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Food & Recipes

Someone Finally Cracked the Secret Recipe for KFC’s Finger-Lickin’ Fried Chicken

It took the dedicated home cook 18 months to get everything just right.


For years, people have tried to replicate the special blend of herbs and spices that make the fried chicken at KFC so mouth-wateringly delicious. The chain has famously kept their secret mixture locked away from the public, but one man claims to have finally figured it out on his own.

Oddly enough, it wasn’t someone from the South, or even the United States who cracked the code, but a bloke from the United Kingdom! Twitter user Dan Fell explains that it took him 18 months to get the blend and frying technique just right. Thankfully, he also decided to share his methods with the rest of us — we can’t be the only ones a craving fried chicken while spending all this time indoors.

First, here’s the list of ingredients he used — and yes, it is exactly 11 herbs and spices, just like KFC: 

  • 600 g plain flour
  • 4 Tbsp paprika
  • 2 Tbsp white pepper
  • 2 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 Tbsp mustard powder
  • 1 Tbsp celery salt
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 Tbsp of oregano
  • 1/2 Tbsp thyme

Fell says to make sure the chicken is room temperature before you start the frying process. He then takes three parts of the mixture and adds in one part self-rising flour. He starts by dipping the chicken in the dry mixture, then dipping in an egg wash of just egg whites and milk. (He doesn’t specify how much of each, but it will depend on how much chicken you want to fry up.) Then after one more dip in the dry mix, it’s time to fry. “Oil needs to be 160 to 165 Celsius [320 to 325 Fahrenheit],” he explains on Twitter. “No more, no less.” 

Take a look at the video below for his step-by-step guide (there’s some dramatic Batman footage at the beginning, but he gets to the recipe after about 16 seconds):

While talking to Insider, Fell said he was inspired to make his own version of KFC’s fried chicken when his local franchise shut down. “Obviously there are lots of different recipes that are pretty similar online,” he explained, but he made tweaks to get his recipe’s flavor as accurate as possible. “A lot of the recipes you find online put too much white pepper in, so you’d get that known peppery taste of the fried chicken, but it was far too intense.”

Give the recipe a try for yourself and decide whether he’s truly unlocked Colonel Sanders’ secret!

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