Kentucky Fried Chicken, also known as KFC, is a household brand that everyone knows of. It’s a name synonymous to fried chicken— especially one with meat so tender and juicy encased with a skin that has flavors so complex. Colonel Sanders attributes the chicken’s success to its 11 secret herbs and spices, among others.
Is that really all there is to it, though? And what exactly are those 11 secret herbs and spices?
Many have tried to crack the code, but with few coming close. A leaked handwritten note in the Ledington’s family album was the closest, but the parent company refused to comment on it, calling the recipe a “trade secret”. Regardless, many have come up with similar versions of their own. Here is one of them.
The recipe below was taken from America’s Most Wanted Recipes by Ron Douglas (Atria Books), which was replicated by The Spruce Eats in this video.
- 1 large egg (beaten)
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 (3-pound) chicken (cut into 6 pieces)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground oregano
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon onion salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons Accent (MSG seasoning)
- 1 can lard (enough to cover chicken in the fryer)
- Gather the ingredients.
- Combine the egg and buttermilk in a large bowl. Soak the chicken pieces in the mixture.
- Put the flour in a separate bowl and whisk in all the herbs and spices.
- Remove the chicken from the buttermilk mixture, letting the excess drip off. Roll the chicken in the seasoned flour until completely covered.
- Add the lard to a pressure fryer and heat to 365 F. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions.
- Using a utensil, lower 4 pieces of the chicken into the hot oil and lock the lid in place. Be careful not to burn yourself with the hot oil.
- Allow to fry for 8 to 10 minutes, until the chicken is golden brown and thoroughly cooked.
- Once the pieces are cooked, release the pressure according to the manufacturer’s directions and remove the chicken to paper towels or a metal rack to drain.
- Repeat with the remaining two pieces of chicken.
Although you may not be a fan of MSG, The Spruce Eats emphasizes that this is the real secret in getting that KFC taste, so if you want flavors that are pretty close to the real deal, don’t eliminate it.
If you end up trying this at home, make sure to send us photos and tell us about your experience! 🙂
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