KFC has closely guarded their original fired chicken recipe for decades. It’s widely regarded as “one of the biggest trade secrets in the world.” The company says the original handwritten recipe is housed in a 770-pound safe encased in two feet of concrete and guarded by video cameras and motion detectors.
For a recipe. It’s the Alcatraz of chicken secrets.
Despite all that, the recipe for the spice blend used to prepare the chicken may have been accidentally revealed to a reporter for The Chicago Tribune by Joe Ledington, a nephew of Colonel Harland David Sanders.
The reporter, Jay Jones, was sent to Corbin, Kentucky to write a story for a travel section about the town where the colonel served his very first fried chicken. While there, he arranged a meeting with Mr. Ledington who showed the reporter a family scrapbook that contained a handwritten recipe for a blend of 11 spices.
“That is the original 11 herbs and spices that were supposed to be so secretive,” Mr. Ledington told the reporter, later adding that as a boy his job in the family business was to mix the spice blend in a tub on the roof of the garage.
“The main ingredient is white pepper,” Mr. Ledington told the newspaper. “I call that the secret ingredient. Nobody knew what white pepper was. Nobody knew how to use it” in the 1950s, he said.
In a later interview, Mr. Ledington went back on his claim, saying he had never shown the reporter the recipe and did not “know for sure” if it was authentic.
We may never know the truth (unless KFC makes a statement soon), but we can give it a try. Here is the recipe found in the scrapbook. Enjoy!
- 2/3 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 tablespoon thyme
- 1/2 tablespoon basil
- 1/3 tablespoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon celery salt
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried mustard
- 4 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons garlic salt
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 3 tablespoons white pepper
Finger-licking good? We’ll see!