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Jul 28, 2009 10:17 PM

Kentucky Fried Chicken's 11 Herbs and Spices Reverse Engineered

Ron Douglas shares the ingredients for his version of KFC's 11 herbs and spices recipe
— 1 teaspoon ground oregano
— 1 teaspoon chili powder
— 1 teaspoon ground sage
— 1 teaspoon dried basil
— 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
— 1 teaspoon pepper
— 2 teaspoons salt
— 2 tablespoons paprika
— 1 teaspoon onion salt
— 1 teaspoon garlic powder
— 2 tablespoons Accent

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  1. This probably tastes good, but doesn't look like it would taste like KFC. The chili powder is the deal breaker for me, and even the oregano is a little iffy.

    The highest proportion ingredients in KFC seem to be salt and pepper. Wouldn't be surprised if there was a trace of cinnamon in there as well.

    4 Replies
    1. re: The Professor

      I would say nutmeg would be more likely than cinnamon. It's a very useful background spice for poultry and pork rubs when kept slightly less than noticeable.

      1. re: Karl S

        i dissagree with both of you guys...

        i think it is cardimom that gives it that sweet flavour..

        i have made a few spice blends up... and i definitely agree about it having too many herbs..

        i think it only has thyme and basil, 3 at most. (3)
        salt, peppercorns (variety), ginger, (3 if we consider mixed peppercorns as one spice blend)
        fenugreek seeds/parsley seeds, ect ect... (1-2)
        id also consider sumac, dill/chives/coriander, (2)
        some other interesting things to note is the difference between Shichimi and other asian herb blends. (like a homemade afghan spice rub)... omitting the taste from cornflour/flour makes it more easier to tell the taste of spices in the chicken.

        other spices to consider; cumin, a seasonal blend, lemon/lime ect.

        and that, unknown-community-of-KFC-inspired-chicken lovers, is my idea of kfc.
        (and no i have never attempted a recipe yet.. lol)

        btw sonofagun's recipe seems legit.

        1. re: Peanut22

          I always taste some Fennel seed in there. Always ! And us'n Italians know Fennel seed.

          1. re: bang4dabuck

            It's all spice.. You are all correct!

      1. I disagree with blogger who questioned the inclusion of chili powder. I once fried three chicken and in my haste, reached for the papricka and grabbed the chili powder by mistake. It was the best fried chicken I had ever made. Now, it's one of my standard ingredients in the shake.

        1. Interesting. I've never gotten a chili taste from it and if you look, 1/3 or the ingredients in this are red and their chicken doesn't seem to be all that red.


          1 Reply
          1. re: Davwud

            I would suggest that the "chili powder" is really powdered chiles. I routinely use powdered ancho instead of paprika when I make my version of chicken paprikash, and it gives a deeper, more robust flavor, but not what you'd think of as "chili".

          2. Even if the seasoning ingredients and measurements are correct, this still leaves a lot of guesswork.

            What's missing is directions for applying the seasoning mix to the chicken. Is the mix supposed to be sprinkled directly onto the chicken? And if so, is the chicken supposed to be left standing for a certain time? Or is the seasoning mix supposed to be combined with the flour or whatever is used to coat the chicken? And if they are to be combined, what are the correct proportions of seasoning mix and flour?