Okay, I know I just posted a fried chicken recipe recently on the blog, but when I saw the recent story about how the original “secret” recipe to KFC’s 11 herbs and spices may have been accidentally leaked to the public in an interview with the Colonel’s nephew, I figured I would check it out. Granted, I am not a big eater of KFC chicken myself. I have nothing against KFC; I just think there are better recipes out there for fried chicken to try. That being said, I wanted to check it out and see just how close it actually was to what you get at KFC. The spices all seemed like they would make up a good mix for the coating for the chicken and other than that the recipe that the Chicago Tribune tried to imitate KFC chicken seemed pretty basic, so I cut up a chicken and set to work on it.
Perhaps the KFC Fried Chicken Recipe
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, cut up, the breast pieces cut in half for more even frying
Canola oil, for frying
Mix the flour in a bowl with all of the dried herbs and spices; set aside the spice mixture.
Mix the buttermilk and egg together in a separate large bowl until they are combined. Soak the chicken in the buttermilk mixture at room temperature for about 20 to 30 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the buttermilk, allowing any excess to drip off. Dip the chicken pieces in the herb-spice-flour mixture to coat all sides of the chicken pieces, shaking off any excess. Allow the chicken to sit on a rack set over a baking sheet for about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat about 3 inches of the oil in a large Dutch oven or similar heavy cast iron pot with high sides over medium-high heat until the oil registers 350 degrees on an instant-read thermometer or candy thermometer. When the correct temperature is reached, lower the heat to medium to maintain it at 350 degrees. Fry 3 or 4 pieces of the chicken at a time, being careful not to crowd the pot. Fry the chicken until it is medium golden brown, turning each piece once, about 15 to 18 minutes total. Transfer the chicken pieces to a baking sheet covered with paper towels. Allow the oil in the pot to return to the right temperature before adding more chicken pieces. Repeat the process with the remaining chicken.
Okay, a couple of things about this recipe. First, as is indicated in the article, KFC adds MSG to their chicken to give it added flavor. If you want to add it, you can purchase it as Accent or other like brads in the store. Personally, I do not use MSG or have it in the house, so I left it out. The article indicates they only sprinkled a little on each piece before it was eaten and it seemed to help mimic the proper flavor, but I think it was fine without it. Secondly, KFC uses pressure frying to make their chicken so they can cook it faster. Whether or not this has an actual effect on the product that you eat versus what you can make at home I am not sure of, but for my purposes I just fried the pieces in my cast iron pan. Here’s what I think – it’s a good recipe, giving you nice, crunchy coating that has some good spice flavor. To me, it’s about as labor intensive as other fried chicken recipes I have made before. The spice mix tastes good, and there is a lot of paprika and white pepper in there and both come through in the taste. Is it KFC chicken? Both Sean and Michelle, who eat KFC chicken sometimes, said it was close but not exact, which is okay with me. I did like the spices, but I think I have had crunchier fried chicken. I am sure you could amp up the crunch by double dipping the chicken if you wanted to.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!