Oven fried KFC, is it the real spices? You be the judge. This it the alleged original KFC spices found in a family album by a nephew of the Colonel himself.
The original recipe is a closely guarded secret that is in a vault at the company’s headquarters. Handwritten by the Colonel himself it is said. This story is about the nephew of the Colonel, Joe “H.D.” Lexington and a family album he inherited. In the album is his aunt’s will, and on the back of the will is a handwritten note titled “11 spices”. He believes it is real, and he mixed tons of this at his uncle’s restaurant as a child. I tend to believe it. Especially after my trial cooking.
Since published nine days ago, lots of speculation has been floating around the internet. Is it real or isn’t it? Finally, yesterday the company said no but would they say yes? Or is it just “almost right” maybe the measurement issues are why it is not correct.
So let’s get to it. This is the recipe (the picture of the original is at the Tribune link).
11 spices — Mix with 2 cups white fl
2/3 Ts salt
1/2 Ts thyme
1/2 Ts basil
1/3 Ts oregano
1 Ts celery salt
1 Ts black pepper
1 Ts dried mustard
4 Ts paprika
2 Ts garlic salt
1 Ts ground ginger
3 Ts white pepper
I’m sure you see a problem right away. What the heck is “Ts”? I assumed teaspoon since tablespoons would be a ton of spices in ratio to the flour. Almost one cup of spice to 2 cups of flour. The Tribune tried both, and they conclude tablespoons. I tried both also. I believe tablespoons but my wife somewhat preferred the much lighter spiced teaspoon version.
I like the higher spice version. My wife loved both but somewhat preferred the lower spiced version. But both offered a lot of KFC taste. The higher spice version brings back visions of my childhood when KFC was a very special treat. So if not the real recipe, then very close. Super moist with the milk marinade. Now the rating is for the spices only. The technique is more of a high 3 or low 4 since the buttermilk I believed prevented the coating from sticking well. I’ll be using plain milk and no egg like my original oven recipe uses.
Recipe notes on this KFC like chicken
I went with an oven fried version since that is what I will do in the future. I’m not a stovetop frying person. So I modified one of my favorite recipes Crispy Oven Fried Chicken with Gravy.
Since I wanted to test the taste of the spice mix, I mirrored the Tribune buttermilk/egg marinade. In the future, I will just use milk. I don’t think the egg did anything for my oven fried version. My other recipe is great with just milk and not buttermilk, so I don’t need to make a special trip to the store for the buttermilk.
Also, I used oil instead of butter in the pan to avoid changing the taste. Lastly, the Tribune felt a sprinkle of MSG would make the chicken taste identical to current KFC which does have MSG. I wanted the original taste… no MSG for me. At least not today.
One final concession to me and future cookings, I used skinless boneless chicken breasts. It is just what I use.
The nephew felt the major “secret ingredient” was the white pepper. I think he is right.
The restaurant uses a deep fryer/pressure cooker. You can not. So even if the spices are correct, the texture will be a bit different.
Final note, it is easier and probably cheaper to just go the restaurant. But this is interesting.
Start with trimming two skinless boneless chicken breasts.
Mix 2 cups buttermilk with one egg. Add the chicken and allow to marinade in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 convection or 400 conventional. Mix the 11 spices with the flour.
Prepare an oven safe pan with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Remove chicken breast one at a time allowing excessive marinade to drain off. Dip in the spice/flour mix. Cover completely, shake to remove excess and place in pan.
Give any of the flour mixture that looks dry a light spray of PAM. Allow to set for 20-30 minutes. This will help the coating to stick.
Bake until internal temp of 165, about 35-40 minutes. Cooking time will vary some due to oven variations, the size and thickness of the chicken and the pan used.
If you want gravy, remove chicken from pan. Mix 1 cup of chicken broth with 4 tablespoons flour either by whisking or in a shaker. Over medium-high heat, add 1 more cup of chicken broth to the pan and bring to a boil. Slowly add the flour mixture while whisking continuously until thickened and then a few more minutes. If some of the breading come off the chicken, leave it in the gravy as flavor bombs.
August 28, 2016