Thursday, January 3, 2013

KFC's Patented Blend of 11 Herbs and Spices


Yesterday I talked about KFC founder Harland “Colonel” Sander. Reader Andres Valdespino commented on the story providing a rich insider's oral history of a KFC kitchen below: 
My first job with a real paycheck was as a cook in a KFC in Queens during the summer before my junior year in high school [in the late 1960s]. The secret blend of spices is in a bag that has no ingredients listed, but just has a patent number. The spice mixture, which seemed heavily black pepper, was mixed into the flour. The chicken was soaked in milk and egg yolks and then dredged in the flour mixture. Oil was heated to 400 degrees in pressure cookers. The chicken was put into the pressure cooker until brown, stirred and poked at to make sure the pieces didn't stick to each other. When the chicken was browned, the pressure cooker was sealed and left to cook for 12 minutes. That was it. On busy days we would have ten or twelve pressure cookers going at the same time, each finishing a minute apart. I ate a lot of chicken that summer. The manager let me take home anything that was left. Usually not a lot. But enough to make me take a very long break from fried chicken.

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