Three steps to success: A flavorful brine infuses the chicken with seasoning and keeps it juicy, an overnight chill allows the crust to set, and a spicy glaze seals the deal.
- 9.5 ounces kosher salt (1 cup Morton or 1⅔ cups Diamond Crystal)
- ⅓ cup (packed) light brown sugar
- ¾ cup hot sauce (preferably Crystal)
- 2 3½–4-pound chickens, cut into 8 pieces (legs and thighs separated, breasts halved), backbone and wing tips removed
- 6 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
Glaze and Assembly
- 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
- 1½ teaspoons cayenne pepper
- Vegetable oil (for frying; about 4 quarts)
Heat salt, brown sugar, and 4 cups water in a large pot over medium, whisking, until salt and sugar dissolve, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in hot sauce and 8 cups ice water. Add chicken to brine, cover, and chill 4 hours.
Combine 2 cups flour and 3 Tbsp. Old Bay seasoning in a shallow baking dish and toss with your fingers to evenly distribute seasoning. Place buttermilk in a medium bowl. Remove chicken from brine and pat dry with paper towels.
Working one at a time, dip 8 pieces of chicken in buttermilk, allowing excess to drip off, then coat in flour mixture, packing all around chicken and pressing firmly into cracks and crevices; shake off excess. Place chicken on a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. Discard flour mixture, which will be wet at this point, and repeat process with remaining flour, Old Bay, buttermilk, and chicken; place on another wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. Chill, uncovered, 12–24 hours.
Glaze and Assembly
Let chicken stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
Heat lard, Old Bay, paprika, and cayenne in a small saucepan over low, stirring, until lard is melted, about 3 minutes. Set glaze aside.
Pour oil into a large pot fitted with deep-fry thermometer to come halfway up the sides. Heat over medium-high until thermometer registers 325°. Working in 4 batches, fry chicken, turning often with tongs and adjusting heat to maintain temperature, until skin is deep golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of chicken registers 165° for dark meat and 160° for white meat, 10–12 minutes per batch. Transfer chicken back to wire racks and let rest 5 minutes. Brush lightly with glaze (reheat glaze, if needed) and let cool. Store on racks at room temperature up to 3 hours ahead.
Nutritional ContentCalories (kcal) 770 Fat (g) 46 Saturated Fat (g) 15 Cholesterol (mg) 120 Carbohydrates (g) 53 Dietary Fiber (g) 2 Total Sugars (g) 5 Protein (g) 34 Sodium (mg) 2650Reviews SectionVery flavorful. Way crunchy.shawnacRandle, WA 05/14/19roberthoman26713Ohio11/05/18
Fried Chicken Legs, Succotash, And BiscuitsPhoto by Andrew Meade
3 tablespoons hot sauce (I love Cholula)
1 tablespoon black pepper
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
1 tablespoon celery seeds
1 cup tarragon leaves, chopped
3 cups flour for dredging
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
Drizzle of honey for serving
3 tablespoons bacon, cut into ⅛ -inch dice
1 large turnip, peeled and cut into 8 wedges
2 cups chicken broth or stock
1 cup freshly shucked corn
½ cup cooked farro, buckwheat, or wheatberries
1 cup yellow and green wax beans (or any of your favorite fresh beans), blanched in boiling salted water for 1 minute, placed in ice water, and drained
This is not the first time Cajun cooking makes it to my blog. If you haven't known, I am crazy with Cajun cuisine and would want to eat it everyday if possible.
Garlic Cajun boiling seafood is my most popular Cajun recipe. Grilled Cajun semi dried squid and Cajun chicken sandwich are using the same Cajun base of the previous recipe.
Cajun chicken salad is another recipe worth to try. Tender grilled chicken got mixed with white onion and fish sauce vinaigrette are what included in the recipe.
Of course in a chicken and waffles recipe we can not can't have waffles. Nothing can beat this easy, light and tender interior, but crispy exterior homemade waffles recipe.
Ultimate fried chicken, from Andrew Carmellini
Award-winning chef Andrew Carmellini has practiced his culinary artistry in places as diverse as his native Ohio, New York City, Italy, France and England.
Carmellini is now preparing American fare in his new restaurants,The Dutch, which opened to rave reviews in both New York and Miami.
And, in "THE Dish" on "The Early Show on Saturday Morning," Carmellini shared the recipe for his ultimate dish: his Fried Chicken with Sides.
What is it about American food that inspires Carmellini?
"When I think about American food, I think about the road, because that's how I grew up - and that's how I learned first-hand about American cooking," he says on his website. "From childhood family road trips between Ohio and Florida (full of Southern grub and citrus straight from the trees) cross-country hauls in search of the Great American Breakfast and five-meal-a-day swings through barbeque country, I've been horizon-bound from behind a dashboard for most of my life. In big cities, I've eaten through local cuisines from around the world in a single day thinking, this is what makes America awesome."
Carmellini has received James Beard Awards, a Food & Wine Best New Chef nod and a three-star review from The New York Times.
His other famous eatery, besides The Dutch in SoHo, is Locanda Verde in Robert De Niro's Greenwich Hotel in Tribeca.
Carmellini has also written two cookbooks with his wife, Gwen Hyman: "Urban Italian: True Stories and Simple Recipes from a Life In Food" and "American Flavor."
On "THE Dish," a different famous chef each week reveals what he or she would have if they could have just one meal. That's because for us, "THE Dish" is about the moment, the place, and the person you would share it with. It's about the emotion behind the food, it's about the conversation and the meal itself. We want to get to know these chefs on a deeper level and hope our viewers do, as well.
FOR THE BUTTERMILK MARINADE
- 1 quart (4 cups) buttermilk
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 chickens (2 pounds each-you don't want huge chickens for this), cut up into pieces
- 2 quarts corn oil
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
- 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons ground celery seed
- 4 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
TO MAKE THE BUTTERMILK MARINADE
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the buttermilk together with the cayenne, Old Bay, salt, pepper, Tabasco, and honey. Put the chicken pieces in the mixing bowl and submerge them in the buttermilk marinade. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, put it in the fridge, and let the chicken marinate for at least 12 hours.
TO BREAD AND FRY THE CHICKEN
Pull the chicken out of the fridge and let it come up to room temperature, still in the marinade (this will take about 45 minutes).
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.
Heat the oil in a deep pot or a deep-fryer over high heat. The oil should be 3 inches deep, and it should be so hot that it starts popping (about 350 degrees F). A good rule of thumb: if you drop a pinch of flour into the oil and it fries up immediately, you're good to go. While the oil is heating, combine the flour, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, Old Bay, cayenne pepper, celery seed, salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Mix things around with your hands so everything is distributed evenly. Pour half of the mixture into a small bowl and set it aside.
Add the flour to the large bowl and mix well. When the oil is hot, pull a piece of chicken out of the marinade. Put it right into the dredging flour bowl and heap flour on top of it flip it around until the chicken is completely coated. Do the same with each piece until there's no more space in the bowl.
Pick up a piece of chicken, give it a light shake (just enough to get rid of the really loose bits of flour), and use your hands or a pair of tongs to drop it into the fry pot. Do the same with the rest of the chicken pieces. (You will definitely need to fry your chicken in batches, unless you've got some really big bowls and pots.)
Let the chicken fry for about 8 minutes, until it's golden brown. Pull the chicken pieces out of the fryer with tongs and put them on a rack set on a baking sheet. Sprinkle each piece of chicken with the seasoning mixture, using the tongs to turn the piece so it's coated on all sides.
Put the baking sheet in the oven. The chicken pieces should rest in the oven for at least 10 minutes, so that the cooking process finishes. Meanwhile, fry up the next batch of chicken.
Hold the fried chicken in the oven until all the pieces are fried and rested and you're ready to serve it up. Then pile the chicken on a big plate, put it in the center of the table with biscuits, collards, and slaw, and let everybody start grabbing pieces. I guarantee it will disappear fast.
For more of Andrew's recipes, go to Page 2.
RIGATONI WITH SUNDAY NIGHT RAGU
- 1 pound St. Louis ribs (spare ribs, trimmed, with the brisket bones removed)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder,
- cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 large onion, diced (1 1/2 cups)
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced superfine
- 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 1/4 teaspoons dried oregano (preferably Calabrian, dried on the branch)
- Two 28-ounce cans chopped plum tomatoes with their juice (I like Jersey Fresh)
FOR THE PASTA AND TO FINISH THE DISH
- 1 pound dried rigatoni
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Sprinkle both sides of the pork ribs generously with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the black pepper. Lay the ribs on a rack in a roasting pan, put it on the middle oven rack, and roast for 30 minutes. When the ribs have been in the oven for 15 minutes or so, heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
Add the pork shoulder to the pot and let it cook for about 7 minutes, until it's well browned. Stir the meat every few minutes so nothing sticks. Stir in the onions, turn the flame down to medium, and keep cooking for about 3 minutes, until the onions have started to soften and color up a little.
Stir in the garlic and let everything cook for another minute or so, until the garlic has released its aroma. Make sure you keep stirring during this portion of the proceedings, so the garlic doesn't burn and wreck everything. Then stir in the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, the red pepper flakes, and the oregano.
When the ribs have started to brown and caramelize, pull them out of the oven and add them to the pot, along with the canned tomatoes and 2 cups of water. (Don't worry too much about how perfectly done the ribs may or may not be-this is just to give them a head start. They're going to cook in the ragu for another 31/2 hours, so they're definitely going to be done.)
Bring the sauce up to a simmer then turn the flame down to low and let the ragu keep cooking for about 31/2 hours, checking it every so often and giving it a stir to make sure nothing's sticking or burning on the sides of the pot.
When the rib meat is falling off the bone and the pork shoulder is nice and tender, pull the pot off the flame and use a slotted spoon to pull the chunks of pork and the ribs from the pot. Pile them on a big plate and let them cool down on the countertop (or in the fridge, if you're in a hurry).
Use a ladle to skim the fat off the top of the sauce, so it doesn't get greasy.
When the meat is cool enough to handle, rip the pieces of shoulder apart, turning it into chunks, by digging in your thumbs and pulling. Do the same with the ribs, but be careful not to mush up the meat. Pile the pulled meat in a bowl throw the bones away, but pour any sauce that's left on the plate over the pulled meat.
Put a large pot of well-salted water on to boil for the pasta.
When the water boils, add the rigatoni to the pot and let it cook for the time specified on the box minus 1 minute. If the sauce has cooled, heat it up on the stove over a low flame.
Mix the meat back into the sauce. When the pasta is just al dente, drain it (but don't rinse it) and add it to the pot on the stove. Turn the heat to medium and cook the pasta in the sauce for about 1 to 2 minutes, stirring it every few seconds. You want the pasta to soak up the flavors of the sauce. If the sauce seems dry, add a little bit of water.
Turn the flame off then add 1/4 cup of the Parmesan and the olive oil to the pot and mix everything together really well. The Italians call this process mantecare, which means "to make creamy." Scoop the ragu into individual bowls, sprinkle the rest of the Parmesan and the chopped parsley on top, and serve this right away.
COLLARD GREENS AC-STYLE
My mom taught me how to make great collard greens. When I was growing up, she used to buy collards at West Side Market, the great farmers' market in downtown Cleveland. I can pretty much guarantee she was the only Polish woman in town cooking up collards soul food-style, with bacon and onions, back in the 'seventies. My mom? She's got soul.
When I grew up and started eating collards in restaurants, I found that they were usually pretty bland and mushy. I wanted to pump them up a bit, so I added Franks' Red Hot (the classic Buffalo hot sauce), honey and vinegar to round it out and give the dish a great hot-sweet-sour taste. True collards should taste earthy, smoky, and vinegary--like these.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/4 pound bacon, cut into 1" pieces
- 1 medium onion, sliced (about 1 cup)
- 3 bunches collard greens (about 3 pounds), stems removed, sliced into pieces 1" wide.
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Frank's Red Hot (or your favorite hot sauce)
When I'm working with collard greens, I like to lay each leaf flat on a cutting board and cut the stem out by running the point of a sharp knife along either side of the big inner stem--then I just slice it across the top to pull it out. When all the stems are removed, I pile the greens up and slice them at 1" intervals from top to bottom, right through the pile.
Heat the vegetable oil over medium heat in a large soup pot. Add the bacon and let it fry up a little, stirring occasionally to keep it from sticking.
When some of the bacon fat has rendered and the meat has started to brown (about 3 minutes), add the onions and mix them in well, so they're coated in the fat. Keep cooking for another 2 minutes or so, until the onions have softened.
Add the collard greens, the salt and the pepper, and toss everything together as well as possible, so the leaves are really coated and shiny.
Add 1 1/2 cups water. Bring the mixture to a low boil, cover the pot, and let the greens cook for about 45 minutes, until they're really tender and most of the liquid has evaporated.
Add the honey, the vinegar and the Frank's Red Hot, and mix everything together well. Serve these right away, with the cider-glazed pork chop or fried chicken.
For even more of Andrew's recipes, go to Page 3.
I haven't used cup measurements for the vegetables here: coleslaw is one of those things where exact amounts just don't matter. And since cabbage grows big, you're definitely going to have a lot of slaw, so plan on feeding a crowd.
- 1 medium head green cabbage (about 3 1/2 pounds)
- 2 or 3 small carrots, peeled
- 1 medium red onion, quartered and sliced thin
- 6 pickled jalapenos (page 305) or from the jar
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/4 teaspoon ground celery seed
- 1/2 cup juice from pickled jalapenos
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
Cut off the stem of the cabbage and peel off the outside leaves, removing any brown pieces. Using a large knife, slice the cabbage into quarters. Cut away the thick core on the inside of each quarter. Then slice each quarter right through the layers, so you end up with thin ribbons. Pile the sliced cabbage in a (very) large bowl. Slice the carrots as thin as possible. (Some people like to shred them, and you can do that if you have strong feelings about it, but I like slicing better-the bigger pieces make for better eating.) Add the carrots and red onions to the bowl. Cut the ends off the jalapenos slice each jalapeno lengthwise, cut away the core, and remove the seeds. Then slice each jalapeno crosswise into small thin pieces. Add them to the bowl.
In a medium-sized bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, celery seed, jalapeno juice, mustard, Tabasco, salt, and pepper. Whisk all the ingredients together until they form a smooth liquid.
MAKES ONE 10-INCH PIE SERVES 8
- 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 9 graham crackers (1 sleeve)
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 ounces white chocolate (1/2 cup)
- Very finely grated zest of 2 oranges
- Very finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- Juice of 1 orange (1/4 cup), or 1/4 cup good-quality
- store-bought orange juice (see Note)
- Juice of 3 to 5 lemons (3/4 cup)
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 4 large eggs
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Melt the butter in a small pot over medium heat. Meanwhile, break the graham crackers up into large pieces, and grind them to a powder in a food processor you should have 11/2 cups.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker powder, brown sugar, flour, salt, and melted butter. Mix everything together with your fingers until you end up with small pebbles.
While the crust is baking, melt the white chocolate in a double boiler-or in a bowl set over a pot of hot water, or in a microwave on a low setting (checking it every few seconds). White chocolate burns really easily, so you need to melt it super-gently.
When the crust comes out of the oven, use a spoon to spread the white chocolate over the surface, smoothing it out with your fingers. Make sure you leave a gap at the top edge-you don't want the white chocolate to show over the filling. You want to do this while the white chocolate and the crust are both still warm, so the white chocolate spreads easily and doesn't set up and harden too fast. The chocolate will act as a sealant, to stop the crust from going soggy when you pour in the filling (it keeps the crust really crisp even after it's finished baking, so when you take the pie out of the fridge the day after you make it, you don't have sogginess). Set aside the crust to cool.
TO MAKE THE FILLING AND BAKE THE PIE
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Zest the oranges and lemons, using a micro-plane grater if you've got one-you want the zest to be as fine as possible.
Squeeze the orange through a sieve into a measuring cup to make sure you've got the right amount of juice. Do the same with the lemons.
Combine the orange and lemon zest, the orange and lemon juice, 1 cup of the sugar, and the butter in a medium-sized sauce pot. Stir everything together, and cook the mixture over medium heat for about 4 minutes, until the butter melts.
Whisk everything together again, and keep cooking, whisking frequently, for about 6 minutes, until the mixture boils up and the white-yellow layer that forms on the top has mostly boiled away (it's just like you're clarifying butter). The liquid will turn caramel-colored. While the citrus mixture is cooking, whisk together the eggs, yolks, the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, and the salt in a large mixing bowl.
When the citrus mixture is ready, pour it slowly into the egg mixture. Whisk everything together well.
Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large mixing bowl, using a spoon to push the liquid through but leaving most of the zest in the sieve. The liquid will be bright egg-yellow.
Pour the liquid filling into the pie crust (but don't overfill it). Put the pie pan on a baking sheet, and set it on the middle oven rack. (Be careful when you transfer it to the oven!)
Let the pie bake for about 35 minutes it's done when the filling firms up, so it jiggles but isn't liquid anymore, and it bubbles on the outside edge.
Let the pie cool completely before you cut into it. It's good at room temperature, but you can keep it in the fridge and serve it cold, too-it holds pretty well for a day or so.
1 -3/4 oz. El Dorado 15 year Rum
1/2 oz. Meletti Amaro
1/4 oz. Yellow Chartreuse
1/4 oz. Falernum
Donut Fried Chicken Recipe | Mythical Kitchen
Ever wondered how you could take fried chicken to the next level? Today, Mythical Chef Josh is making some Donut Fried Chicken AKA Nashville Sweet Chicken. Make your own version with the recipe below! MK #002
Subscribe to Mythical Kitchen: https://www.youtube.com/mythicalkitchen?sub_confirmation=1
Today’s recipe comes from GMM #1607: Sweet Spicy Food vs. Spicy Sweet Food Taste Test: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvzTGwmRmgg
Click the bell icon so you’ll know when we add a new video!
Want more Mythical Kitchen? Check out these playlists:
Fancy Fast Food – https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLW8XZTagL0oJhk71Ip3rIzHOFY3Edw2pw
Snack Smash – https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLW8XZTagL0oKYv5beEZpH5hP8aA5ahGKQ
Food Fears – https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLW8XZTagL0oK6vh1N6DOYcdWzGyuAxjtN
Food Feats – https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLW8XZTagL0oJI4IG7pZ-y792AHI4vIbWD
Pick up official Mythical Kitchen merch at https://mythical.com/collections/mythical-kitchen
Join the Mythical Society: https://www.mythicalsociety.com
Follow Mythical Kitchen:
Mythical Chef Josh’s Instagram: https://instagram.com/mythicalchefjosh
Check Out Our Other Mythical Channels:
Good Mythical Morning: https://youtube.com/goodmythicalmorning
Rhett & Link: https://youtube.com/rhettandlink
Ear Biscuits: https://applepodcasts.com/earbiscuits
Good Mythical MORE: https://youtube.com/goodmythicalmore
Want to send us something? https://mythical.com/contact
Brining The Chicken
* 1 quart buttermilk
* 1 cup water
* 1 Tbsp kosher salt
* 2 Tbsp Crystal Hot Sauce
* ¼ cup maple syrup
* ½ tsp whole black peppercorn
* 1 bay leaf
* 6 chicken legs
* 4 chicken thighs
1) Whisk together buttermilk, water, salt, hot sauce, maple syrup, peppercorns, and bay leaf in a large mixing bowl.
2) Add chicken to the mixing bowl then cover and refrigerate for anywhere between 2 and 24 hours.
Frying The Chicken
* 3 cups peanut oil (or vegetable/canola oil)
* 10 pieces chicken in brine
* 3 cups flour
* 1 Tbsp salt
* 1 ½ tsp black Pepper
* 1 ½ tsp smoked Paprika
* 1 tsp cayenne
1) Heat peanut oil in a cast iron pan (or any deep heavy-bottomed pan) on medium high until the temperature reaches 350 degrees. Make sure the peanut oil is not so high up the edge of the pan that it overflows. Feel free to use a deep-fryer or air fryer if you have one.
2) Remove chicken from brine and dry well on paper towels
3) Whisk together flour, salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne in a large mixing bowl.
4) Dredge the chicken in flour, then back into the buttermilk brine, then back into flour, really mashing the seasoned flour into the chicken flesh.
5) Fry each piece for about 7 minutes, then flip, and fry for an additional 7, checking the oil temperature occasionally to make sure it never eclipses 350. Work in batches so the pan is not overcrowded—you never want any of the chicken pieces to overlap.
6) Remove from oil, let drain on paper towels, and make sure internal temperature reads 160 degrees.
Garnishing the Chicken
* 2 Tbsp Butter
* 2 Tbsp Milk
* 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
* 1 cup granulated sugar
* 2 Tbsp cinnamon
* ½ cup Crystal hot sauce (or vinegar-based hot sauce of your choice)
* ½ cup Aunt Jemimah pancake syrup (… just use Aunt Jemimah tho lol)
* Plain glazed doughnuts for serving
1) Heat butter and milk over low heat in a small sauce pot until butter is fully melted then gradually whisk in your powdered sugar and turn off the heat.
2) In a medium mixing bowl, stir together your cinnamon and granulated sugar.
3) In a bowl, whisk together your syrup and hot sauce.
4) Place chicken on a sheet pan with a wire rack and pour warm glaze over the top.
5) Dust with cinnamon sugar mixture and serve on top of your donut of choice. Drizzle in maple hot sauce.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the buttermilk together with the cayenne, Old Bay, salt, pepper, Tabasco and honey. Put the chicken pieces in the mixing bowl and submerge them in the buttermilk marinade. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, put it in the fridge and let the chicken marinate for at least 12 hours.
To bread and fry the chicken
Pull the chicken out of the fridge and let it come up to room temperature, still in the marinade (this will take about 45 minutes). Preheat the oven to 90°C.
Heat the oil in a deep pot or a deep-fryer over high heat. The oil should be 15cm deep, and it should be so hot that it starts popping (about 175°C). A good rule of thumb: if you drop a pinch of flour into the oil and it fries up immediately, you're good to go.
While the oil is heating, combine the flour, paprika, chilli powder, garlic powder, onion powder, Old Bay, cayenne pepper, celery seeds, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Mix things around with your hands so everything is distributed evenly. Pour half the mixture into a small bowl and set it aside.
Add the flour to the large bowl and mix well. When the oil is hot, pull a piece of chicken out of the marinade. Put it right into the dredging flour bowl and heap flour on top of it flip it around until the chicken is completely coated. Do the same with each piece until there's no more space in the bowl.
Pick up a piece of chicken, give it a light shake (just enough to get rid of the really loose bits of flour), and use your hands or a pair of tongs to drop it into the frying pot. Do the same with the rest of the chicken pieces. (You will definitely need to fry your chicken in batches, unless you've got some really big bowls and pots.)
Let the chicken fry for about 8 minutes, until golden brown. Pull the chicken pieces out of the fryer with tongs and put them on a rack set on a baking sheet. Sprinkle each piece of chicken with the seasoning mixture, using the tongs to turn the pieces so they are coated on all sides.
Put the baking sheet in the oven. The chicken pieces should rest in the oven for at least 10 minutes, so that the cooking process finishes. Meanwhile, fry up the next batch of chicken.
Hold the fried chicken in the oven until all the pieces are fried and rested and you're ready to serve it up. Then pile the chicken on a big plate, put it in the center of the table with biscuits, collards and slaw, and let everybody start grabbing pieces. I guarantee it will disappear fast.
Popcorn Chicken-Fried Steak Is a Game-Changer
Chicken-fried steak has the crispy coating of fried chicken on the outside and then (surprise!) tender steak on the inside. The combination is a beloved Southern classic simply because it’s the best of both worlds.
Using that very same logic, this popcorn chicken-fried steak recipe from The Candid Appetite is the best of THREE worlds. It’s got the bite-sized appeal of popcorn chicken, the crispiness of fried chicken, and the absolute satisfaction of perfectly cooked steak. Any indecisive hungry people in the house? This dinner’s for them.
According to Jonathan, the blogger behind The Candid Appetite, “There’s just something about bite-sized pieces of meat breaded and fried until crispy with lots of dipping sauce on the side for dunking that I find irresistible.” And to that, I say, “Agreed.”
First, you’re going to want to start with the right kind of meat. Jonathan uses cubed steak, but if you can’t find that in your grocery store, he recommends asking your butcher to tenderize a few pieces of top sirloin. If you name-drop that you’re making chicken-fried steak, they’ll hook you up.
Popcorn-ify the meat by cutting it into bite-sized pieces and season it with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, and Old Bay seasoning. Dredge the pieces in a mixture of whisked eggs and milk, and then seasoned flour and cornstarch. (The cornstarch will make the coating extra crunchy when you fry it.) If you want a thick coating, repeat this process twice.
Fry the nuggets in a cast iron skillet a few at a time to avoid overcrowding. Once cooked through, place them on a wire rack over a baking sheet lined with paper towels — unless you want soggy popcorn chicken-fried steak!
And don’t forget about the gravy for dipping! Brown sausage and chopped onions in the same skillet, sans oil. Stir in flour and then slowly whisk in whole milk, simmering until the sauce thickens. Dip!
→ Get the Recipe: Popcorn Chicken Fried Steak from The Candid Appetite
15 Finger-Licking Good Fried Chicken Recipes
Chef Garvin has the fried chicken game on lock with this simply seasoned but very delicious recipe.
Making chicken moist and full of flavor is key, using this recipe makes sure that both things happen and when they do, this chicken is oh-so-good.
Perfect for a Friday night or a Sunday afternoon, this recipe is a go-to for amazing flavor no matter the occasion.
Want to take some of extra grease out of your diet? Try this recipe for oven fried chicken which eliminates the deep frier and some of the fat while keeping the flavor that makes the southern and succulent dish so divine.
Breaded in cracker crumbs, this recipe throws in a little crunch and also a little cajun spice to add in a kick. Paired with a honey based dipping sauce, this recipe is one you can’t go wrong with.
There’s nothing wrong with turning up the spice on this southern staple! This recipe called for cayenne pepper coupled with hot sauce to give an extra kick and a whole lot of yum.
You can never go wrong with chicken and waffles, the perfect entree marriage of breakfast and dinner. This recipe kicks it up a notch with perfectly cooked chicken and a glaze that is to die for.
Crunchy, crispy and cooked to perfection. This recipe is easy and pairs great with a cold beer during a barbecue.
Bacon AND waffles AND fried chicken?! It’s a trifecta of deliciousness and we cannot get enough. This recipe provides a plethora of flavors so that you get something rich and yummy in each and every bite.
A good spicy sauce and some delicious deep fried chicken, sign us up for more and more. This recipe infuses brine and brown sugar and it’ll just about make you want to holler.
It’s so good you’ll want to share! This recipe is great for a picnic or a game day tailgate. Using a denser bread to keep the sandwich from getting soggy, you can’t go wrong with keeping these flavors all in one place that get better and better with each bite.
This is a recipe that the kids will love. Mimicking french fries, the chicken fingers are great for a mid day snack or dinner alternative for little ones.
Still have some leftovers? No need a wasting a good thing and turning fried chicken into fried chicken salad is the next best thing. Adding some extra ingredients and spices helps reinvent part of your dinner meal into side dish that everyone will love.
Chicken strips are a great alternative party appetizer or game day treat, this recipe calls for the chicken to be breaded with Panko crumbs for crunch and a taste that’s out of this world.
While we may not be a fan of the chef, Paula Deen’s recupe for fried chicken is perfection. This recipe will leave guests licking their fingers and feigning for more and more.
Crispy Fried Shrimp with Recipe Video
Crispy Fried Shrimp are a delicious jumbo shrimp recipe that's been coated in well seasoned breadcrumbs and fried to a golden crisp perfection! Pair this crispy fried shrimp basket with your favourite seafood cocktail sauce, or my Easy Bang Bang Sauce for the ultimate seafood feast! Serve as part of a main course or appetizer option that’s sure to be a crowd pleaser. Recipe includes step-by-step recipe video.
Share this Recipe with your Family and Friends!
Crispy Fried Shrimp are a delicious jumbo shrimp recipe that’s been coated in well seasoned breadcrumbs and fried to a golden crisp perfection! Pair this crispy fried shrimp basket with your favourite seafood cocktail sauce, or my Easy Bang Bang Sauce for the ultimate seafood feast! Serve as part of a main course or appetizer option that’s sure to be a crowd pleaser. Recipe includes step-by-step recipe video.
I'm Todd Wilbur, Chronic Food Hacker
For 30 years I've been deconstructing America's most iconic brand-name foods to make the best original clone recipes for you to use at home. Welcome to my lab.
Includes eight (8) 79¢ recipes of your choice each month!
Popeyes Famous Fried Chicken and Biscuits has become the third-largest quick-service chicken chain in the world in the twenty-two years since its first store opened in New Orleans in 1972. (KFC has the number-one slot, followed by Church's Chicken). Since then, the chain has grown to 813 units, with many of them overseas in Germany, Japan, Jamaica, Honduras, Guam, and Korea.
Cayenne pepper and white pepper bring the heat to this crispy fried chicken hack.
Did you like this recipe? Get your hands on my secret recipe for Popeyes Chicken Sandwich and other Popeyes dishes here.
In early 1985, restaurateur Rich Komen felt there was a specialty niche in convenience-food service just waiting to be filled. His idea was to create an efficient outlet that could serve freshly made cinnamon rolls in shopping malls throughout the country. It took nine months for Komen and his staff to develop a cinnamon roll recipe he knew customers would consider the "freshest, gooiest, and most mouthwatering cinnamon roll ever tasted." The concept was tested for the first time in Seattle's Sea-Tac mall later that year, with workers mixing, proofing, rolling, and baking the rolls in full view of customers. Now, more than 626 outlets later, Cinnabon has become the fastest-growing cinnamon roll bakery in the world.
In 1991 Kentucky Fried Chicken bigwigs decided to improve the image of America's third-largest fast-food chain. As a more health-conscious society began to affect sales of fried chicken, the company changed its name to KFC and introduced a lighter fare of skinless chicken.
In the last forty years KFC has experienced extraordinary growth. Five years after first franchising the business, Colonel Harland Sanders had 400 outlets in the United States and Canada. Four years later there were more than 600 franchises, including one in England, the first overseas outlet. In 1964 John Y. Brown, Jr., a young Louisville lawyer, and Jack Massey, a Nashville financier, bought the Colonel's business for $2 million. Only seven years later, in 1971 Heublein, Inc., bought the KFC Corporation for $275 million. Then in 1986, for a whopping $840 million, PepsiCo added KFC to its conglomerate, which now includes Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. That means PepsiCo owns more fast food outlets than any other company including McDonald's.
At each KFC restaurant, workers blend real buttermilk with a dry blend to create the well-known KFC buttermilk biscuits recipe that have made a popular menu item since their introduction in 1982. Pair these buttermilk biscuits with KFC's mac and cheese recipe and the famous KFC Original Recipe Chicken, and skip the drive-thru tonight!
Save $12 vs. monthly
Includes eight (8) 79¢ recipes of your choice each month!
Menu Description: "Here they are in all their lip-smacking, award-winning glory: Buffalo, New York-style chicken wings spun in your favorite signature sauce."
Since Buffalo, New York was too far away, Jim Disbrow and Scott Lowery satisfied their overwhelming craving in 1981 by opening a spicy chicken wing restaurant close to home in Kent, Ohio. With signature sauces and a festive atmosphere, the chain has now evolved from a college campus sports bar with wings to a family restaurant with over 300 units. While frying chicken wings is no real secret—simply drop them in hot shortening for about 10 minutes—the delicious spicy sauces make the wings special. There are 12 varieties of sauce available to coat your crispy chicken parts at the chain, and I'm presenting clones for the more traditional flavors. These sauces are very thick, almost like dressing or dip, so we'll use an emulsifying technique that will ensure a creamy final product where the oil won't separate from the other ingredients. Here is the chicken wing cooking and coating technique, followed by clones for the most popular sauces: Spicy Garlic, Medium and Hot. The sauce recipes might look the same at first, but each has slight variations make your sauce hotter or milder by adjusting the level of cayenne pepper. You can find Frank's pepper sauce by the other hot sauces in your market. If you can't find that brand, you can also use Crystal Louisiana hot sauce.
Jerrico, Inc., the parent company for Long John Silver's Seafood Shoppes, got its start in 1929 as a six-stool hamburger stand called the White Tavern Shoppe. Jerrico was started by a man named Jerome Lederer, who watched Long John Silver's thirteen units dwindle in the shadow of World War II to just three units. Then, with determination, he began rebuilding. In 1946 Jerome launched a new restaurant called Jerry's and it was a booming success, with growth across the country. Then he took a chance on what would be his most successful venture in 1969, with the opening of the first Long John Silver's Fish 'n' Chips. The name was inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. In 1991 there were 1,450 Long John Silver Seafood Shoppes in thirty-seven states, Canada, and Singapore, with annual sales of more than $781 million. That means the company holds about 65 percent of the $1.2 billion quick-service seafood business.
Anyone who loves Olive Garden is probably also a big fan of the bottomless basket of warm, garlicky breadsticks served before each meal at the huge Italian casual chain. My guess is that the breadsticks are proofed, and then sent to each restaurant where they are baked until golden brown, brushed with butter and sprinkled with garlic salt. Getting the bread just right for a good Olive Garden breadstick recipe was tricky—I tried several different amounts of yeast in all-purpose flour, but then settled on bread flour to give these breadsticks the same chewy bite as the originals. The two-stage rising process is also a crucial step in this much requested homemade Olive Garden breadstick recipe. Also check out our Olive Garden Italian salad dressing recipe.
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 this fast food phenomenon so that you can now reproduce it in your own kitchen. Find the smallest chicken you can for this KFC grilled chicken copycat recipe, 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.
Order an entree from America's largest seafood restaurant chain and you'll get a basket of some of the planet's tastiest garlic-cheese biscuits served up on the side. For many years this recipe has been the most-searched-for clone recipe on the Internet, according to Red Lobster. As a result, several versions are floating around, including one that was at one time printed right on the box of Bisquick baking mix.
The problem with making biscuits using Bisquick is that if you follow the directions from the box you don't end up with a very fluffy or flakey finished product, since most of the fat in the recipe comes from the shortening that's included in the mix. On its own, room temperature shortening does a poor job creating the light, airy texture you want from good biscuits, and it contributes little in the way of flavor. So, we'll invite some cold butter along on the trip -- with grated Cheddar cheese and a little garlic powder. Now you'll be well on your way to delicious Cheddar Bay. Wherever that is.
Before he became America's sausage king, Jimmy Dean was known for crooning the country hit "Big Bad John." That song came out in 1962 and sold more than 8 million copies. His singing success launched a television career on ABC with The Jimmy Dean Show, where Roy Clark, Patsy Cline, and Roger Miller got their big breaks. The TV exposure led to acting roles for Jimmy, as a regular on Daniel Boone, and in feature films, including his debut in the James Bond flick Diamonds are Forever. Realizing that steady income from an acting and singing career can be undependable, Jimmy invested his show-biz money in a hog farm. In 1968 the Jimmy Dean Meat Company developed the special recipe for sausage that has now become a household name. Today the company is part of the Sara Lee Corporation, and Jimmy retired as company spokesman in 2004.
This clone recipe re-creates three varieties of the famous roll sausage that you form into patties and cook in a skillet. Use ground pork found at the supermarket—make it lean pork if you like—or grind some up yourself if you have a meat grinder.
Check out more of my famous breakfast food clone recipes here.
El Pollo Loco, or "The Crazy Chicken," has been growing like mad since it crossed over the border into the United States from Mexico. Francisco Ochoa unknowingly started a food phenomenon internacional in 1975 when he took a family recipe for chicken marinade and opened a small roadside restaurante in Gusave, Mexico. He soon had 90 stores in 20 cities throughout Mexico. The first El Pollo Loco in the United States opened in Los Angeles in December 1980 and was an immediate success. It was only three years later that Ochoa got the attention of bigwigs at Dennys, Inc., who offered him $11.3 million for his U.S. operations. Ochoa took the deal, and El Pollo Loco grew from 17 to more than 200 outlets over the following decade.
Re-create the whole El Pollo Loco experience at home with my copycat recipes for avocado salsa, pinto beans, Spanish rice, and bbq black beans.
The first Auntie Anne's pretzel store opened in 1988 in the heart of pretzel country—a Pennsylvanian Amish farmers' market. Over 500 stores later, Auntie Anne's is one of the most requested secret clone recipes around, especially on the internet. Many of the copycat Auntie Anne's soft pretzel recipes passed around the Web require bread flour, and some use honey as a sweetener. But by studying the Auntie Anne's home pretzel-making kit in the secret underground laboratory, I've discovered a better solution for re-creating the delicious mall treats than any clone recipe out there. For the best quality dough, you just need all-purpose flour. And powdered sugar works great to perfectly sweeten the dough. Now you just have to decide if you want to make the more traditional salted pretzels, or the sweet cinnamon sugar-coated kind. Decisions, decisions.
Menu Description: "Nearly world-famous. Often imitated, hardly ever duplicated."
"Hooters is to chicken wings what McDonald's is to hamburgers," claims promotional material from the company. True, the six fun-loving Midwestern businessmen who started Hooters in Clearwater, Florida, on April Fool's Day in 1983 chose a classic recipe for chicken wings as their signature item. But while some might say it's the buffalo wings that are their favorite feature of the restaurant, others say it's the restaurant chain's trademark Hooters girls—waitresses casually attired in bright orange short-shorts and skin tight T-shirts.
Today there are over 375 Hooters across the United States serving more than 200 tons of chicken wings every week. The original dish can be ordered in 10-, 20-, or 50-piece servings or if you want to splurge, there's the "Gourmet Chicken Wing Dinner" featuring 20 wings and a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne, for only $125. To further enhance the Hooters experience when you serve these messy wings, throw a whole roll of paper towels on the table, rather than napkins, as they do in the restaurants.
Once a regular menu item, these sweet, saucy wings are now added to the KFC menu on a "limited-time-only" basis in many markets. So how are we to get that sticky sauce all over our faces and hands during those many months when we are cruelly denied our Honey BBQ Wings? Now it's as easy as whipping up this KFC honey BBQ wings recipe that re-creates the crispy breading on the chicken wings, and the sweet-and-smoky honey BBQ sauce. "Limited-time-only" signs—we laugh at you.
How about some famous coleslaw or wedge potatoes? Check out my collection of KFC clone recipes here.
In the early 90's Boston Chicken was rockin' it. The home meal replacement chain's stock was soaring and the lines were filled with hungry customers waiting to sink their teeth into a serving of the chain's delicious rotisserie chicken. So successful was the chain with chicken, that the company quickly decided it was time to introduce other entree selections, the first of which was a delicious barbecue sauce-covered ground sirloin meatloaf. But offering the other entrees presented the company with a dilemma: what to do about the name. The bigwigs decided it was time to change the name to Boston Market, to reflect a wider menu. That meant replacing signs on hundreds of units and retooling the marketing campaigns. That name change, plus rapid expansion of the chain and growth of other similar home-style meal concepts sent the company into a tailspin. By 1988, Boston Market's goose was cooked, and the company filed for bankruptcy. Soon McDonald's stepped in to purchase the company, with the idea of closing many of the stores for good, and slapping Golden Arches on the rest. But that plan was scrapped when, after selling many of the under-performing Boston Markets, the chain began to fly once again. Within a year of the acquisition Boston Market was profitable, and those meals with the home-cooked taste are still being served at over 700 Boston Market restaurants across the country.
How about some of those famous Boston Market side-dishes to go with your copycat meatloaf recipe? I've cloned all the best ones here.
Menu Description: "Quickly-cooked steak with scallions and garlic."
Beef lovers go crazy over this one at the restaurant. Flank steak is cut into bite-sized chunks against the grain, then it's lightly dusted with potato starch (in our case we'll use cornstarch), flash-fried in oil, and doused with an amazing sweet soy garlic sauce. The beef comes out tender as can be, and the simple sauce sings to your taste buds. I designed this recipe to use a wok, but if you don't have one a saute pan will suffice (you may need to add more oil to the pan to cover the beef in the flash-frying step). P. F. Chang's secret sauce is what makes this dish so good, and it's versatile. If you don't dig beef, you can substitute with chicken. Or you can brush it on grilled salmon.
I've cloned a lot of the best dishes from P.F. Chang's. Click here to see if I coped your favorite.
They're the world's most famous French fries, responsible for one-third of all U.S. French fry sales, and many say they're the best. These fried spud strips are so popular that Burger King even changed its own recipe to better compete with the secret formula from Mickey D's. One-quarter of all meals served today in American restaurants come with fries a fact that thrills restaurateurs since fries are the most profitable menu item in the food industry. Proper preparation steps were developed by McDonald's to minimize in-store preparation time, while producing a fry that is soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. This clone requires a two-step frying process to replicate the same qualities: the fries are par-fried, frozen, then fried once more to crispy just before serving. Be sure to use a slicer to cut the fries for a consistent thickness (1/4-inch is perfect) and for a cooking result that will make them just like the real thing. As for the rumor that you must soak the fries in sugar water to help them turn golden brown, I also found that not to be necessary. If the potatoes have properly developed they contain enough sugar on their own to make a good clone with great color.
Now, how about a Big Mac or Quarter Pounder to go with those fries? Click here for a list of all my McDonald's copycat recipes.
Menu Description: "Tender, crispy wild gulf shrimp tossed in a creamy, spicy sauce."
Bonefish Grill proudly refers to this appetizer as the "house specialty." And why not, it's an attractive dish with bang-up flavor, especially if you like your food on the spicy side. The heat in this Bang Bang Shrimp recipe comes from the secret sauce blend that's flavored with chili garlic sauce, also known as sambal. You can find this bright red sauce where the Asian foods in your market—and while you're there, pick up some rice vinegar. Once the sauce is made, you coat the shrimp in a simple seasoned breading, fry them to a nice golden brown, toss them gently in the sauce, and then serve them up on a bed of mixed greens to hungry folks who, hopefully, have a cool drink nearby to mellow the sting.
You might also like my recipes for Bonefish Grill's Saucy Shrimp and Citrus Herb Vinaigrette.
The talented chefs at Benihana cook food on hibachi grills with flair and charisma, treating the preparation like a tiny stage show. They juggle salt and pepper shakers, trim food with lightning speed, and flip the shrimp and mushrooms perfectly onto serving plates or into their tall chef's hat.
One of the side dishes that everyone seems to love is the fried rice. At Benihana this dish is prepared by chefs with precooked rice on open hibachi grills, and is ordered a la cart to complement any Benihana entree, including Hibachi Steak and Chicken. I like when the rice is thrown onto the hot hibachi grill and seems to come alive as it sizzles and dances around like a bunch of little jumping beans. Okay, so I'm easily amused.
This Benihana Japanese fried rice recipe will go well with just about any Japanese entree and can be partially prepared ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator until the rest of the meal is close to done.
By sneaking around to the back of a HoneyBaked Ham store I witnessed the glazing process through an open door. The hams are delivered to each of the 300 HoneyBaked outlets already smoked, but without the glaze. It is only when the ham gets to your local HoneyBaked store that a special machine thin-slices the tender meat in a spiral fashion around the bone. Then, one at a time, each ham is then coated with the glaze—a blend that is similar to what might be used to make pumpkin pie. This sweet coating is then caramelized with a blowtorch by hand until the glaze bubbles and melts, turning golden brown. If needed, more of the coating is added, and the blowtorch is fired up until the glaze is just right. It's this careful process that turns the same size ham that costs 20 dollars in a supermarket into one that customers gladly shell out 3 to 4 times as much to share during the holiday season.
For this HoneyBaked Ham glaze copycat recipe, we will re-create the glaze that you can apply to a smoked/cooked bone-in ham of your choice. Look for a ham that is pre-sliced. Otherwise you'll have to slice it yourself with a sharp knife, then the glaze will be applied. To get the coating just right you must use a blowtorch. Get the kind that is used for creme brulee from almost any kitchen supply store. They're usually pretty cheap. And don't worry—I didn't leave out an ingredient. No honey is necessary to re-create this flavorful glaze.
Menu Description: "Spicy, shredded beef, braised with our own chipotle adobo, cumin, cloves, garlic and oregano."
The original Mexican dish barbacoa was traditionally prepared by cooking almost any kind of meat goat, fish, chicken, or cow cheek meat, to name just a few, in a pit covered with leaves over low heat for many hours, until tender. When the dish made its way into the United States via Texas the word transformed into "barbecue" and the preparation changed to incorporate above-ground techniques such as smoking and grilling. The good news is that we can recreate the beef barbacoa that Chipotle has made popular on its ginormous burritos without digging any holes in our backyard or tracking down a local source for fresh cow faces. After braising about 30 pounds of chuck roasts, I finally discovered the perfect Chipotle Mexican Grill barbacoa burrito copycat recipe with a taste-alike adobo sauce that fills your roast with flavor as it slowly cooks to a fork-tender delicacy on your stovetop over 5 to 6 hours. Part of the secret for great adobo sauce is toasting whole cumin seeds and cloves and then grinding them in a coffee grinder (measure the spices after grinding them). Since the braising process takes so long, start early in the day and get ready for a big dinner, because I've also included clones here for Chipotle's pico de gallo, pinto beans, and delicious cilantro-lime rice to make your burritos complete. You can add your choice of cheese, plus guacamole and sour cream for a super-deluxe clone version. If you prefer chicken burritos, head on over to my clone recipe for Qdoba Grilled Adobo Chicken.
Menu Description: "Our famous Original cheesecake recipe! Creamy and light, baked in a graham cracker crust. Our most popular cheesecake!"
Oscar and Evelyn Overton's wholesale cheesecake company was successful quickly after it first started selling creamy cheesecakes like this clone to restaurant chains in the early 1970's. When some restaurants balked at the prices the company was charging for high-end desserts, Oscar and Evelyn's son David decided it was time to open his own restaurant, offering a wide variety of quality meal choices in huge portions, and, of course, the famous cheesecakes for dessert. Today the chain has over 87 stores across the country, and consistently ranks number one on the list of highest grossing single stores for a U.S. restaurant chain.
Baking your cheesecakes in a water bath is part of the secret to producing beautiful cheesecakes at home with a texture similar to those sold in the restaurant. The water surrounds your cheesecake to keep it moist as it cooks, and the moisture helps prevent ugly cracking. You'll start the oven very hot for just a short time, then crank it down to finish. I also suggest lining your cheesecake pan with parchment paper to help get the thing out of the pan when it's done without a hassle.
This recipe is so easy, even a 2-year old can make it. Check out the video.
More amazing Cheesecake Factory copycat recipes here.
Menu Description: "Made from scratch in our kitchens using fresh Grade A Fancy Russet potatoes, fresh chopped onion, natural Colby cheese and spices. Baked fresh all day long."
In the late sixties Dan Evins was a Shell Oil "jobber" looking for a new way to market gasoline. He wanted to create a special place that would arouse curiosity, and would pull travelers off the highways. In 1969 he opened the first Cracker Barrel just off Interstate 40 in Lebanon, Tennessee, offering gas, country-style food, and a selection of antiques for sale. Today there are over 529 stores in 41 states, with each restaurant still designed as a country rest stop and gift store. In fact, those stores which carry an average of 4,500 different items apiece have made Cracker Barrel the largest retailer of American-made finished crafts in the United States.
Those who know Cracker Barrel love the restaurant for its delicious home-style breakfasts. This casserole, made with hash brown-sliced potatoes, Colby cheese, milk, beef broth, and spices is served with many of the classic breakfast dishes at the restaurant. The recipe here is designed for a skillet that is also safe to put in the oven (so no plastic handles). If you don't have one of those, you can easily transfer the casserole to a baking dish after it is done cooking on the stove.
Love Cracker Barrel? Check out my other clone recipes here.
To get their Extra Crispy Chicken so crispy KFC breads the chicken two times. This double breading gives the chicken its ultra craggy exterior and extra crunch, which is a different texture than the less crispy Original Recipe Chicken that’s breaded just once and pressure fried.
As with my KFC Original Recipe hack, we must first brine the chicken to give it flavor and moisture all the way through, like the real thing, then the chicken is double breaded and deep fried until golden brown. KFC uses small chickens which cook faster, but small chickens can be hard to find. If your chicken parts are on the large side, they may not cook all the way through in the 12 to 15 minutes of frying I’m specifying here. To be sure your chicken is cooked, start frying with the thickest pieces, like the breasts, then park them in a 300-degree oven while you finish with the smaller pieces. This will keep the chicken warm and crispy, and more importantly, ensure that they are cooked perfectly all the way through.
On my CMT show Top Secret Recipe I chatted with Winston Shelton, a long-time friend of KFC founder Harland Sanders. Winston saw the Colonel's handwritten secret recipe for the Original Recipe chicken, and he told me one of the secret ingredients is Tellicherry black pepper. It's a more expensive, better-tasting black pepper that comes from the Malabar coast in India, and you should use it here if you can find it. Winston pulled me aside and whispered this secret to me when he thought we were off-camera, but our microphones and very alert cameramen caught the whole thing, and we aired it.
I first published this hack in Even More Top Secret Recipes, but recently applied some newly acquired secrets and tips to make this much-improved version of one of the most familiar fried chicken recipes in the world.
This recipe was our #2 most popular in 2019. Check out the other four most unlocked recipes of the year: Texas Roadhouse Rolls (#1), Olive Garden Braised Beef Bolognese (#3), Pizzeria Uno Chicago Deep Dish Pizza (#4), Bush's Country Style Baked Beans (#5).
Here's a dish from a rapidly growing Chinese food chain that should satisfy anyone who loves the famous marinated bourbon chicken found in food courts across America. The sauce is the whole thing here, and it's quick to make right on your own stove-top. Just fire up the barbecue or indoor grill for the chicken and whip up a little white rice to serve on the side. Panda Express - now 370 restaurants strong - is the fastest-growing Asian food chain in the world. You'll find these tasty little quick-service food outlets in supermarkets, casinos, sports arenas, college campuses, and malls across the country passing out free samples for the asking.
A good chicken pot pie has perfectly flakey crust and the right ratio of light and dark meat chicken and vegetables swimming in a deliciously creamy white sauce. KFC serves up a pie that totally fits the bill, and now I'm going to show you how to make the same thing at home from scratch. You'll want to start this recipe a couple hours before you plan to bake the pies, since the dough for the crust should chill awhile and the chicken needs to soak in the brine. When it comes time for baking, use small pie tins, ramekins, or Pyrex baking dishes (custard dishes) that hold 1 1/2 cups. The recipe will then yield exactly 4 pot pies. If your baking dishes are smaller, there should still be enough dough here to make crust for up to 6 pot pies. And don't forget to brush egg whites over the top of the pies before you pop them into the oven to get the same shiny crust as the original.
Menu Description: "Our award-winning Baby Back Ribs are slow-roasted, then basted with Jim Beam Bourbon BBQ Sauce and finished on our Mesquite grill."
When your crew bites into these baby backs they'll savor meat so tender and juicy that it slides right off the bone. The slow braising cooks the ribs to perfection, while the quick grilling adds the finishing char and smoky flavor. But the most important component to any decent rack of ribs is a sauce that's filled with flavor, and this version of Roadhouse Grill's award-wining sauce is good stuff. I ordered the ribs naked (without sauce) so that I could see if there was any detectable rub added before cooking and I didn't find anything other than salt and a lot of coarse black pepper. So that's the way I designed the recipe, and it works.
Now, how about a copycat Roadhouse Grill Roadhouse Rita to wash down those ribs.
Menu Description: "This unique thinner crust has a ring of cheese baked into the edge so you get cheese in the very last bite of every slice."
Brothers Dan and Frank Carney have their dear old mom to thank for helping them to become founders of the world's largest pizza chain. It was in 1958 that a family friend approached the two brothers with the idea of opening a pizza parlor, and it was the brothers' mom who lent them the $600 it took to purchase some second-hand equipment and to rent a small building. There, in the Carneys' hometown of Wichita, Kansas, the first Pizza Hut opened its doors. By 1966, there were 145 Pizza Hut restaurants doing a booming business around the country with the help of the promotional musical jingle. "Putt-Putt to Pizza Hut." Today the chain is made up of more than 10,000 restaurants, delivery-carry out units, and kiosks in all 50 states and 82 foreign countries.
Introduced in 1995, the Stuffed Crust Pizza, which includes sticks of mozzarella string cheese loaded into the dough before baking, increased business at Pizza Hut by 37 percent. Because the outer crust is filled with cheese, the chain designed a special dough formula that does not rise as high as the original. It's best to prepare the dough of this Pizza Hut stuffed pizza crust copycat recipe a day before you plan to cook your pizza so that the dough can rest to develop crust with a chewy bite just like the original.
You might also want to try my clone recipe for Pizza Hut Pan Pizza.
This delicious crispy chicken in a citrusy sweet-and-sour chicken is the most popular dish at the huge Chinese take-out chain. Panda Express cooks all of its food in woks. If you don't have one of those, you can use a heavy skillet or a large saute pan.
For two years after the first Olive Garden restaurant opened in 1982, operators were still tweaking the restaurant's physical appearance and the food that was served. Even the tomato sauce was changed as many as 25 times. It's that sort of dedication that creates fabulous dishes like this popular soup. It blends the flavors of potatoes, kale, and Italian sausage in a slightly spicy chicken and cream broth.
You've got the soup recipe, how about creating your own bottomless Olive Garden House Salad and Breadsticks? Find more of my Olive Garden clone recipes here!
I never thought dinner rolls were something I could get excited about until I got my hand into the breadbasket at Texas Roadhouse. The rolls are fresh out of the oven and they hit the table when you do, so there’s no waiting to tear into a magnificently gooey sweet roll topped with soft cinnamon butter. The first bite you take will make you think of a fresh cinnamon roll, and then you can’t stop eating it. And when the first roll’s gone, you are powerless to resist grabbing for just one more. But it’s never just one more. It’s two or three more, plus a few extra to take home for tomorrow.
Discovering the secret to making rolls at home that taste as good as the real ones involved making numerous batches of dough, each one sweeter than the last (sweetened with sugar, not honey—I checked), until a very sticky batch, proofed for 2 hours, produced exactly what I was looking for. You can make the dough with a stand mixer or a handheld one, the only difference being that you must knead the dough by hand without a stand mixer. When working with the dough add a little bit of flour at a time to keep it from sticking, and just know that the dough will be less sticky and more workable after the first rise.
Roll the dough out and measure it as specified here, and after a final proofing and a quick bake—plus a generous brushing of butter on the tops—you will produce dinner rolls that look and taste just like the best rolls I’ve had at any famous American dinner chain.
The easy-melting, individually-wrapped Kraft Cheddar Singles are a perfect secret ingredient for this Panera Bread broccoli cheddar soup recipe that's served at this top soup stop. In this clone, fresh broccoli is first steamed, then diced into little bits before you combine it with chicken broth, half-and-half, shredded carrot, and onion. Now you're just 30 minutes away from soup spoon go-time.
Click here for more of my copycat Panera Bread recipes.
Two friendly Atlanta, Georgia neighbors built the first Waffle House in 1955. With the dimpled breakfast hotcake as a signature item, the privately held chain grew into 20 Southern U.S. states. Today tasty food at rock-bottom prices, plus 24-hours-a-day service, makes Waffle House a regular stop for devoted customers any time of the day or night. And don't even think about referring to your server as a waitress—they're called "associates."
For the best clone of the 50-year-old secret waffle recipe you should chill the batter overnight in the fridge, just as they do in each of the restaurants. But sometimes you can't wait. If you need instant gratification, the recipe still works if you make the waffles the same day. Wait for at least 15 to 20 minutes before using the batter so that it can thicken a bit. That'll give you time to dust off the waffle iron and heat it up.
How about some homemade Jimmy Dean Breakfast Sausage to go with those waffles? Check out all of my famous breakfast copycat recipes here.
What is it about Stouffer's Macaroni & Cheese that makes it the number one choice for true mac & cheese maniacs? It's probably the simple recipe that includes wholesome ingredients like skim milk and real Cheddar cheese, without any preservatives or unpronounceable chemicals. The basic Stouffer's Mac and Cheese ingredients are great for kitchen cloners who want an easy fix that doesn't require much shopping. I found the recipe to work best as an exact duplicate of the actual product: a frozen dish that you heat up later in the oven. This way you'll get slightly browned macaroni & cheese that looks like it posed for the nicely lit photo on the Stouffer's box. Since you'll only need about 3/4 cup of uncooked elbow macaroni for each recipe, you can make several 4-person servings with just one 16-ounce box of macaroni, and then keep them all in the freezer until the days when your troops have their mac & cheese attacks. Be sure to use freshly shredded Cheddar cheese here, since it melts much better than pre-shredded cheese (and it's cheaper). Use a whisk to stir the sauce often as it thickens, so that you get a smooth—not lumpy or grainy—finished product.
If you're still hungry, check out my copycat recipes for famous entrées here.
I first created the clone for this Cajun-style recipe back in 1994 for the second TSR book, More Top Secret Recipes, but I've never been overjoyed with the results. After convincing a Popeyes manager to show me the ingredients written on the box of red bean mixture, I determined the only way to accurately clone this one is to include an important ingredient omitted from the first version: pork fat. Emeril Lagasse—a Cajun food master—says, "pork fat rules," and it does. We could get the delicious smoky fat from rendering smoked ham hocks, but that takes too long. The easiest way is to cook 4 or 5 pieces of bacon, save the cooked bacon for another recipe (or eat it!), then use 1/4 cup of the fat for this hack. As for the beans, find red beans (they're smaller than kidney beans) in two 15-ounce cans. If you're having trouble tracking down red beans, red kidney beans will be a fine substitute.
Can't get enough Popeyes? Find all of my recipes here.
One hot summer day in 1946 Dave Barham was inspired to dip a hot dog into his mother's cornbread batter, then deep fry it to a golden brown. Dave soon found a quaint Santa Monica, California location near the beach to sell his new creation with mustard on the side and a tall glass of ice-cold lemonade. Be sure you find the shorter turkey hot dogs, not "bun-length". In this case, size does matter. Snag some of the disposable wood chopsticks from a local Chinese or Japanese restaurant next time you're there and start dipping.
Now, how about a tall glass of Hot Dog On A Stick Lemonade?
Update 5/3/17: If your hot dogs are browning too fast, turn the temperature of the oil down to 350 degrees. And rather than using chopsticks, thick round skewer sticks (corn dog skewers) found in houseware stores and online will work much better.
Menu Description: "Breaded chicken breast tossed in spicy wing sauce. Served with cool bleu cheese dressing."
This clone re-creates the piquant flavor of traditional Buffalo chicken wings, but the bones and skin are left back in Buffalo. That's because these "wings" are actually nuggets sliced from chicken breast fillets, then breaded and fried, and smothered with the same type of spicy wing sauce used on traditional wings. If you like the flavor of Buffalo wings, but wish you could use a fork, your spicy dreams have come true. Serve these up with some celery sticks and bleu cheese dressing on the side for dipping.
Try more of my Chili's copycat recipes here.
When sales of this once limited-offering sandwich exceeded expectations, Wendy's made it a permanent menu item. Now you can re-create the spicy kick of the original with a secret blend of spices in the chicken's crispy coating. Follow the same stacking order as the original, and you will make four sandwich clones here at a fraction of the cost of the real thing.
Check out more Wendy's copycat recipes like their famous chili here.
One of the most protected, discussed, and sought-after secret recipes in the food world is KFC's Original Recipe Fried Chicken. Long ago I published my first hack of the famous formula, but the recipe, which was based on research from "Big Secrets" author William Poundstone, includes only salt, pepper, MSG, and flour in the breading, and not the blend of eleven herbs and spices we have all heard about. The fried chicken made with my first recipe is good in a pinch, but it really needs several more ingredients to be a true clone. That is why, over twenty years later, I was happy to get another crack at the secret when we shot the pilot episode for my CMT TV series Top Secret Recipe. In the show, I visited KFC headquarters, talked to friends of Harlan Sanders who had seen the actual recipe, and even checked out the Corbin, Kentucky, kitchen where Harland Sanders first developed his chicken recipe. During that four-day shoot I was able to gather enough clues about the secret eleven herbs and spices to craft this new recipe—one that I believe is the closest match to the Colonel's secret fried chicken that anyone has ever revealed.
When you check in at one of more than 250 hotels run by this U.S. chain, you are handed a bag from a warming oven that contains two soft and delicious chocolate chip cookies. This is a tradition that began in the early 80s using a recipe from a small bakery in Atlanta. All of the cookies are baked fresh every day on the hotel premises. The chain claims to give out about 29,000 cookies every day. Raves for the cookies from customers convinced the hotel chain to start selling tins of the cookies online. But if you've got an insatiable chocolate chip cookie urge that can't wait for a package to be delivered, you'll want to try this cloned version. Just be sure to get the cookies out of the oven when they are barely turning brown so that they are soft and chewy in the middle when cool.
Now that you're in the swing of things, try baking more famous cookies from my recipes here.
Update 1/13/17: I like to drop the baking temperature to 325 degrees F for a chewier (better) cookie. Cook for about the same amount of time, 16 to 18 minutes.
Update 4/10/20: In April, Hilton Hotels released the actual recipe for the DoubleTree Hotels Signature Cookie for the first time. You can open that recipe in another window to see how close the real recipe revealed in 2020 comes to this clone recipe I created in 2002.
Menu Description: "Fire-roasted chicken breast topped with mushrooms, prosciutto and our Florio Marsala wine sauce."
To reverse-engineer this big-time favorite entree, I ordered the dish to go, with the sauce on the side, so that I could separately analyze each component. After some trial and error in the underground lab, I found that recreating the secret sauce from scratch is easy enough with a couple small cans of sliced mushrooms, a bit of prosciutto, some Marsala wine, shallots, garlic and a few other good things. Cooking the chicken requires a very hot grill. The restaurant chain grills chicken breasts over a blazing real wood fire, so crank your grill up high enough to get the flames nipping at your cluckers (not a euphemism) for this Carrabba's chicken marsala recipe. If your grill has a lid, keep it open so you can watch for nasty flare-ups.
Click here for more of your favorite dishes from Carrabba's.
The secret to perfect pan pizza is pressing the dough into a well-oiled pan (Pizza Hut uses soybean oil), then the pan is covered and the dough rises in a heated cabinet for 45 to 60 minutes. When the dough is topped, the edge is sprayed with a butter-flavored “food release” and the pie is baked at 500 degrees F until perfectly browned on top. You can use a 9-inch, 12-inch, or 15-inch deep dish pizza pan or cake pan for this recipe, and you’ll want to preheat your oven with a pizza stone in it to simulate the type of oven used at the chain. The hot ceramic surface of the pizza stone will cause the oil in the pan to cook the bottom of the dough so that it’s brown and crispy like an authentic pan pizza crust should be. I tried making the dough with cake flour, all-purpose flour, superfine “00” flour, bread flour and many combinations of these different flours which all contain varying amounts of gluten. I even tried rising the dough slowly in the refrigerator for various lengths of time as long as up to four days. But after a month of testing and about 30 pan pizzas later, I found the best dough to be straight bread flour, and to let the dough rise at room temperature. I did find that if you let the dough rest for at least 4 hours before the final rise in the pizza pan you will get the best texture with the perfect chewy bite to it.
Exclusive signed copy. America's best copycat recipes! Save money and amaze your friends with all-new culinary carbon copies from the Clone Recipe King!
For more than 30 years, Todd Wilbur has been obsessed with reverse-engineering famous foods. Using every day ingredients to replicate signature restaurant dishes at home, Todd shares his delectable discoveries with readers everywhere.
Now, his super-sleuthing taste buds are back to work in the third installment of his mega-bestselling Top Secret Restaurant Recipes series, with 150 sensational new recipes that unlock the delicious formulas for re-creating your favorite dishes from America's most popular restaurant chains. Todd's top secret blueprints and simple step-by-step instructions guarantee great success for even novice cooks. And when preparing these amazing taste-alike dishes at home, you'll be paying up to 75 percent less than eating out!
Find out how to make your own home versions of: Pizza Hut Pan Pizza, T.G.I. Friday's Crispy Green Bean Fries, Buca di Beppo Chicken Limone, Serendipity 3 Frrrozen Hot Chocolate, P.F. Chang's Kung Pao Chicken, Max & Erma's Tortilla Soup, Cracker Barrel Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola Cake, Olive Garden Breadsticks, Cheesecake Factory Fresh Banana Cream Cheesecake, Carrabba's Chicken Bryan, Famous Dave's Corn Muffins, Outback Steakhouse Chocolate Thunder from Down Under, T.G.I. Friday's Jack Daniel's Glazed Ribs, and much, much more.
Simple. Foolproof. Easy to Prepare. And so delicious you'll swear it's the real thing!