This week American news outlet the

Chicago Tribune

has published what it claims to be the secret recipe found in an old scrapbook belonging to one of the Colonel's relatives.

Now they've gone a step further and run a thorough taste test confirming that not only is the recipe very close to Sanders Original Recipe, it's even better.

Resident recipe tester Lisa Schumacher had reporters and editors compare her batches of chicken with store bought KFC Original Recipe.


After a couple batches botched with over-coating and too-hot oil, Schumacher landed on the winner. The tasters agreed it was not only great, it was even better than the original.

But something was holding back from recreating the taste of the Original. A sprinkle of MSG provided the magic touch, making the chicken "virtually indistinguishable" from the batch bought at KFC.

The only people who can definitely confirm the recipe, however, are its keepers at KFC parent company, Yum! Brands who would only say:

"Lots of people through the years have claimed to discover or figure out the secret recipe, but no one's ever been right."

Make of that what you will.


(As published in The Chicago Tribune)

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.

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.

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.

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.