KFC's 11 herbs and spices found in the Colonel's wife's scrapbook

Discussion in 'The Green Room' started by gturner, Aug 20, 2016.

  1. gturner

    gturner Banned

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    The Chicago Tribune tried the recipe, and with the addition of some MSG (which KFC uses) says it was indistinguishable from KFC.

    11 Spices – Mix With 2 Cups White Flour

    1) 2 teaspoons Salt

    2) 1-1/2 teaspoons Thyme

    3) 1-1/2 teaspoons Basil

    4) 1 teaspoon Oregano

    5) 1 tablespoon Celery Salt

    6) 1 tablespoon Black Pepper

    7) 1 tablespoon Dried Mustard

    8) 4 tablespoons Paprika

    9) 2 tablespoons Garlic Salt

    10) 1 tablespoon Ground Ginger

    11) 3 tablespoons White Pepper

    As I suspected, they are all ingredients Sanders could have picked up at the A&P in Corbin Kentucky. The one I don't think anyone guessed was celery salt, which is also the secret of Columbia Steakhouse's Diego salad (1/2 celery salt, 1/2 garlic salt).
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  2. Dinner

    Dinner 2012 & 2014 Master Prognosticator

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    The how it is fried is just as important as the recipe. I've seen people try to throw so much cold or even frozen meat into a friend that the oil's temperature dropped below boiling.
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  3. El Chup

    El Chup Fuck Trump Deceased Member Git

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    Do you like to throw your cold meat into your friends?

    Probably explains a few things. Suddenley I'm reminded of Chris Cooper in American Beauty.....
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  4. shootER

    shootER Insubordinate...and churlish Administrator

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    Does KFC still use pressure fryers? That as much as the seasoning is what made their chicken famous.
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  5. gturner

    gturner Banned

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    Yes, they do, but they only cook it at 5 PSI (223F) instead of the Colonel's original method of 15 PSI (250 F). That's because the chickens the Colonel was cooking were 10 weeks older and much tougher than the chickens we eat now. When I was growing up my dad pressure fried our chicken. It comes out looking better, and it's faster too. You get the oil to 350 or 375, then add the chicken, which drops the oil to 250 or so. Then you seal the lid, wait for steam to start escaping, and then cook for about 8 minutes. The pressure means the steam coming off the chicken is hotter, as is the chicken itself. It also means less water is released, so the chicken is juicier and the oil stays fresher.

    Wear-Ever Chicken-Bucket Low Pressure Fryer-Cooker on E-bay Starting bid $24.99.

    But frying it the old fashioned way works too, and that's how the Colonel started in his first restaurant. The problem was that it takes much longer to fry the chicken in a regular frying pan, so you have to anticipate customer demand about a half-hour in advance. Pressure frying reduces the cooking time to match pizzas or hamburgers.

    For a long time KFC's chicken was being made by Pilgrim's Pride. I assume KFC provided the breading For batch testing Pilgrim's pre-cooked samples several times a day at an exact temperature and time, and then the color of the crust had to be verified to fall within the allowed standards. At the Pilgrim's facility in Pittsburg Texas people could just walk in off the streets at a known time and eat the test samples, which otherwise would just be thrown away.
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  6. Dinner

    Dinner 2012 & 2014 Master Prognosticator

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    I didn't know about the pressure frier thing or about the younger chicken part.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2016
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  7. El Chup

    El Chup Fuck Trump Deceased Member Git

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    David Allen Grier? Do you wish to pressure him with your cold meat? :unsure:
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  8. Dinner

    Dinner 2012 & 2014 Master Prognosticator

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    Back when I was a kid kfc was around here but not a big thing. The local chain Picnic 'N Chicken had a very similar menu and was even started by a guy who was one of the first kfc franchise holders back in the day. KFC's ceo had a grudge against the guy for selling off his kfc locations and then opening a competing business. They were involved in lawsuits suing each other for over a decade, PNC actually won in the end but the legal costs really hurt the chain's expansion and right after they entered public KFC actually bought them in a hostile take over.

    That was just the big guy abusing the legal system to harm the small guy as far as I am concerned.
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  9. gturner

    gturner Banned

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    I suppose you have to be pretty ruthless to stay dominant in a market for what was one of the most common home-cooked meals in the US - fried chicken.

    Now that the secret 11 herbs and spices are known, they might really go nuts on competitors, perhaps filing novel legal attacks based on "the look and taste" of their chicken. What's to stop their competitors from tweaking their own recipes to more closely match KFC's? I'll bet half of them are running out to buy some celery salt even as we speak.

    And given that he was buying his spices at the local grocery stores in Corbin, I'm betting most of the spices were originally McCormick, sold in little tins like this:

    [​IMG]

    That might be important regarding the ground mustard, because something like Coleman's English mustard would be much too hot, and it would have been called out by name on the recipe.
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  10. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    The question is: What was the original gravy recipe? Supposedly, Sanders got the interest of people wanting to buy his franchises by serving them his friend chicken, but sealed the deal with his gravy. When the company began a massive expansion in the late 60s, they changed the gravy recipe to something less costly, and which Sanders described as having the flavor of wallpaper paste.
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  11. gturner

    gturner Banned

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    Was it a white gravy or a brown gravy?

    Anyway, going back over the recipe, I noticed

    1) 2 teaspoons Salt
    5) 1 tablespoon Celery Salt
    9) 2 tablespoons Garlic Salt

    McCormick Celery Salt is about 80% salt by weight, and 20% celery powder.
    Garlic salt is 3 parts salt to 1 part garlic powder.

    So that's 2 teaspoons of straight salt, about 2-1/2 teaspoons of salt as celery salt, and 4-1/2 teaspoons of salt as garlic salt.

    That comes to 9 teaspoons of salt, or three tablespoons, mixed with about 1/2 to 2/3 teaspoons of celery powder and 1-1/2 teaspoons of garlic powder.
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  12. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    Dunno.
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  13. gturner

    gturner Banned

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    I found this in a Reddit thread about the folks who are obsessed with the recipes, digging into old archives and such. It's a white gravy.

    Colonel Sanders Original "Cracklin Gravy 1952-1964" (Large Tub size)

    1 TBSP butter (not margarine!!)
    1/4 cup Original Recipe breading flour
    1/2 cup cracklings strained from the pressure cooker or frying pan
    1 cup whole milk - cold
    1 cup boiling water
    1/4 cup whole cream - cold

    Put the butter, flour and cracklings into a frying pan over low to medium heat. Stir continuously until the ingredients are fully blended and the raw flour is lightly browned. This takes a few minutes. The roux should not be darker than peanut butter brown. If you burn it, dump it, clean the pan start again. (If you are a novice gravy maker you might want to save your cracklins until the end so you won't waste them on a burned batch.)

    Gently pour the milk, hot water, and cream, continue stirring until it begins to thicken. Taste the gravy and add extra salt or pepper if needed. Allow the mixture to come to a light boil, when it is the thickness you want turn off the heat and serve.

    Compare the original gravy above to the KFC gravy after the Colonel sold out...

    Corporate KFC gravy 1964-1971 (Large Tub size)

    1/8 cup breading flour
    1/8 cup cracklings
    2 cups skim milk

    Today's mixture is even worse, it has cornstarch, sugar, gravy powder, caramel coloring etc. Sometimes I wonder what KFC would do if someone actually went into business today using the Colonels recipes as he intended them to be.

    Coleslaw

    ½ cup Miracle Whip (he said other brands turned the mixture grey)
    ½ cup tarragon vinegar (The Col used Heinz but it is hard to find these days)
    ½ cup sugar
    ¼ cup salad oil scant (He used Kraft I think, any will do imo)
    dash salt to taste

    1 head cabbage, cored and chopped not shredded
    1-2 carrots, shredded - optional
    1/4 cup shredded onion - optional

    Chop the cabbage, grate the carrots and onion. Add other ingredients, mix well, cover well, let flavors meld over night in refrigerator. Some people say that carrots and onion were not in the original coleslaw recipe so feel free to leave them out. The Colonel was pretty adamant that cabbage should be chopped, not shredded.

    Well, now that we know how to make the breading flour, the gravy should be a snap. :)
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  14. gturner

    gturner Banned

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    Summing up the ingredients in the recipe, KFC seasoning flour is

    2 cups flour
    0.9375 cups herbs and spices (15 tablespoons)

    I've always approached my attempts as adding some herbs and spices to the flour (1/2 tsp of this, 1 tsp of that), not cutting the herbs and spices with flour. :doh:
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  15. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 light & lethal

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    Take a number and be ready for a long wait, pal!
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  16. Dinner

    Dinner 2012 & 2014 Master Prognosticator

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    I wouldn't mind it being hotter.
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  17. gturner

    gturner Banned

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    Well, I've mixed up my breading mix into two Ziploc bags, each with a cup and a half of breading.

    I initially just had Coleman's English mustard (which is extremely hot), so I only used 1 teaspoon of it, followed by 1 teaspoon of regular McCormick mustard powder once I'd made a trip to the store, instead of the 3 teaspoons of mustard powder the recipe calls for.

    The breading mix is quite tan or brown.
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  18. gturner

    gturner Banned

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    Okay. I fried two wings with it. The flavor was very good but my breading wasn't textured like KFC's because I'm not pressure cooking and went with their method of wetting the chicken and then dipping it in the breading mix.

    For regular frying the Chicago Tribune went with a milk and egg wash, letting the chicken rest in it for 30 minutes, then breading it, and then resting for 20 more minutes before frying it for 15 to 18 minutes.

    I'll try that next, and then at some point I'll have the cracklings for a try at their 1952-1964 gravy recipe.
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  19. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    Hee! The guy who told me about the gravy change is a devout Jew, who would wax rhapsodic about the gravy! LIttle does he know that it wasn't kosher! :D
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  20. gturner

    gturner Banned

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    I guess it depends if you regard the cracklings as meat, or just breading. :D

    I've been comparing the Colonel's recipe to five other recipes for Southern Fried Chicken from Epicurious, The Food Lab, Southern Living, Southern Food, and Food & Wine.

    The difference is stark.
    Compared to the average, the Colonel uses:

    2.5 times as much salt
    4.5 times as much pepper
    6.6 times as many herbs
    10 times as much paprika

    No wonder nobody matched the taste.
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  21. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    Nope. Kosher rules say you can't mix dairy and meat, and since most cracklings are pork, they're doubly damned.
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  22. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 light & lethal

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    But maybe the Colonel's wife deliberately planted misinformation knowing it would be found, and the real secret recipe is totally different! :chris:Or maybe the recipe is written in a secret code like inmates do conduct their clandestine illicit activities! :chris:
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  23. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 light & lethal

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    Oh boy! Somebody has pissed off Jehovah and will be turned into a pillar of salt! Celery salt of course, because Jehovah loves irony.
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  24. gturner

    gturner Banned

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    Chicken cracklings are just the stuff left at the bottom of the fryer after you've fried the chicken. :)
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  25. gturner

    gturner Banned

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    I thought about that, and there's no way anyone could have come up with a recipe that uses 11 herbs and spices in that amount, yet tastes so dead on to KFC's recipe. And if they did, they wouldn't have stuck it in their family scrapbook.
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  26. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    That's how This American Life found the formula for Coke.
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  27. El Chup

    El Chup Fuck Trump Deceased Member Git

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    No it isn't.

    Horseradish is hot. English Mustard? Meh.
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  28. gturner

    gturner Banned

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    Well, it would be much spicier than what the Colonel was using.

    Anyway, I went with a water, buttermilk, cream, and egg wash, with salt, and let the chicken soak for 30 minutes. Then I coated it with the breading and let it sit for 20. It took a while, but the wash wetted a lot of the breading, so I recoated it again. Then before I fried it I gave it yet another coating.

    However my deep fryer runs too hot (probably 370 or so) and in 11 minutes the chicken was a bit too dark. I should've unplugged the fryer about 5 minutes into cooking (it has no adjustment), perhaps monitoring with a thermometer. As it was the breading was a bit too hard, which often happens with a milk wash at a high temperature.

    Anyway, my verdict is that it's KFC. :)
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  29. gturner

    gturner Banned

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    The gravy is incredibly tasty. :)

    However, it's also a bit sienna, or dare I say, very slightly orange. That would be the paprika.

    Yesterday I also noticed that my breading mix seemed to be much more tan than what I see in videos of KFC in Louisville.

    So I figured they've cut the paprika, and the reason is probably cost because the original recipe uses a whole lot of it. So I looked up the density in grams per teaspoon of all the spices, the bulk price, and came up with the following

    upload_2016-8-21_18-56-50.png

    As you can see, half the cost of the breading mix is the paprika and white pepper.

    I will be the recipe was modified to cut the paprika about in half, perhaps adding back a slightly hotter pepper powder like cayenne. They also probably substitute cheaper black pepper for some of the white pepper.
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  30. gturner

    gturner Banned

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    The recipe must be right because when I walked back inside from the trip to the store, my house smelled exactly like I'd walked in to a KFC. :drool:
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