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KFC’s secret recipe might not be so secret anymore

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In what could be viewed as an act of high-stakes espionage, someone has revealed one of the world’s most classified pieces of information: Colonel Sanders’ secret KFC recipe. But in actuality, the Chicago Tribune just sort of stumbled upon it. Behold the power of Tronc!

The Tribune sent a reporter to visit Kentucky’s Harland Sanders Café And Museum for a simple fluffy travel piece, but they uncovered much more than they bargained for…11 spices and herbs more than they bargained for, to be exact. When the writer met with the colonel’s nephew Joe Ledington, who innocently flipped through an old family scrapbook without stopping to think “hm, could there be a coveted family secret hidden in these pages?” Ledington presented the last will and testament of Sanders’s second wife, and a handwritten recipe for a fried chicken recipe containing 11 herbs and spices was scrawled on the back.

When asked if it was legitimate, Ledington remarked: “That is the original 11 herbs and spices that were supposed to be so secretive.” Um, what? Is Ledington just saying fuck it? Does he want to burn the family chicken empire to the ground? Has the secret been weighing on him for far too long? Where is the Empire-like show about the KFC legacy?


The once-secret recipe reads as follows:

11 spices — Mix with 2 cups white fl

  1. 2/3 Ts salt
  2. 1/2 Ts thyme
  3. 1/2 Ts basil
  4. 1/3 Ts oregano
  5. 1 Ts celery salt
  6. 1 Ts black pepper
  7. 1 Ts dried mustard
  8. 4 Ts paprika
  9. 2 Ts garlic salt
  10. 1 Ts ground ginger
  11. 3 Ts white pepper

Ledington walked back his initial remarks once he realized the shitstorm he had unleashed upon his family’s name. He told the Tribune that the recipe “could be” legitimate but that he couldn’t say “for sure.” So what is the truth? The Tribune is on the case. They put the recipe to the test, and according to their very important experiment, this shit is probably legit. Once they added MSG to the mix, the Tribune-made chicken was “virtually indistinguishable” from KFC’s famous fried chicken. “All we know is the recipe we tested certainly tastes like KFC,” the Tribune concluded. “And whatever it is, it’s finger lickin’ good.” Nice work, Ledington. The chicken’s out of the bag.


Secret recipe be damned, though; Popeyes is still better.

[via GrubStreet]