How to Make Elvis’s Favorite Fried Chicken at Home


As far as people whose opinions we would trust about fried chicken go, few rate higher than Elvis Presley. He was, after all, the junk-food connoisseur who made the peanut butter, banana, and bacon sandwich a thing. So imagine our delight at seeing that Kottke has dug up an old post from the Google blog, in which the company’s executive chef, Charlie Ayers, tells the story of how he managed to pry the recipe for the King’s favorite fried chicken out of the Waldorf Astoria co-worker who had once been Elvis’s cook. (Spoiler: It takes five days to make.) Using the measurement converter Kottke suggests and Google’s very own calculator, we’ve reproduced Ayers’s “Google-sized” recipe for those of you who are more likely to be frying one chicken than 30.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Elvis Loved

3/4 tsp thyme 1/2 tsp oregano 1/2 tsp basil 3/4 tsp onion powder 3/4 tsp garlic powder 3/4 tsp dry mustard 3/4 tsp paprika 1/2 tsp chili powder 3/4 tsp celery seed 1/8 tsp salt 3/4 tsp coriander 3/4 tsp cumin 1/2 tsp kosher salt 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper 3/4 tsp ground black pepper 1/2 tsp ground white pepper

379 mL buttermilk 1 organic free range chicken divided into 1.5- to 2-lb. sections

Mix these amounts of the dry ingredients together in a large bowl, then whisk in the buttermilk until it’s thoroughly mixed.

Pour the batter over the chicken and marinate for up to five days – keep refrigerated, of course.

For frying Now mix another 4x the above dry ingredients, and add: 30.2 grams cornstarch 252 mL all-purpose organic whole wheat flour

Dredge the marinated chicken pieces in the dry herbs/flour/cornstarch mixture mix.

Fry the dredged chicken in a large skillet with hot peanut oil @ 375 degrees. Once chicken has reached a golden brown color, finish cooking it in the oven.

— Recipe by Charlie Ayers