KFC’s 11 Spices Secret Recipe

A week ago there was a bombshell dropped. BREAKING NEWS. BREAKING FOOD NEWS. BREAKING CHICKEN RELATED FOOD NEWS. KFC’s secret recipe, you know the one – 11 herbs and spices, guarded under lock and key. The Colonel’s pride and joy. Apparently the only copy was locked in some cement dungeon  with a moat guarded by sharks with lasers. That one guy “part-time Johnny” who threatened to blab after being fired for double down-ing too many double downs? Well he disappeared never to be seen again.

Okay, who knows what the truth is. And since the original story that the Herald published was released, there have been a lot of naysayers. Dubious. It cannot be. So there’s really only one way to solve this crazy wonderful chicken little riddle.


So that’s what I did.

Recipe pulled directly from NZ Herald as published in the Chicago Tribune

KFC’s Secret Recipe

Prep: 30 minutes

Soak: 20-30 minutes

Cook: 15-18 minutes

Makes: 4 servings

2 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 tablespoon salt

1/2 tablespoon dried thyme leaves

1/2 tablespoon dried basil leaves

1/3 tablespoon dried oregano leaves

1 tablespoon celery salt

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon dried mustard

4 tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons garlic salt

1 tablespoon ground ginger

3 tablespoons ground white pepper

1 cup buttermilk

1 egg, beaten

1 chicken, cut up, the breast pieces cut in half for more even frying

Expeller-pressed canola oil

1. Mix the flour in a bowl with all the herbs and spices; set aside.

KFC's Secret Recipe - Cooking Classes Auckland

2. Mix the buttermilk and egg together in a separate bowl until combined. Soak the chicken in the buttermilk mixture at room temperature, 20-30 minutes.

KFC's Secret Recipe - Cooking Classes AucklandKFC's Secret Recipe - Cooking Classes AucklandKFC's Secret Recipe - Cooking Classes Auckland

3. Remove chicken from the buttermilk, allowing excess to drip off. Dip the chicken pieces in the herb-spice-flour mixture to coat all sides, shaking off excess. Allow to sit on a rack over a baking sheet, 20 minutes.

KFC's Secret Recipe - Cooking Classes Auckland

4. Meanwhile, heat about 3 inches of the oil in a large Dutch oven (or similar heavy pot with high sides) over medium-high heat to 350 degrees. (Use a deep-frying thermometer to check the temperature.) When temperature is reached, lower the heat to medium to maintain it at 350. Fry 3 or 4 pieces at a time, being careful not to crowd the pot. Fry until medium golden brown, turning once, 15-18 minutes. Transfer chicken pieces to a baking sheet covered with paper towels. Allow the oil to return to temperature before adding more chicken. Repeat with remaining chicken.

KFC's Secret Recipe - Cooking Classes AucklandKFC's Secret Recipe - Cooking Classes AucklandKFC's Secret Recipe - Cooking Classes Auckland


Well, it’s delicious. Is it KFC’s secret recipe? hmm… I would say it’s KFC’s fancier cousin. I actually think it tastes nicer than KFC. It’s not as salty. I only ended up frying mine for about 5 minutes until I got the desired golden brown crisp and then finished it in the oven, on a rack to let the excess oil drip off. Because the reason I don’t eat KFC very often is – there is a lot of grease. And salt. Be careful when frying it, I ended up with my hand under the cold tap for ten minutes because I’m an idiot.

KFC's Secret Recipe - Cooking Classes AucklandKFC's Secret Recipe - Cooking Classes Auckland

I broke down the chicken myself which was fun and I got to figure out what the mystery meat piece was (the bottom half of the breast when you cut it in two). The major breakthrough for us was, when making the accompanying chicken gravy, we made a roux of butter and leftover flour/spice mix with chicken stock and it tasted IDENTICAL to KFC gravy. So this was a win – and I would definitely try it. (Tip: split the flour mix in two before dipping the raw chicken in it, it makes way more than you need for a size 16 chook. And then you can save it for next time).

We made mashed potatoes, gravy and a simple (not radioactive green) coleslaw and it was a really nice meal. Would I make it again? YES. Do I think it needs a few tweaks to taste more KFC-y? Yep. Probably a bit less white pepper and paprika (or don’t use a good quality paprika like I did because it had too much gusto), a bit more garlic and celery salt. However I am happy with the finished product.

KFC's Secret Recipe - Cooking Classes Auckland

And cold chicken the next day? Hellllll yes.



If KFC’s secret recipe looks yum to you, check out my personalised cooking classes in Auckland! No matter your cooking experience, I can create  recipes just for you, come to your home with all the ingredients and we can cook together. Because cooking doesn’t have to be hard.

Send me a message for more information, and happy eating!

Comments 12

    1. Post
  1. Best breaking news of our generation!!!

    Oh my goodness your effort looks SO good! And complete with trimmings – great tip for making the gravy!! I actually love KFC coleslaw (so bad it’s good) but giggled at your description. Lady, I rub my belly in praise for your effort here!

    Hey would you submit it as an after-work dinner option for the Our Growing Edge theme I’m hosting this month? Love to be able to feature your effort!! Gosh – imagine packing leftovers for work lunch- yessss!

    1. Post
  2. OMG KFC is my guilty guilty pleasure. We split a 16 piece pack just we can have cold leftovers because honestly, it’s better cold than hot. Did you have much leftovers to test the cold chicken situation? Was it better cold or hot?

    1. Post
    1. Post
  3. Will def give this a try. Perfect timing as I just found a recipe for the KFC coleslaw that doesn’t look like lime green cabbage mash 😆

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *