Someone Has Reverse-Engineered KFC Chicken

An enjoyable bout of foodie one-upmanship has yielded not only one "reverse-engineered" home recipe of KFC's 11 herbs and spices, but an improved version of fried chicken that strips out the MSG. Get the napkins ready and see for yourself.

Ron Douglas, author of America's Most Wanted Recipes, claims to have nailed down a home recipe that most people can't tell apart from Colonel Sanders' widely available version. See for yourself:

  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons Accent (MSG)

It's a bit disappointing to learn that you can't quite replicate the ultimate fast food guilty pleasure without loading your chicken skins with Accent, (AKA monosodium glutamate) and using a high-pressure deep fryer.

So the Word of Mouth blog at the Guardian UK's site crowd-sourced a remix of Douglas' seasoned flour coating, and came up with a version that host Tim Hayward finds "very, very good." It lacks the "facepunch" of mouth-filling flavor, known as umami, but it's apparently quite agreeable—and Hayward lists both spice mixes, so you can give in to your overwhelming cravings if needed.

Here's the easier ingredients list:

  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp sage
  • 1 tsp celery seeds
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp dried onion flakes
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper

Have you tried either recipe? Have your own pan-fried chicken recipe passed down under lock and key that you want to open-source? By all means, tell us about your chicken in the comments.

The Word of Mouth KFC challenge [Guardian UK via Serious Eats]


    KFC is hardly the "ultimate fast food guilty pleasure". Like all of the American fast food we have here, it's downright filthy.

    Whats wrong with MSG?

      People still hold the false belief that MSG is bad for you. Not realizing that MSG is essentially just salt.

    Substitute ingredients conspiracy theories aside, if you reverse engineer KFC chicken won't you get... a chicken?

    So I think I've missed the spot where we mix with four. How much flour do we need for that amount?

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now