Recently there was a supposed ‘leak’ of the Colonel’s original recipe which was published in the Chicago Tribune

It contained a list of the secret  ’11 herbs and spices’ so I thought I’d give it a go as fried chicken is one of my favourites and it was an excuse to buy a deep fryer.

I tend to avoid KFC etc unless on a road trip but haven’t eaten old fashioned Colonel Sanders chicken for years. I used to like the original “Crispy Strips” that KFC sold as they had no skin or fat and I also liked the wicked wings. The traditional “piece of chook” is too greasy and the batter is a bit floury. Time to make my own.

I was getting sick of making sausage rolls and pies as I have not put in any time to develop some more recipes. I put it out there in The Pie Project  for followers to come up with some suggestions for different pies but only Adam posted a suggestion and that was for a seafood pie which suck. ( Sorry Adam)  So I am still looking for new pie flavours and would be happy to test-run your favourite meat pie filling within reason and don’t say Kentucky Fried Chicken Pie as I have already thought of that ……it could go viral like the Cruffin and Cronut. Maybe next week.


Even the Colonel himself likes a pie – pictured here at Harry’s Cafe de Wheels

Armed with the recipe it was off to the shops to get the famous 11 herbs and spices, buttermilk, some chicken and a deep fryer – for $69 I chose the Sunbeam Multi Cooker which is just like an electric frypan only round and deeper. It can be used as a saucepan/frypan, a slow cooker and a deep fryer and I thought it could be useful to make my pie filling as well.



THE ORIGINAL 11 SPICES SECRET RECIPE? (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.


I decided to make life easy and use chicken tenderloins which I put in the mixture of egg and buttermilk to soak


I arranged my spices in order and placed the measured quantities into small bowls


They all get mixed into the flour in a large bowl


The chicken is then dipped in the flour-spice mixture and left to absorb the flavour before a second coating


Only 10mins in the deep fryer and this is the final product



The flavour was noticeably not KFC maybe because the ingredients were a bit agrestic and just chucked in however this meant you could taste individual flavours.

Bare in mind this was skinless chicken tenderloins and resembled the original double-breaded  “Crispy Strips” in texture (left) – the current fake crispy strips from KFC taste like your mum got them out of the freezer, microwaved them and put them in a cardboard box to go soggy. Next i am going to try wings / drummettes which should be more like Wicked wings (right)


crispy strip  wicked wings3

They were also excellent cold and I took some across the road the next day at lunchtime and offered some to Jody and Boris who thought they were very tasty.

I would only say that the 4 tablespoons of paprika is a bit much and overpowers the other flavours slightly as you can see here in this photo from the original news story – lots of paprika !