Has KFC’s secret and closely guarded original chicken recipe finally been revealed?
The secret original recipe has been ranked higher than most state secrets since the 1940s and is the foundation of the fast food chain’s success.
But in 2016, the Chicago Tribune published what a relative of KFC Colonel Harland Sanders believes is the recipe, which has been safely tucked away in a family scrapbook for years.
The mixture of 11 herbs and spices is kept in a vault, the company says, and no one — except the company, of course — knows what it is.
Sanders even came up with the idea of having two different companies make part of the recipe so that no one company would ever have the whole thing.
But Joe Ledington, a cousin by marriage of the Colonel, has a scrapbook that once belonged to Claudia Sanders, the Colonel’s second wife. And in that scrapbook is perhaps the biggest secret of the chicken world.
Joe Ledington, one of Colonel Sanders’ distant relatives, thinks he may have found the original recipe for KFC chicken hidden in a family scrapbook
Above is a commemorative presentation of the 11 secret herbs and spices that Colonel Harland Sanders made famous in his recipe for Kentucky Fried Chicken
Inside the scrapbook is a handwritten recipe pasted into an envelope that also contained Claudia’s will. Claudia passed away in 1997.
Ledington said he’s had the scrapbook for about four years because it was passed down through relatives.
Does he think this is the real original recipe?
“Yes, I do,” he told the outlet. ‘I don’t want to get into a fight with’ [parent company] yum! Marks about it, but… I’m pretty sure it’s pretty close to the original.’
The Tribune decided to post the recipe with the rest, whip it up as written, then compare it to a batch of fresh KFC bought at a local restaurant.
After several unsuccessful attempts, the test chefs finally came up with a batch, using the same ingredients but also sprinkled with an MSG flavor enhancer Accent, which the store said tasted “indistinguishable” from those bought at the fast food chain.
yum! However, Brands complains that it’s not the recipe at all: “Many people over the years have claimed to have discovered or figured out the secret recipe, but no one has ever been right,” the company said, somewhat reluctantly.
Could it mean so far? Try it yourself:
Preparation: 30 minutes
Soaking: 20-30 minutes
Cooking: 15-18 minutes
Makes: 4 servings
2 cups All-Purpose Flour
2/3 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 tablespoon dried basil leaves
1/3 tablespoon dried oregano leaves
1 tablespoon celery salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dried mustard
4 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons garlic salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
3 tablespoons ground white pepper
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg, beaten
1 chicken, diced, breasts cut in half for more even frying
Anesthetic pressed canola oil
1 Mix the flour in a bowl with all the herbs and spices; put aside.
2 In a separate bowl, mix the buttermilk and egg until combined. Soak the chicken in the room temperature buttermilk mixture, 20-30 minutes.
3 Remove the chicken from the buttermilk, letting the excess drip off. Dip the chicken pieces in the herb-herb-flour mixture to coat all sides and shake off the excess. Let stand on a wire rack over a baking tray for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat about 3 inches of the oil in a large Dutch oven (or similar heavy pan with high sides) over medium heat to 350 degrees. (Use a deep-fry thermometer to check the temperature.) When the temperature is reached, reduce the heat to medium to keep it at 350. Fry 3 or 4 pieces at a time, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Bake until medium golden brown, turning once, 15-18 minutes. Place the chicken pieces on a baking tray covered with kitchen paper. Allow the oil to return to temperature before adding more chicken. Repeat with the remaining chicken.
– The Chicago Tribune