KFC has famously kept the 11 herbs and spices used to coat its “fingerlickin’ good” fried chicken very close to the chest. But one reporter at the Chicago Tribune named Jay Jones believes he has cracked the crispy code after interviewing the Colonel’s nephew and former employee.
Jay Jones had visited Kentucky to write a travel item about the Harland Sanders Café and Museum in the small town of Corbin, formerly the service station where the Colonel first served his chicken to motorists in 1930.
There, he met Sanders’ nephew, 67-year-old Joe Ledington, with whom he leafed through an old scrapbook that had belonged to Ledington’s aunt Claudia, the Colonel’s second wife, who died in 1996.
Inside was a copy of Claudia’s last will and testament, on the back of which was written a recipe for a fried chicken spice blend made up of 11 herbs and spices.
Ledington told Jones:
“That is the original 11 herbs and spices that were supposed to be so secretive.”
Contacted later to confirm the story, the Colonel’s nephew was a little more cagey, telling the Tribune that he couldn’t say “for sure” whether this was the mysterious recipe served today at some 20,000 locations in 123 countries.
The newspaper cooked a batch according to the blend in the scrapbook and declared it “the real deal”.
Check out the recipe below:
What is Colonel Sanders’ secret recipe?
Mix with 2 cups white flour:
- 2/3 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 tablespoon thyme
- 1/2 tablespoon basil
- 1/3 tablespoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon celery salt
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried mustard
- 4 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons garlic salt
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 3 tablespoons white pepper
STEPS TO COOKING KFC CHICKEN AT HOME:
- 1. Take out your raw chicken from the big freezer room and inspect them. Check over the breasts, and thighs and wings to see if there was any fat tendrils or bits hanging off.
- 2. DUNK
Put your chicken in the water. This makes the crumbs stick to the chicken in a moment. If you expected egg, hey ho, water works just as well.
- 3. Dry off the chicken and give it a good shake
Give your chicken a good shake to make sure all the extra water is gone, about seven times.
- 4. Chuck our chicken into the original recipe mix, into your big tub full of the bread crumbs, salt and the special top secret original recipe seasoning.
Place your chicken evenly around the tub and remember to space it out.
- 5. Your chicken has to be mixed in – but it has to be done a certain way
Think breaststroke. There’s a very particular motion that’s used.
The breading is quite fine so when you get your hands right in there it’s like running your hands through glitter.
It’s probably more like swimming breaststroke through fairy dust.
- 6. Next, the basket
There’s a net metal basket which you scoop all the chicken into and then rock it. Like you’re lulling a baby to sleep.
All the excess bread crumbs should be shaken away until perfection is left.
- 7. Science of the frying rack
Next to the tub there’s a little rack. The chicken is taken out and put on it.
There’s a way to do this. Of course there is.
Each one is at a slight angle so they all fit nicely side by side. There’s an actual chart to teach people this – it all depends on the cut size.
- 8. To the rack
At this step, you lift the chicken you lovingly prepared, take it to the pressure frier. That sounds like a torture tool, but it;s actually just a special machine.
- 9. Machine does its magic
Leave your chicken in the pressure frier to cook away, and out emerges the KFC chicken.
Once Ledington realized the damage he may have caused, and Chicago Tribune released their KFC chicken secret recipe, KFC released a statement that said:
“Many people have made these claims over the years and no one has been accurate.