December 31, 2016

Youngblood's Fried Chicken Secret Recipe

The people working for Youngblood's Fried Chicken back in the day went on to create their own, now famous, fried chicken franchises. Here is some information that I found on the web that needs to be preserved for future generations.

Kay Potts advised:
"Ok, people, here it is: 

This is the recipe for Leslie’s Fried Chicken, my mom and dad worked for both and they both used the same recipe

Have a bowl with flour, we have seasoned it a bit with white pepper and a bit of salt, to taste.

Dip your chicken pieces in the flour and then dip in the following mixture and back into the flour.

1 Cup powdered whey (Baking type- sweet powdered whey)

This is not readily available in grocery stores, we found in online at

3/4 cup powdered non/fat dry milk

1/4 cup salt (was a little salty- I might reduce this slightly next time)Try using just half of this or less, depending on how much you put in the flour.

2/3 cup water (I had to guess on the amount of water)

This mixture needs to be thin, the combination gives it the batter texture.

Dust chicken in flour, then into wet mix, then back into flour, shake off excess, cook in oil at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.

Evidently the whey is what gives it the flavor. We have also used buttermilk powder in place of the dry milk and whey and it comes pretty close! This works best in a deep fryer, rather than pan frying.

The crust is amazing, holds up well a couple of days in the fridge."

  • This is kind of interesting. I was going deep in the internet and came across a forum that was discussing Youngblood's > Leslie's > Church's Fried Chicken recipes. Both the Leslie's and Church's chains came out of Youngblood's. Here, supposedly is the secret recipe in industrial portions.

  • Jay Francis

    "You are not going to believe the original proportions. They used 7 lbs. salt, 2 lbs. whey, 1 lb dry milk. I asked him how they could use so much salt and have it taste good. He said it was mixed in a lot of water in proportion to the salt but that it still tasted very salty. Later they reduced the salt but he didn't know exactly how much. He said to add salt to taste which he said would be somewhere around 2 cups whey, 1 cup dry milk, and 1/4 cup of salt. It still tasted too salty to me and their measurements were by weight not by volume. So the only consistent thing we have is the 2 lbs whey and 1 lb dry milk, then salt to taste. This is all for the liquid part. I asked him if they seasoned the flour at all and he said they did not while he was with Youngblood's. When he moved to Denver and started the Drumstick chicken restaurants they did season the flour some but I don't know with what yet.
    He said when he makes fried chicken at home he puts white pepper and salt in the flour, then mixes 1 egg and 1 Tbsp. water for the wet mix. He dips the chicken in the flour, shakes off excess, dips it into the egg/water mix, and back into the flour, shakes off excess, then into 350 oil. 
    The other thing I want to try is to find cottonseed oil. They used it at Youngblood's and Leslie's because it was the cheapest and he said it lasted longer than the other oils. He said it didn't make any difference in taste but I can tell a difference between peanut oil, vegetable oil, and Crisco. So I wonder if the cottonseed added anything to the flavor. Another thought I had was that he was at Youngblood's in the 50s. I would imagine the recipe changed with time so they may have been seasoning things more in the 60s. I know Leslie's started using buttermilk in their wet mix. 
    Lot's of fried chicken to experiment with!! It may take us all but at least we have some direction. I really like the taste of the sweet whey in the mix. It added a flavor that is very nice."

    John Dupree Comments:
    John Dupree · 

    "Interesting. You call this Church's Fried Chicken, but you follow none of the recipe of the real thing. Not saying yours is bad chicken, but it just ain't Church's. I used to manage for them like 30+ years ago, and the first thing you have to do is marinate the chicken. The commercial recipe was 30 gallons of water, 25 lbs. of salt, and a 1-lb. "flavor packet," a euphemism for pure MSG. It marinates for 22 hours. We then cut the chickens up and panned the pieces. Coldness is the key! Chicken must be cold, and the batter must be ice cold! If the batter or chicken isn't cold, coating will fall off during cooking, and the shortening burns the chicken. Dredge the pieces in flour, dunk them in the cold batter (a very thin, watery mix I never learned the ingredients of), and dredge the chicken in flour again, and into the vegetable shortening, 340 degrees for 13 1/2 minutes."


  1. Let's be very clear here: even at my age I am a F.C. I've tried to make it a few times, but until recently, never bothered to take the method seriously and my chicken was always much darker that the deep blond - and cooked - that I wanted. I've been experimenting!!!
    I too can taste a slight difference in oils and one can see a difference between battered and floured. I think the later is is a personal choice thing. My past experience suggests that I was simply trying to cook my open pan F.C. too fast. It cooked OK, the flavor was horrible and the color was offensive, even to me. The principal interim fix, while I continue to work on seasonings, it to NEVER let the oil temperature exceed 350F. I target 335F and hope that I do not go over. Why? At ~~ 355, flour burns and browns, exactly what I do not want. I use shallow fat, turn ~3-4 minutes and continue until the meat temp and color satisfy me. Both batter and flour mixtures can and do burn. When I see any burned stuff below, the minimal oil is gone and the pot cleaned. new oil added and the temp turned down a bit.
    So help me!! A medium-blond color and complete cooking, all with ought being 'greasy' IS possible. I'm getting closer...
    -Cedarglen. I'll be back.

    1. You may want to "finish" it in the oven once it reaches the color you like. Remove it from the oil and let it cook through in the oven at around 250 F?

    2. I have found carry over cooking to be very important with fried chicken to keep the golden blond color. Draining on a perforated heat station comes to temp.

  2. AnonymousMay 30, 2015

    Last time I fried chicken, I used my buddy, Chef Michael Dei Maggi's Max's Wine Dive marinade. Grill some jalapenos black, into vitamix with fresh garlic, and buttermilk. Marinade in fridge for at least 24 hours. Dip the same as with most, dredge in egg wash and seasoned flour then fry in 350 degree PECAN OIL. Yummy!

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  4. I tried this recipe on Sunday, May 31. I can confirm that the marinade of buttermilk with the ground up jalapeño chiles added heat to the chicken breast. However, the egg wash and seasoned flour dip did not result in a crispy crust like I remember from Max's Wine Dive. I think some key step is missing from this recipe. The egg wash resulted in a dry non crunchy crust, which is what I have seen in the past with egg wash batters (more weinerschnitzel like)(not enough moisture to cause the gliadin and glutenein to form a crisp gluten crust.

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