By Gian Franco 2021-02-07

Recreate and Obsess Over This Jollibee Fried Chicken Recipe

This is the famous “crispy-licious and juicy-licious Chicken Joy” of the Philippines.


You must have heard about Asia’s best fried chicken by now. The cult popularity of the “McDonald’s of the Philippines” is drawing huge crowds in the US where it has 37 locations already as of writing. Recently, online magazine Redbook rated Jollibee as the 4th best fried chicken in the US and even outranked homegrown fast-food chains like Shake Shack (6th), Kentucky Fried Chicken (11th), and McDonald’s (12th). Jollibee’s fried chicken is praised by the media, influencers, and analysts for its crispy sheath of skin that cracks between the teeth and for its juicy, savory interior that is just perfect when dipped in the “ethereal” gravy.

Started as ice cream parlor in Manila in the late 1970s, Jollibee is confident about its ambition to take over the US market given the superstar reception of its crispy fried chicken and other items in the menu. In 2018, Filipino fans and curious customers camped outside Jollibee store right in the heart of Manhattan and waited for 20 hours to get their hands on a bucket of “Chicken Joy” despite heavy downpour. In December 2019, locals of Plano and San Antonio drove to see the much-anticipated Jollibee stores and waited inside the car for more than two hours in the crazy stretch of drive-thru line.

For about 36 years, Jollibee has inspired loyalty and warm sentiment of Filipinos. Every Filipino millennial today has fond memories of celebrating their birthdays or graduation day at Jollibee. One would reminisce that the crispy Chicken Joy and spaghetti combo reminds them of sweetest times with their family. Americans might love it for the little adventure, and some may not understand the obsession yet. But to Filipinos living abroad, Jollibee tastes like home. This Jollibee fried chicken recipe from Erwan Heussaff of The Fat Kid Inside will convince you it’s more than a fried chicken—it’s Chicken Joy!



For the chicken

  • 3 thighs
  • 3 chicken legs

For the brine

  • 6-8 cups of water (should sufficiently cover the chicken)
  • 2 tbsp chicken stock powder or 1 tbsp MSG
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup salt


  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 1.5 cups cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp five spice
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp half and half
  • 1 tbsp chicken salt or 1 tsp MSG
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • soy sauce to taste


Get these ingredients from My Tindahan here.



  1. In a pot, bring water, salt, and sugar to a boil. Dissolve MSG (or chicken salt) in it. Let it cool and add cold water. Submerge chicken and keep in the fridge overnight.
  2. Combine flour, cornstarch, garlic powder, five spice, and paprika in a large mixing container.
  3. Dip the chicken into ice water and coat evenly with the breading. The breading should also coat under the skin. You can slightly wet the breading with ice water to form lumps and create that effect of bigger chunks of crispy skin.
  4. Deep fry at 120C until golden brown.
  5. For the gravy: melt butter in a pan and add flour. Whisk to combine. Add chicken stock, salt, pepper, milk, and soy sauce. Let it simmer until it thickens. 


Photo courtesy of The Fat Kid Inside.


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