We Tested KFC's Alleged Top Secret Fried Chicken Recipe

Those 11 secret spices are not a secret anymore!

IMAGE Majoy Siason

The legendary 11-spice recipe for KFC fried chicken has been one of the most sought-after but closely-guarded recipes since the 1950s (think Crabby Patty levels of secrecy!). Its founder, Colonel Sanders, spent many years perfecting this ultra-tasty fried chicken recipe, but kept it within the family. Colonel Sanders' nephew, Joe Ledington, recently leaked the alleged original 11-spice recipe-so we had to try it out the minute we got our hands on it, right?


The leaked recipe reads as follows:





Nothing else was written on the prep or cooking process, so we shadowed the process of one of our favorite buttermilk fried chicken recipes:





To prep the chicken, do a 30-minute soak of leg, thigh, and wing pieces in a buttermilk and egg mixture. Remember to poke the chicken meat with a fork before leaving it to soak-this trick will help keep the chicken moist. Another quick hack we love to use? Mix 2 cups of full cream milk and 2 teaspoons of vinegar to make a homemade version of tangy buttermilk.



In a separate bowl or zip-top bag, shake the flour and 11 spices together to evenly distribute the ingredients. Dip the chicken pieces into the flour mixture and fry in a shallow pan until golden brown and evenly cooked through.



A few tips to remember when pan-frying chicken:


Shake off the excess flour coating so that you will not end up with an overly-thick crust.


Fill up your pan at least halfway up, enough to cover most of the chicken.


Check if your oil is hot enough by dipping a wooden spoon into the oil. If small bubbles appear around it, it is ready for frying.

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The results: crunchy, delicious, and moist home-style fried chicken! Our test batch of chicken had small similarities in terms of taste with KFC chicken. The texture of the skin and coating were much crunchier and thicker in contrast to the lightly breaded and soft coating of KFC's, but both recipes are definitely finger lickin' good! Would we recommend this recipe for home cooks? Absolutely!




Here is the exact recipe we used in this taste test:



2/3 teaspoon of salt

½ teaspoon of thyme

½ teaspoon of  basil

1/3 teaspoon of oregano

1 teaspoon of celery salt

1 teaspoon of black pepper

1 teaspoon of dried mustard

4 teaspoon of paprika

2 teaspoon of garlic salt

1 teaspoon of ground ginger

3 teaspoon of white pepper

2 cups of all-purpose flour

2 cups of milk

2 teaspoon of vinegar

2 whole eggs

700 grams chicken (legs, thighs, and wings)

Oil, for frying



Mix the milk, vinegar and eggs in a large bowl.


2  Poke the chicken with a fork. Soak the chicken in the milk, vinegar and egg mixture for 30 minutes to an hour.


In another bowl, mix the flour and the 11-secret spices.  Coat the chicken with the flour mixture then set aside.


Fill a frying pan half-way up with oil then fry the chicken until golden brown and cooked through.



Serve warm.


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