’t make for good fried chicken.”
As far as quality of the meat you’re using, don’t go too far out of your way to find organic meat. Free-range chickens tend to have better flavor, but can be a bit leaner because “they get more exercise.”
“Fried chicken is going to be delicious regardless,” says Lee. “It may be one of the few things where just a regular old commodity bird is just as good as the organic. Most of the fried chicken that we eat comes from commodity chicken and, while their practices are not something that I espouse, the meat flavor and quality is actually fine because 90 percent of the joy of eating fried chicken is that crunchy, salty, fatty flavor. You know, you’re not going to eat it every day—it’s a treat.”
Once you have your chicken pieces, put them in a mixing bowl and “marinate them in buttermilk overnight to tenderize the meat and add a little flavor,” says Lee.
Don’t have buttermilk on hand? Don’t worry, there are a few ways around it. “Unflavored yogurt does the exact same thing,” says Lee. “You can also literally just use [regular] milk with a squeeze of lemon juice in it.” And if you don’t have either of those things, you can heavily salt the chicken and let it cure on a sheet pan in the fridge for about an hour.
When you’re about ready to start dredging and frying, drain the chicken—Lee says this step is “really important.” Once it is drained, salt and pepper the pieces liberally. “Whatever you think is enough salt and pepper, add a bit more,” he says.
This is the vital step that will ensure your fried chicken is as crispy and crunchy as humanly possible.
First, prepare your flour mixture. Mix all-purpose flour with salt, pepper and some hot paprika if you have it on hand. “I don’t go too crazy with [the seasonings] because I think the flavor gets lost, but salt, pepper and a little paprika is good,” says Lee. “You’re going to dip your chicken in the buttermilk and then you’re going to dredge or roll it in the flour.”
As each piece of chicken comes out of the flour mixture, either lay it on a wire rack or prop it up in an egg carton. Just start this process in the center of the carton rather than on one end, so it doesn’t immediately tip over.
“The trick to a true fried chicken crust is you’re actually creating the crust before you deep fry in your oil,” says Lee. “You can’t dredge and put the chicken in your frying oil right away. What happens is when you dip your chicken in the buttermilk and then roll it in flour, it is still a layer of chicken, a layer of buttermilk and a layer of flour.”
If you don’t wait for the crust to form, those layers will immediately separate upon hitting the hot oil. He also adds that if you let the chicken rest on a flat surface without airflow (humid conditions may also prove a challenge), the crust will bond to whatever it’s touching rather than to the chicken. Each piece of chicken should sit for a “good 15 minutes” before going into the frying oil. “Don’t disturb it,” says Lee. “Just literally leave it alone.”
While your chicken is drying, it’s time to bring your oil to the perfect frying temperature. Since you probably don’t have a deep fryer at home, Lee recommends adding two inches of canola oil, Crisco or “anything that has a high [cooking] temperature” to a large pan with high sides—cast iron, if you have it. You can even use a big pot, but Lee recommends steering clear of short-sided sauté pans when frying chicken.
The ideal oil temperature is about 350–370 degrees. When it’s heated, you can begin adding the chicken.
“Very gently lay it in there,” says Lee. Be gentle for two reasons: You don’t want oil to splash out and burn you, but you also don’t want your chicken to fall and touch the bottom of the pan because the breading will stick. And fry only a few pieces at a time, so the oil doesn’t drop in temperature.
“The top part [of the chicken] will float, so it will look like only the bottom part is cooking, not the top part, and you’ll have this urge to like start flipping it right away,” says Lee. “You don’t want to disturb that cook, so just leave it in there for a good five minutes and don’t touch it. Just kind of nudge it just to make sure it’s not sticking to the bottom.”
After five minutes, you can flip the chicken over again and continue flipping it over every two minutes. Depending on the size of the chicken pieces, it will need to cook for between 12 and 16 minutes. If you’re unsure, cut into a piece to check that the juices in the chicken run completely clear.
“If you don’t disturb the chicken and you let the oil do its thing and the oil is consistently 350 degrees, but lower than 370, you will have a perfect crust,” says Lee. “At that point, you take it out, drain it on paper towels, give it another little salt sprinkle on top and let it rest [on a wire rack] for a few minutes. Then you’re ready to go. It’s really simple.”
While fried chicken doesn’t necessarily need any extra seasonings, Lee likes to add a hint of contrasting sweetness. “My daughter and I like to sprinkle just a little bit of salt and just a tiny drizzle of honey,” says Lee. “And it’s fantastic.”