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Melba’s Famous Fried Chicken Copycat Recipe

Melba’s Famous Fried Chicken Recipe

Melba’s Famous Fried Chicken is a beloved dish created by celebrity chef Melba Wilson, owner of the renowned Melba’s Restaurant in New York City.
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Author: Dr. Leah Alexander
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Rest time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 5
Calories: 266kcal


  • mixing bowl
  • a large pot
  • or skillet


  • 2 3- pound chicken
  • 4 cups buttermilk
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sweet Spanish paprika
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • Peanut or vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons brown mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Goya Sazonador seasoning


  • Begin by cutting the chicken. In a large bowl, coat the chicken evenly with buttermilk before covering it with plastic wrap and refrigerating it for at least one hour or overnight to allow the flavors to develop.
  • In a shallow dish, combine all-purpose flour with a blend of sweet Spanish paprika, kosher salt, poultry seasoning, ground black pepper, garlic powder, and Goya Sazonador seasoning. Add in the brown mustard and mix well.
  • Take the marinated chicken out of the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes before heating a large pot or Dutch oven with oil to 375°F (190°C). Pat dry each chicken piece and evenly coat each one with the flour mixture, making sure to cover all sides.
  • Carefully place the coated chicken into the hot oil, skin side down. Fry for about 12-15 minutes, turning occasionally until golden brown and crispy, with an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).
  • Let the chicken cool for a few minutes before serving it hot with your favorite sides, such as mashed potatoes.


  • Experiment with different spices to create your own unique blend.
  • If using chicken parts, adjust the frying time accordingly. Thicker pieces like breasts may need a few extra minutes.
  • To avoid overcrowding the pan, fry the chicken in batches.
Keyword: Melba’s Famous Fried Chicken Recipe