Cracking the code for Kentucky Fried Chicken

Kentucky Fried Chicken

Kentucky Fried Chicken

A cousin of the legendary-but-real Colonel, not realizing it was anything special, recently shared the recipe for the blend of 11 herbs and spices he would mix up in the garage for the family chicken stand. The Chicago Tribune reported it, and I had to give it a try. I was planning to stop by the fried chicken store for some comparison pieces but no need: every taster bit in and immediately said, “yep, that’s Kentucky Fried Chicken” though it was also fresher and more flavorful than you’ve ever had it in a fast food place. Serves 4.

Frying chicken or chicken pieces, up to 4 lbs total
1 c all purpose flour
4 t salt
¾ t dried thyme leaves
¾ t dried basil leaves
½ t dried oregano leaves
½ t celery seed
1 ½ t ground black pepper
1 ½ t dried mustard
4 T paprika
1 t granulated garlic
1 ½ t ground ginger
4 ½ t ground white pepper (not a typo)
¼ t MSG
1 c buttermilk

Method: thoroughly mix spices and flour. Soak chicken pieces in buttermilk at least 1 hour, turning frequently. Preheat frying oil in fryer or dutch oven to 350 degrees. Drain chicken pieces and dredge in flour mixture and cook a few pieces at a time, turning occasionally until done. Serve hot.

Notes: the original calls for celery and garlic “salt” which I’ve converted into a ratio of 1 part herb to 2 parts salt. My recipe is half the Tribune recipe because I had a huge amount of flour mixture left over; feel free to double it and then sift the leftover mixture to use another day. Finally, the Tribune recipe included a beaten egg mixed in with the buttermilk soak which didn’t seem to add anything; try if you like.

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4 Responses to Cracking the code for Kentucky Fried Chicken

  1. Mary says:

    Did you test it without the MSG? Wonder where it could be purchased?

  2. Burnt My Fingers says:

    I did not, Mary. I like MSG and the KFC people have acknowledged (since some people have an allergy) that they use it, so the only question was how much. If you follow the link to the Chicago Tribune article, you’ll see that they initially made it without MSG, felt something was missing, and added it.

    As to where to get MSG, you can order from Amazon or find Ajinomoto brand in most Asian markets.

  3. JB says:

    I bought Accent at either PC or Hannaford.

    • Good to know! For some reason I had thought that Accent was a mix of MSG and salt, but their website says it’s just MSG. Was misled by their label that says Accent contains less sodium than salt… guess they are marketing as a salt substitute?!

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