When I was growing up in north Jersey, we lived very close to Willowbrook Mall. Back in the 70’s the mall had a cafeteria style restaurant call “Hot Shoppes.” One of the entrees on the menu was a delicious, crispy fried chicken called Pappy Parker Fried Chicken. The combination of spices intertwined with the coating made for a heavenly dish
In my Instagram feed, my niece suggested I follow “Brunch with Babs.” If I recall, Babs got started on TikTok with videos she and her daughter created featuring family recipes; she now has a presence on Instagram. Recently, Babs posted her copycat recipe of KFC chicken inspired both from KFC and Cooks Country. Intrigued by this information, I decided to try her recipe. I read through her post which included the recipe and a video preparation.
For the recipe you’ll need 3 pounds of chicken, flour, cornstarch, paprika, black pepper, granulated garlic, sage, thyme, oregano, celery seed, Lawry’s seasoned salt, dried mustard, buttermilk and Bab’s hack of avocado oil instead of vegetable or peanut oil. It’s a good thing I took a second look at the video while preparing my chicken, the ingredient list neglected to include cayenne pepper. I posted on her page as to how much cayenne is needed, but with 28,300 likes, my little question got lost in the 428 comments! I decided to start with a teaspoon. In lieu of purchasing Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, I found a copycat recipe online.
The other change on Bab’s recipe is to place a cast iron frying pan in a cold oven while preheating the oven to 450°. Once the pan and oven are hot, you add ½ cup of avocado oil for cooking the chicken. Instead of avocado oil, I used corn oil. The chicken cooks for approximately 30 minutes, or until the breasts register 160° and 170° for thighs and legs.
The chicken did have a nice crust, but the flavor was missing something. Could it have been that I needed a tablespoon of cayenne instead of a teaspoon? Other copycat recipes mention the secret ingredient as being MSG (monosodium glutamate) or Accent, as it’s more commonly known. I’m not sure adding Accent would enhance the flavor, but perhaps a heavier hand with certain spices would do the trick. I still prefer the chicken I had at the now closed Redhead Tavern in Manhattan.
runch with Babs KFC Copycat Recipe
This is a copycat recipe, but Babs uses ½ cup of avocado oil, plus chicken is baked vs. Kentucky Fried Chicken which uses 6 cups of oil and is fried.
3 lbs. bone in chicken
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cups cornstarch
1 bsp. paprika
1 Tbsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. granulated garlic
1 tsp each of sage, thyme, oregano, cayenne pepper* and celery seed
2 tsp season salt i.e. Lawry’s
2 tsp dried mustard
3 Tbsp. buttermilk
1/2 cup avocado oil
(Inspired by Cooks Country and Kentucky Fried Chicken)
Adjust oven rack to middle position. Place in the COLD oven, a 12-inch cast iron skillet and turn the oven to 450 degrees. Let the oven and skillet preheat together.
Season chicken with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Lightly beat eggs in a medium bowl together with 1 tsp salt. In another medium bowl, whisk flour and cornstarch together. Then add all seasonings to the flour mixture and whisk again. Add the buttermilk to the flour mixture and using your fingers rub it into the flour until combined and shaggy pieces of dough form.
Work with one piece of chicken at a time. Dip in egg mixture. Allow excess to drip off. Then dredge in flour mixture, pressing the mixture on the chicken to firmly adhere. Transfer coated chicken to large plate, skin side up.
When oven temperature reaches 450, carefully remove hot skillet from oven and add oil to hot preheated skillet. Immediately place chicken, skin side down, into skillet and quickly return to hot oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove skillet from oven and flip chicken continue to bake until breasts register 160 and thighs and legs about 175, about 15 minutes longer.
Place chicken skin side up on paper towel lined wire rack set over a baking sheet to absorb grease from the underside of chicken. Then move to unlined rack and let cool for about 10 minutes and serve.
*Unfortunately, I discovered while viewing the video a second time, that Babs lists cayenne pepper as an ingredient, but it’s omitted on recipe which is on her Instagram account. I “commented” on her page inquiring about the exact measurement, but I did not receive a response. I’m going to assume its 1 teaspoon.
A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.