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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?

            1. that list makes sense to me...

              let's see, it's about:
              3 T spices
              1 T salt (including onion salt)
              2 T MSG

              i think that would season, what, around 3 C flour? that wouldn't be reddish at all.

              wouldn't anyone just dip the chicken in egg or buttermilk, then dredge in the flour, then fry it up?

              i'm glad to know the "secret" chicken spice-blend -- and i'll love to eat that chicken with my KFC-clone cole slaw!

              1. The rumor has long been that there are fewer then 11 herbs and spices in KFC. Just by looking at the list of ingredients I'd say this is recipe is way too herbaceous.

                1 Reply
                1. My problem with him, and others like him who write copycat recipe books, is the fact they lie about food allergies to get info: "Other times, I'd tell the waitress that my wife had severe food allergies and that I needed to know the ingredients in the dish. Sometimes, I'd get a full list right there!" http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32027188/

                  It can be hard enough to get accurate information from restaurants, let along food manufactures; especially if you don't have one of the 'Top 8' allergies. Some manufactures want a letter from your doctor before they will even talk to you. Gee, why doesn't he park in the handicap space too when he goes to get his food? To me, lying about an allergy to obtain recipe information is equally as bad.

                  On another note, according to the KFC History (http://www.kfc.com/about/history.asp), Sanders opened his first restaurant in 1930, with 1940 listed as the 'Birthdate of the Original Recipe.' MSG didn't come to the attention of the US until WWII and wasn't introduced to the US until 1948 (by the Army) and was only widely available beginning in the mid-1950's. How can Accent/MSG be one of the original 11 herbs & spices? Sander's wasn't running a big company, he was still just cooking in his only restaurant at Corbin, Kentucky.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: anniemax

                    annie, while your facts may be correct (and i have no doubt they are), there is no claim that the MSG is "original" -- just the spice blend. i guess he thinks accent helps everything. ;-).

                    (and i don't condone lying about allergies).

                    1. re: alkapal

                      when William Poundstone (a.k.a. the "Big secrets Guy") got his hands on a sample of the "mix" they used for the KFC breading and had is run through labratory analysis, salt, pepper,flour and MSG were the ONLY things found in it. This isn't to say that there weren't 11 herbs and spices in Col. Sanders orginal fried chicken recipe just that there di not apper to be any others but the above four in the current batter.

                      1. re: jumpingmonk

                        the KFC chicken doesn't taste like it used to, that's for sure. i like to use everglades seasoning in the seasoning flour for tasty and quick fried chicken tenderloins.

                        1. re: jumpingmonk

                          Let's face it, when a food item is that old, it no longer uses the "Original" recipe. The suits will have had their way with it.


                          1. re: Davwud

                            That's the truth.
                            I have a long list of favorite products (or former favorites) that have been around a while and tout themselves as "original" , either implied or implicitly labeled as such, when it is very obvious that they have been tinkered with. Very prominent on that list is "Aunt Jemima's Original Pancake Mix"...the real original was quite different (both ingredients and taste wise) than what is sold today under that name and which I no longer purchase. The ingredient panel from an old box (pre-1980) and a bit of experimentation made the reverse engineering of the formula simple enough. This has been my routine solution for old favorite products which have gotten the dreaded "new and improved" treatment or were discontinued altogether. When I see "new and improved" or "great new taste" on a label, it's usually the kiss of death.

                          2. re: jumpingmonk

                            All I can taste in KFC is msg and salt... I wouldn't be surprised if the 11 spices were salt and more salt.

                        2. re: anniemax

                          Lying about allergies is so wrong makes so much harder for peope truly allergic like your wife and I. Those people make me so angry.

                          1. re: anniemax

                            Not to mention the fact that Accent is neither an herb nor a spice.

                          2. The key ingredient missing is the cooking method. The Colonel did not want to pay to use the proprietary Broaster method (www.broaster.com) and instead invented his own machinery to prepare the chicken (very similar to broasting). Have you ever noticed you never got an improperly fried (dried out) or day old oil-tasting piece of chicken from KFC...ever? Nor has a piece from any location been teaming with oil along with that rancid-ish flavor...

                            If you have tried the fish snacker (available a lot during Lent) it does not taste like it was fried in chicken-y oil and the chicken never tastes fishy?

                            The spices for the Original Recipe do seem unique, but to me it is the preparation that makes KFC different than other fried chicken.

                            12 Replies
                            1. re: Cathy

                              "broaster" post-dated the colonel, though, right?

                              1. re: alkapal

                                He cooked with pressure frying at his restaurant (in the 1930's) and the Broaster was patented in 1954. From what I have read, the Colonel wanted to expand his number of restaurants did not want to pay the Broaster company to use their machines and instead patented his own pressure frying machine.

                                In any case, the method of preparation combined with the spices is what makes the chicken taste the way it does, not the spices alone.

                              2. re: Cathy

                                The non-chickeny fish snacker could be due to using a dedicated [pressure fryer for the fish instead of using common machines for all proteins.

                                I have doubts about the use of that much MSG because there would be more complaints about Chinese food syndrome.

                                1. re: Kelli2006

                                  Not so sure about 'more complaints'...
                                  "Chinese Food Syndrome", that is, extreme sensitivity to MSG, is actually a pretty rare thing.
                                  It's true that some folks _are_ clearly sensitive to MSG, but it's evidently not nearly as widespread as everyone seems to think. There is just as much (if not more) MSG in most regular processed and canned foods in general as there is in some Chinese food. Many people who think they might be sensitive are either mistaken, or have simply decided that they are sensitive because of media sensationalism about it.

                                  As for me, I try by and large to avoid the stuff, but I don't really worry all that much about it. Some foods actually do benefit from small quantities of it. It's really a matter of individual opinion and taste.

                                  1. re: The Professor

                                    The Professor -- YES! Check out many of your everyday snack foods. MSG is in a HUGE number of Western foods.

                                    My favorite anecdote: My cousin regaling with me of her inability to eat in Chinese restaurants because of her extreme sensitivity to monosodium glutamate -- as she was eating a big ol' bag of Cheetos.


                                    Chinese restaurant syndrome is a mass-hysteria, attention-whore, vaguely xenophobic/racist myth.


                                    There are indeed some people who are sensitive to the stuff. They are very rare. There is zero scientific question at this point.

                                    1. re: dmd_kc

                                      And the neurology of expectation is such that who think they should be having a reaction are more likely to have a self-induced reaction.

                                      1. re: dmd_kc

                                        "Chinese restaurant syndrome is a mass-hysteria, attention-whore, vaguely xenophobic/racist myth."

                                        LOL! This is the best explanation of the phenomenon I've ever heard. Thanks for expressing it so perfectly.

                                      2. re: The Professor

                                        I don't have a problem with MSG and I use it in moderation in certain dishes.

                                        1. re: Kelli2006

                                          Right on, Kelli. I agree with you on that, and I've never found anyone yet that agrees with us, LOL! MSG has it's uses. I've actually not ordered at chinese places before because of reading "we do not use MSG".

                                          1. re: rainroosty

                                            Even if they say that, they probably still do. My understanding is that this means, "We do not add MSG as an ingredient ourselves", and does not at all mean, "none of the ingredients we put in contain MSG". Very key difference there.

                                            1. re: rainroosty

                                              many agree with you (like me), but are tired of participating in the "ooooooooh we hate msg" debates.

                                          2. re: The Professor

                                            While I agree about the racist undertones to the MSG hysteria, I am an MSG hater simply because it leaves a really strong lingering aftertaste in my mouth that I cannot get rid of for hours. I don't get all kinds of crazy things like migraines or heart palpitations from it, I just find it really annoying how I continue to "taste" it for hours afterwards, no matter how many times I brush my teeth.

                                            I'm aware similar chemicals are present in other foods such as tomatoes, mushrooms or parmesan cheese. But eating in it highly concentrated amounts is very unappetizing to me.

                                      3. I'd be curious to hear how it compares to the real thing if anyone ever gets the desire to make a batch.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: MsDiPesto

                                          Something else I bumped into which I though woud be interesting.
                                          When I wander around NYC I have from time to time popped into one or another of the small delis and picked up a little something from the steam table most of them seem to have to tide me over. In at least two places it seemed to me that the coating they were using (which in both cases seems to be breading they made themselves) tasted eerily like the KFC regular formal as it was some years ago. This is interesting enough on the chicken but the real fun thing are the places that use it on things like the squid (I guess that is also KFC, "Kentucky Fried Calamari!"

                                        2. The REAL Colonel Sanders Original Recipe.

                                          Ron's attempt is great fried chicken, but nowhere close to the real thing.

                                          Original Recipe Fried Chicken:

                                          All measurements in teaspoons unless otherwise noted.

                                          1 black pepper
                                          1 white pepper
                                          1/2 sage
                                          3/8 ginger
                                          1/4 coriander seed
                                          1/4 summer savory
                                          1/4 nutmeg
                                          1/8 bay leaf
                                          1/8 cayenne pepper
                                          1/8 green cardamom
                                          1/8 cloves

                                          1 two to three pound frier chicken cut into pieces.

                                          To 1 cup of cake flour, add 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp msg. Mix spice blend into flour and allow to absorb a minimum of 1 day.

                                          Dip chicken pieces in 3/4 cup milk mixed with 1 egg. Roll and press into flour 7 times and tap 7 times to remove excess. Allow to set for 15 minutes.

                                          Heat oil in pressure cooker to 375F. Gently drop in chicken pieces and cap lid. When steam escapes from regulator, turn temperature down to 250F and cook for 8 minutes.

                                          Remove from oil and set on rack in 170 degree oven for 15 minutes to allow excess oil to drain.

                                          Merry Christmas everyone!


                                          The above recipe is as close to Colonel Sanders' final blend as you can make. Although he purportedly finalized the 11 in the 40's, it wasn't until the early 50's that he added Monosodium Glutamate and decided to stop here. Salt and MSG were additives to the flour, and not counted as part of the original 11.

                                          His original blend was first altered as early as 1964, when he sold Kentucky Fried Chicken to John Y. Brown. Extra Crispy was a deep fried product, not created by, nor sanctioned by the Colonel. It did not contain the original 11, and is most likely what was tested by William Poundstone.

                                          By cooking the above recipe in your home kitchens, you will finally remember (or taste for the first time!) what Colonel Sanders intended his chicken to taste like.

                                          29 Replies
                                          1. re: Sonofagun

                                            Cool. You don't possiblly have that fabled gravy recipe of his, do you?

                                            1. re: Fibber McGee

                                              2 Tbs. fried chicken 'drippings' (the strained out, fallen off bits of coating after frying)
                                              2 Tbs. seasoned flour (same flour used in the coating)
                                              2 cups skim milk (or 1 cup whole milk, 1 cup water)
                                              1 pinch of nutmeg
                                              1 pat of butter (or 1 Tbs of oil from the cooking)

                                              Melt butter in pan over medium heat. Combine drippings (cracklings), seasoned flour and make a roux. Keep whisking until the color turns chocolate brown. All the flour must cook to avoid the raw flour taste.

                                              Gradually add the milk while constantly whisking. Keep stirring until the gravy thickens. The gravy will be thin at first, then all of a sudden it will thicken. Do not let it get too thick. It should be slightly lumpy and still run off a spoon.

                                              Requires a little practice to get it perfect, but is very easy to achieve. Colonel Sanders wanted the gravy to be so good, that people would throw the chicken away! He also claimed that KFC had turned his original gravy into wallpaper paste.

                                              Serve with chicken, mashed potatoes and biscuits.


                                              1. re: Sonofagun

                                                My very first job was working at a KFC in British Columbia in the late 90's. My supervisor made the gravy by mixing a spice packet with some used fryer grease. I'm not at all sure that this method was sanctioned by the Colonel, however, or even by KFC in general. She also referred to the poutine (which shows up on most Canadian KFC menus) as "poon-tain." I was always a little bit horrified (and a little bit delighted) when she did this in front of customers.

                                                1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                  Poon-tain? Very close to classic Vietnam-war slang. Could make for fine chicken, in any case...

                                                      1. re: Bada Bing

                                                        Funny, today I was at a Food Network filming and the word poutine came up. I bit my tongue. My mouth was watering, though. (bad bad)

                                                        1. re: rudeboy

                                                          Well poutine is certainly moist...
                                                          but wait, its cheesy as well....

                                                2. re: Sonofagun

                                                  KFC gravy is wallpaper paste. So are the 'mashed potatoes' :(

                                              2. re: Sonofagun

                                                What's the measure of the 11 - teaspoons? You omitted it....

                                                1. re: Karl S

                                                  Sorry, it is in teaspoons. I must have forgot to include that when I edited the post.

                                                2. re: Sonofagun

                                                  One problem with that assumption, Poundstone made it clear he was testing the orginal. I suppose though that whoever gave him the sample may have gotten the batters mixed up.

                                                  1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                    You're right, jumpingmonk. That is merely an assumption on my part. I have often pondered the Poundstone findings. Anyone who works at KFC then and now would easily be able to show you the spice bag containing way more than 4 ingredients.

                                                    Furthermore, the spice mix and salt both come from separate bags and are combined with the flour at the restaurant.

                                                    I have always suspected human error or more likely FOWL play. ;-)

                                                    1. re: Sonofagun

                                                      Kinda makes you wonder if the Oysters Rockefeller recipe (from the second book) is really spot on. As a botanist by profession I can however, confirm that the thing about the pink peppercorns is.

                                                      1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                        Any chance you could post that recipe for Oysters Rockefeller? I would love to try it.

                                                        1. re: Sonofagun

                                                          Regrettably my main computer is in the shop for repairs and the one I'm writing on is too old to work with my scanner (and the recipie is way too long to compy out manually) When my "real" computer gets back from the shop I'll se what I can do, if you can't wait, maybe your local library has a copy of "Bigger Secrets" (i.t. out of print so you can't just go to a bookstore and get a copy) It's the first section in there.

                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                              Well yes there is alway's that option. I was just trying to come up with quicker ones. then again the rest of the books pretty intersting so that may be the best one.

                                                              1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                i realized your option was quicker. btw, i've found the booksellers are pretty quick with those used books.

                                                                i found this interesting about the oyster recipe: http://itotd.com/articles/456/oysters...
                                                                """What various researchers have been able to piece together from a variety of sources is that there are probably 18 ingredients in [Antoine's] Oysters Rockefeller, among which are watercress, scallions, parsley, fennel, garlic, butter, and bread crumbs. It also likely contains Pernod or Herbsaint, brands of pastis that substitute for the absinthe that was almost certainly used in 1899. I have yet to see any research, though, as to why the spinach-based recipes with only 10 ingredients taste better. —Joe Kissell"""

                                                  2. re: Sonofagun

                                                    I don't have a pressure cooker. I'm sure that's a very important part of this.
                                                    Just wondering, how do you think it would turn out just deep fried? Or would it be better to try Pan Fried. Or would I just be wasting time? I love good fried chicken, but have never attempted my own.

                                                    1. re: Bobfrmia

                                                      The character of KFC and the fried chicken from supermarkets that is like it comes from a sealed chamber under pressure, which is neither like regular deep frying nor quite like pan frying.

                                                      Deep frying chicken the regular way always involves the risk of the steam coming out of the chicken (unless the pieces are rather small) shooting through the breading/batter. A pressure cooker approached is partly designed to finesse this problem.

                                                      Pan frying is more reliable for chicken because the top of the chicken is exposed to the air and allows the steam in chicken to "breathe out" more easily, as it were. Normally, one covers the pan for the first side being fried, and uncovers it for the second side.

                                                      1. re: Karl S

                                                        Although pressure cooked is the way it is done at the restaurant, I have done it all 4 ways and the chicken always comes out great.

                                                        Pan frying is the way Colonel Sanders originally cooked it, until he found out a way to speed up the process by pressure frying. Deep frying will give you a crispier, 'drier' coating similar to Popeye's or KFC Extra Crispy. Just remember to brine the chicken if deep frying.

                                                        Brining will guarantee you super-moist and juicy chicken even if you deep fry. Here's the brine I used to use when deep frying this chicken:

                                                        2 Cups water
                                                        1 Tablespoon salt
                                                        1 Tablespoon white vinegar

                                                        Mix ingredients in a large Ziploc bag and add 8-10 pieces of chicken (1 chicken's worth). Make sure to brine at least 2 hours. I used to leave it overnight.

                                                        Deep fry for 12 minutes at 325F.

                                                        If pan-frying, place about 1/4 inch of oil in pan with tight-fitting lid. Fry each side on medium-low heat, covered for about 20 minutes each side. For crispier chicken, cook an additional 2-5 minutes per side uncovered.

                                                        If oven-baking, no need to brine. Just mix half milk and half cooking oil with the eggwash. When you flour the chicken, let it set about 15 minutes before putting in oven. The coating should be saturated before cooking. Cook for about 25 minutes per side in a 375F oven.

                                                        Even though you need to pressure fry if making 'authentic' KFC, all of the above methods will still give you the taste at home without the need for extra equipment.

                                                        NOTE: Remember to completely rinse and dry the chicken after brining. This will ensure the chicken will not come out too salty and also ensure the egg wash sticks properly.

                                                        1. re: Sonofagun

                                                          I've heard TV chefs comment that they roast the spices. So I'm wondering if you combine the spices, ground them if needed together and then roast them before adding to the flour?

                                                      2. re: Bobfrmia

                                                        Turns out great deep fried. Read my note below on brining. For a quick fix, try making nuggets out of skinless, boneless breast meat. Pound the meat to tenderize before cutting into nuggets. No need to pressure fry or deep fry with this method. Just pan fry them! Yum!

                                                        1. re: Sonofagun

                                                          i'll take boneless chick breasts, make into paillards, then bread and pan fry. they are super crispy goodness and are easy, quick, and make a darned good sandwich, too! i still want to use scuzzo's wafflemaker technique on these. i love the original kfc flavor, and look forward to using this recipe info.

                                                      3. re: Sonofagun

                                                        sonofagun - I am intrigued with your KFC recipe. Will I find summer savory in the spice aisle in the supermarket? Green cardamom as well? And 1/8 tsp of bay leaf - I have only purchased them whole - does it come ground?

                                                        1. re: smilingal

                                                          I have seen summer savory in the bigger grocery stores. The green cardamom is best purchased whole, and then ground as needed. You can get it ground as well. If you cannot find it in the regular spices, sometimes it can be in the international section, with Indian foods and spices. I am not sure I have ever seen ground bay leaves either. I like to buy whole spices and then grind them with a coffee/spice grinder I bought at the kitchen shop for $9.99. I think it's worth it, because the whole spices last longer and the freshly ground spices taste so much better.

                                                          1. re: smilingal

                                                            ground bay leaf is available. perhaps not at the grocery, but i always ordered it from resto purveyors.

                                                          2. re: Sonofagun

                                                            Just wanted to let you (sonofagun) know, I made this recipe for Fourth of July today. It was superb. The 15 min wait time and cake flour made the coating stick. I used several brined chicken breast, boneless, no skin, and everything turned out perfect.

                                                          3. Okay, all of this is intensely interesting, and Yes I'm taking notes. Now, what I *really* want to know is: does anyone have a recipe for the long-departed Hot'n'Spicy Extra Crispy? I was totally addicted to that, even after only one KFC outlet in Nashville still carried it (probably because maybe 90% of their clientele was black, and hot chicken of any kind is a Black Nashville tradition), and when it fell off the menu me and the Colonel pretty much fell out. Now that I can get away with frying chicken only maybe once a year (dietary concerns) I'd love to make the best of it …

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: Will Owen

                                                              hey will, try making small batches with different hot kfc secret herb & spice blends. i googled a couple -- but actually these two links look the same. (i also wonder if the kfc hot wings taste like what you're looking for).


                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                This whole thread makes me smile because all I can think about is my sister-in-law's mother who was bound and determined to crack this one - in 1968. Came awfully close, too.

                                                            2. Well this has inspired me to try a few of these blends for my fried chicken. My father only made his fried chicken one way and it's so engrained in me that his way is what fried chicken should taste like. His was heavy on the poultry seasoning.

                                                              It's been interesting to try new seasoning for fried chicken.

                                                              1. Not having tried a single one of these different spice/herb blends, I can't comment on them specifically. What I can tell you is that 2 c. ap flour mixed with one packet Lipton's tomato soup and one packet zesty Italian dressing tastes amazingly like original recipe fried chicken, at least as far as I can tell.

                                                                1. mrs porker tries her hand at fried chicken every once in a while. i told her about sonofagun's post and she sat upright, suddenly interested.
                                                                  i think shes going to give it a try, but instead of the h2o/nacl/acetic acid brine, we're going the louisianna hot sauce in a plastic bag route.

                                                                  1. OK, it might have been said already, but I'll just add this:

                                                                    * This seasoning is applied DIRECTLY on the chicken, which has been soaked in buttermilk for (some long amount of time), and the chicken is then dredged in flour. Reason: spices like paprika, chili powder, and all the dried herbs, will burn instantly if they hit 325 degree shortening. The flour coating protects the spice mixture from blackening.
                                                                    * People complaining about the "Accent", a.k.a. MSG, are clearly unaware of how much MSG theyprobably consume on a daily basis. That's just as bad as the argument "there is plenty of salt naturally in what we eat already". If you cook foods from scratch, that is not true; obviously there is no salt in a piece of asparagus or raw chicken. It is when you are lazy and eat out of boxes and bags, that you are subjected to insane amounts of processing chemicals, like MSG and salt. There is no need to eat processed foods.

                                                                    12 Replies
                                                                    1. re: khagzan

                                                                      There is no need to get on a soapbox, either.

                                                                      1. re: khagzan

                                                                        How is it that in TV and print ads, the bucket is always full to the top, but when you buy a bucket at the store it's only 1/2 to 3/4 full even though it has the same number of pieces? SIZE. Unless the TV bucket has crumpled newspaper beneath the chicken, the actual pieces you buy are much, much smaller than those in the ads. Or are the TV buckets smaller for that 'full' illusion?

                                                                        Also, even though 11 herbs and spices are promoted, obviously they are used in a lot less quantity than years ago. the only thing I taste is salt, pepper and grease. the chicken used to be 'finger lickin good'. It left a slight sticky sweetness on your fingers that you licked off. Just grease now.

                                                                        1. re: teegee1

                                                                          Just like the disclaimer says on boxes of crackers and cereals: "Some settling of contents may have occured..." Your bucket is full - the chicken has just compacted!

                                                                          1. re: ricepad

                                                                            Correct, but usually the contents have settled during shipment, but not from the fryer to the counter. Bottom line...though the number of the pieces are constant, the pieces are just much, much smaller than they used to be.

                                                                            1. re: teegee1

                                                                              I just found the direct knock-off recipe I created several years ago that EXACTLY duplicates today's KFC.

                                                                              KFC Recipe

                                                                              I've tried this recipe many, many times, and can swear that the chicken tastes just like it came from my local KFC.

                                                                              15 assorted pieces of chicken (the smaller the better)
                                                                              2 cups flour
                                                                              6 tbl salt
                                                                              6 tbl salt (needed some more)
                                                                              6 tbl salt (not quite there yet)
                                                                              2 tbl salt (that's about right)
                                                                              1/2 pinch black pepper (don't overpower the salt)
                                                                              11 Herbs/ Spices (Na, too expensive. Add more salt instead))
                                                                              1 Large bucket of cooking grease

                                                                              Warsh (like that?) the chicken in water, not milk or egg as it might add too much flavor and detract from the delicate flavor of the salt. Mix the salt, salt, salt, salt, pepper, and more salt into the flour. Mix gently so as not to bruise the salt. Remember, the salt must be protected at any cost. Evenly coat the chicken in the flour mix. If there are any spots that are left bare, keep the salt shaker at arms reach. Carefully place the coated chicken pieces into the grease. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes, and then turn on the deepfryer. The deepfryer will reach the correct temperature in about 30-40 minutes. This waiting time allows the chicken to absorb the grease and thus become sooo juicy. Cook until golden brown. Remove and set on rack to drain (not too long as you don't want to lose all that goodness).

                                                                              Crumple 8-10 sheets of newspaper and jam them into a facsimile of the KFC takeout bucket. Place the chicken into the bucket. There, now the chicken pieces reach the top lip of the bucket, just like in the KFC ads. Wow, the bucket is so full that you can barely put the lid on.

                                                                              Eat with gusto. Just make sure you have plenty of serviettes and liquid refreshments handy as this chicken is just bursting with juice and flavor.

                                                                              1. re: teegee1

                                                                                thank you for you informative and lengthy post.

                                                                              2. re: teegee1

                                                                                Surely you didn't take my comment seriously...? If so, do you take issue with photos of Big Macs...or any other foods depicted in print or TV ads?

                                                                                1. re: ricepad

                                                                                  Completely understand. With many advertised products it's an art to 'properly' depict them for maximum viewer impact. Though the photo can't be embellished, I think photographers often take it to the edge of credibility. Still, the full KFC bucket really pisses me off. Maybe I should complain to Advertising Standards Canadian since it violates the below article of the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards, ie Illustration, representation.

                                                                                  1. Accuracy and Clarity

                                                                                  (a) Advertisements must not contain inaccurate, deceptive or otherwise misleading claims, statements,illustrations or representations, either direct or implied, with regard to any identified or identifiable product(s) or service(s).

                                                                                    1. re: porker

                                                                                      If consumers were more demanding that their purchases look like the advertised product, and returned them if not, then the food establishments would be swamped with returns. Something would have to give.

                                                                                    2. re: teegee1

                                                                                      there are people who make a pretty comfortable living dolling up food to make it look wonderful.

                                                                                      There are also lots of rules about it -- so thinking you're the first and/or only person to ponder contacting the advertising standards folks about an overly full bucket of chicken would be a pretty erroneous assumption.

                                                                                      There's every chance that KFC has even hire a consultant to ensure that their ads meet all the standards.

                                                                              3. re: teegee1

                                                                                The reason why your chicken from KFC tastes terrible today is BECAUSE they changed the frying oil from natural pork lard that is saturated fat and healthy, to man made toxic vegetable oils like Canola for example. That is why the chicken is greasy and terrible, besides a slight rancid tasting. YUM brands went the cheap route. Plus the conditioned public believing lies was an easy switch. Research how bad vegetable oils are compared to natural fats and oils like coconut, olive, etc....Kentucky Fried Chicken died when YUM bought them out. YUM sucks.

                                                                            2. Just made it. It tastes nothing like KFC

                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                              1. re: tford209

                                                                                If you look closely, you'll notice it was posted on April 1st. I think it was a prank.

                                                                                1. re: porker

                                                                                  I think the first 10 ingredients in the secret recipe are salt. The 11th is pepper.

                                                                                  1. re: hal2010

                                                                                    Can't someone simply take a KFC drum stick to a private lab and ask them to put it in the piece of equipment that scans all the ingredients?

                                                                                    1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                      I think that was in Austin Powers. A Gas Chromatograph wouldn't pick up everything.

                                                                                      1. re: rudeboy

                                                                                        But wouldn't it detect most things like herbs and spices?
                                                                                        Surely a GC could detect MSG and onion and garlic in relative amounts visa vi the sample/

                                                                                        1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                          I'll ask Dr. McCoy for his tricorder next time I see him.

                                                                              2. Are you going to Scarborough fair?

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: ebchower

                                                                                  I actually have a recipe I made up that I call "Scarborough Fair Chicken," which uses all four of the herbs mentioned in the song, which of course the above recipe does not -- it lacks three of the four.

                                                                                2. I've never understood the fascination with making fresh chicken taste like cheap processed fast food chicken. I think it's fairly obvious the main ingredient is MSG and the whole "11 herbs and spices" thing is marketing BS to distract from that.

                                                                                  That said, there is a chicken rub called "Pride Of Szeged" which has a surprisingly similar flavor profile to KFC chicken. It's a really coarse blend though, so I would recommend giving it a whir in a spice grinder first.

                                                                                  Its main ingredients are garlic, basil, paprika, oregano and salt along with other "spices" that are not listed.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: Atomic76

                                                                                    My local butcher shop sells it. I'll try it. Thanks.

                                                                                  2. Personally I really like the flavor of KFC Original, but generally find the chicken they pump out soggy, greasy, and generally poor quality. As a result, I have been chipping away at homemade pan fried versions.

                                                                                    My last attempt was to prepare two slightly different homemade recipes and do a head to head to head taste test with KFC store bought. (I know I know, but someone has to do it!).

                                                                                    By far the closest recipe I've tried is Todd Wilbur's with slightly more savory (3/4t instead of his 1/2t). Also added 1t salt and 1/4t MSG to the 1 1/2 cups (9oz) flour.


                                                                                    I tried this recipe with and without the MSG, and found it a must. It really does heighten the spice flavor. Definitely worth trying.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: PoppiYYZ

                                                                                      The reason for the soggy greasy chicken nowadays at KFC.... Is because they switched the frying oil from natural healthy pork lard to toxic man made vegetable oil.