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KFC Grilled Chicken Copycat Recipe
KFC Grilled Chicken
By Todd Wilbur

Recipe Type: Entree
Calories: 278
Cook Time: 1 hour
Recipe Rating: 5.0 (15 reviews)
It took chefs several years to develop what would eventually become KFC's most clucked about new product launch in the chain's 57-year history. With between 70 to 180 calories and four to nine grams of fat, depending on the piece, the new un-fried chicken is being called "KFC's second secret recipe," and "a defining moment in our brand's storied history" in a company press release. The secret recipe for the new grilled chicken is now stored on an encrypted computer flash drive next to the Colonel's handwritten original fried chicken recipe in an electronic safe at KFC company headquarters. Oprah Winfrey featured the chicken on her talk show and gave away so many coupons for free grilled chicken meals that some customers waited in lines for over an hour and half, and several stores ran out and had to offer rain checks. Company spokesperson Laurie Schalow told the Associated Press that KFC has never seen such a huge response to any promotion. "It's unprecedented in our more than 50 years," she said. "It beats anything we've ever done."

When I heard about all the commotion over this new secret recipe I immediately locked myself up in the underground lab with a 12-piece bucket of the new grilled chicken, plus a sample I obtained of the proprietary seasoning blend, and got right to work. After days of nibbling through what amounts to a small flock of hens, I'm happy to bring you this amazing cloned version of the latest fast food phenomenon so that you can now reproduce it in your own kitchen. Find the smallest chicken you can, since KFC uses young hens. Or better yet save some dough by finding a small whole chicken and cut it up yourself. The secret preparation process requires that you marinate (brine) your chicken for a couple hours in a salt and MSG solution. This will make the chicken moist all of the way through and give it great flavor. After the chicken has brined, it's brushed with liquid smoke-flavored oil that will not only make the seasoning stick to the chicken, but will also ensure that the chicken doesn't stick to the pan. The liquid smoke in the oil gives the chicken a smoky flavor as if it had been cooked on an open flame barbecue grill. The grilled chicken at KFC is probably cooked on ribbed metal plates in specially designed convection ovens to get those grill marks. I duplicated that process using an oven-safe grill pan, searing the chicken first on the stovetop to add the grill marks, then cooking the chicken through in the oven. If you don't have a grill pan or a grill plate, you can just sear the chicken in any large oven safe saute pan. If you have a convection function on your oven you should definitely use it, but the recipe will still work in a standard oven with the temperature set just a little bit higher. After baking the chicken for 20 minutes on each side, you're ready to dive into your own 8-piece bucket of delicious indoor grilled chicken that's as tasty as the fried stuff, but without all the fat.

Check out the video demonstration of this recipe.

Marinade (Brine)
8 cups water
Changed some ingredients
Submitted on: 12/31/16
My husband is on a low salt diet. Instead of a brine in salt I used buttermilk. I replaced the soy sauce with low sodium soy sauce. It was fantastic!
Did Soy sauce make it salty?
Submitted on: 11/02/16
This recipes sounds great and I can't wait to make it. Just wanted to know if the soy sauce makes the chicken too salty? I'm on a low-salt diet and often even low salt soy sauce is too salty. Just wanted to hear any feedback. Thx.
Spot On!
Submitted on: 05/12/16
I quadrupled the seasoning mix ingredients, put it in my mini blender and put it in a empty spice shaker jar. I followed the recipe exactly and it tastes just like KFC grilled chicken. MUCH cheaper to make it myself. Nice and juicy. Delicious!
cynthia morrissey  
Submitted on: 04/13/13
Love this recipe, big hit. When I get a KFC grilled chicken craving I just make this. I tried it with both mesquite and hickory smoke flavoring. Both worked well.
Michelle Borofka  
Submitted on: 11/18/11
tasted wonderful, exactly the same as if I had it at KFC
Great Method
Submitted on: 03/23/11
I'm not sure how KFC Grilled chicken is supposed to taste like as we dont have it here in Toronto, But I love this recipe. The seasoning is GREAT!, I've made enough to put in a shaker to season other meats. For a Different twist.. Try soaking the chicken in buttermilk!.. It wont be a clone of KFC.. but definitely a different milder sweeter taste to it.!!
Aimee Lawrence  
Submitted on: 03/21/11
I used a George foreman grill....they turned out Delicious! I do suggest making a little more of the seasoning depending on how big your pieces of Chicken are....I will make this again =)
Mark Mitchell  
Submitted on: 01/27/11
I did this and swapped out the vegetable oil for Olive oil and its excellent
Submitted on: 02/03/10
Do yourself a favor and make a LARGE batch of the spices. Then you can just sprinkle on the goodness any time you want. I baked the chicken on a broiler pan so that the grease could drip off. Great recipe!
Submitted on: 12/02/09
Very delicious and true to taste! I used the hickory liquid smoke and it turned out great! I will definitely use this recipe again.
Submitted on: 10/30/09
OMG. This is awesome. Used the George grill for 3 min on boneless chicken breasts. Sprayed them with High Heat cooking spray (not using oil to save calories) and them popped them in the oven for 20 min. Hubby rated them 9/10 and he eats the real ones on the road all the time! Thanks Todd!!!
Submitted on: 07/24/09
Only had KFC's grilled chicken once. Unfortunately, the taste was not memorable, so I don't remember if this clone tastes exactly like it or not. However the clone is DELICIOUS! It just replaced my new favorite grilled chicken recipe. Thanks, Todd!
Submitted on: 06/07/09
We made this for company and are living in Hamburg, Germany. It was a GREAT hit. Haven't tasted the original, but this is a great recipe. There wasn't anything left.
Submitted on: 06/04/09
Great recipe! The only thing I would change is to make double the recipe of the seasoning to coat chicken better. Otherwise, it was true to taste!!
Submitted on: 05/28/09
Delicious! I put the dry spice mixture in my electric coffee grinder to make a fine powder. Worked great. I used just chicken thighs and after the first 20 minutes of baking switched them to a different pan as there was quite a bit of grease accumulating. Will make this again.