If you’re looking for some of the best herbs and spices to add to your fried chicken, then you’ve come to the right place.
I’ve rounded up 10 of my favorites that will take your fried chicken from good to great.
Whether you like your chicken spicy, savory, or with a little sweetness, there is sure to be an herb or spice on this list that you’ll love.
So go ahead and give one (or all!) of these a try the next time you make fried chicken!
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10 Best Herbs and Spices for Fried Chicken
Fried chicken can be so much more than just greasy and salty.
The right blend of herbs and spices can transform fried chicken into a flavor-packed dish that is sure to please.
From zesty to savory to sweet, there are a number of great options when it comes to herbs and spices for fried chicken.
Here are 10 of the best herbs and spices for fried chicken:
Parsley has a clean and peppery taste that can enhance the flavor of many dishes, especially chicken.
It is also a very healthy herb, as it is full of vitamins and minerals.
When using parsley in chicken dishes, I highly recommend using fresh parsley rather than dried parsley.
Dried parsley will not have the same flavor or aroma, and it will not be as potent.
Here are a few tips on how to use parsley:
- Add a few sprigs of parsley to your chicken marinade for extra flavor.
- Chop up some parsley and mix it into your chicken salad or sandwich filling.
- Garnish your chicken dish with fresh parsley leaves before serving.
Read Also: The 16 BEST Sides for Fried Chicken
Thyme usually has a sharp, almost minty flavor (but not as strong as mint) and can be used to flavor a variety of dishes.
It’s most commonly used in chicken, pork, and lamb dishes, but can also be used in soups, stews, vegetables, and even some fruit dishes.
To use thyme, you can either add the fresh leaves to your dish or use the dried form.
If using fresh thyme, add it near the end of cooking so that it doesn’t lose its flavor.
If using dried thyme, add it at the beginning of cooking so that it has time to release its flavor.
When flavoring chicken with thyme, you can either rub the herb/spice mix all over the chicken or add it to the pan during cooking.
I usually like to do a combination of both so that the flavor is well-distributed.
Here are a few tips for using thyme:
- If using fresh thyme, strip the leaves from the stem before adding it to your dish.
- Use about 1 teaspoon of dried thyme for every 2 tablespoons of fresh thyme called for in a recipe.
- Thyme pairs well with other herbs such as rosemary, basil, oregano, and sage.
This lemony-pine-like herb is a classic for chicken salads (if you want to get fancy, try chicken salad niçoise), but it’s also great for grilled chicken.
If you’re using dried rosemary, rehydrate it in water for about 10 minutes before adding it to your dish.
To use it in a marinade, combine rosemary with garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice.
Let the chicken sit in the mixture for at least 30 minutes (up to 12 hours) before cooking.
You can also add rosemary to a simple pan sauce made with chicken stock, white wine, and butter.
Sage is earthy, slightly peppery taste with hints of mint (think: sage-flavored toothpaste).
It’s one of those versatile herbs that goes with a lot of different flavors, which is why it’s a great choice for chicken.
Here are some tips on how to use sage:
- If you’re making a dry rub for chicken, mix sage with other spices like paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder.
- For a wet rub or marinade, mix sage with olive oil, lemon juice, and soy sauce (or another liquid like apple cider vinegar or white wine).
- You can also stuff sage leaves under the skin of the chicken before cooking. This is especially good if you’re roasting a whole chicken!
Oregano has a slightly bitter, pungent taste (if that’s what you’re looking for) and a strong, aromatic fragrance.
In terms of Parsley, I would say that oregano pairs best with chicken.
When using oregano, I would recommend the following:
- Use it sparingly at first, you can always add more but you can’t take it away once it’s been added.
- Add it towards the end of cooking so that its flavor is not overwhelmed by other ingredients.
- If you want to really bring out its flavor, try crushing the leaves before adding them to your dish.
Basil is a balance between sweet and savory (some people say it tastes like anise or licorice).
It’s amazing in chicken dishes because it can really bring out the flavor of the chicken without overpowering the other ingredients.
A few tips for using basil:
- If you’re using fresh basil, add it at the end of cooking so that it doesn’t lose its flavor.
- If you’re using dried basil, add it at the beginning of cooking so that it has time to rehydrate and release its flavor.
- Add a little bit at a time until you get the desired flavor – basil is very potent!
7. Garlic Powder
If you don’t have fresh garlic on hand or you’re looking for an easier way to add garlic flavor to your food, garlic powder is a great option.
It’s made by grinding up dehydrated garlic cloves into a fine powder.
Garlic powder is great for flavoring chicken.
You can rub it on the outside of the chicken before cooking, or you can add it to the pan when you’re cooking chicken in a skillet.
If you’re baking chicken, you can also add garlic powder to the breading or coating.
When using garlic powder, keep in mind that it is more potent than fresh garlic.
Start with a little bit and add more to taste.
You can always add more, but you can’t take it away once it’s added!
8. Onion Powder
Onion powder adds a special savory flavor to chicken.
It’s also a great way to add onion flavor without the texture of onions.
When using onion powder, be sure to start with a small amount and add more to taste.
A little goes a long way!
Here are a few tips for using onion powder:
- Add it to your marinade: Mix onion powder with other herbs and spices, then rub it onto your chicken before grilling or baking.
- Season your chicken before cooking: Sprinkle onion powder on both sides of chicken breasts or thighs. Then, cook as usual.
- Add it to homemade breading: Mix onion powder into your breadcrumbs or flour before breading chicken. This will give your chicken an extra savory flavor.
9. Curry Powder
Curry powder is generally a combination of turmeric, coriander, cumin, fenugreek, and chili pepper.
It is used as a spice in many cultures and cuisines all over the world.
When it comes to chicken, curry powder can be used in a variety of ways.
For example, you can use it to make a curry chicken marinade by combining it with yogurt, lime juice, and garlic.
Or you can use it to season your chicken before cooking.
Simply coat the chicken in some flour or breadcrumbs, then add curry powder (and any other spices you like) to taste.
You can also use curry powder to make a delicious curry sauce to serve with your cooked chicken.
Here are a few tips for using curry powder:
- Start with a small amount and add more to taste. Curry powder can be quite strong, so it’s best to start with less and then add more if needed.
- If you want a milder flavor, try using sweet curry powder instead of regular curry powder.
- Try pairing curry powder with other flavors like ginger, cumin, or lemon juice for an even tastier dish!
10. Smoked Paprika
Smoked paprika has a smoky and spicy flavor (depending on how much you use), and it’s perfect for chicken!
I like to add smoked paprika to my chicken when I’m grilling or roasting it.
You can also add it to your chicken when you’re sauteeing it or making a pan sauce.
Here are a few tips for using smoked paprika:
- If you’re grilling chicken, sprinkle some smoked paprika on the chicken before you put it on the grill.
- For roasted chicken, add smoked paprika to the spice rub or marinade that you’re using.
- To saute chicken, sprinkle some smoked paprika into the pan when you’re cooking the chicken.
- When making a pan sauce, add a teaspoon or two of smoked paprika to the sauce after you’ve cooked the chicken.
10 Best Herbs and Spices for Fried Chicken
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Curry Powder
- Smoked Paprika
- Choose your favorite herbs or spices from this list to use with your fried chicken recipe.
- Prepare the rest of your meal.
- Enjoy in no time!