Wednesday, April 10, 2002

Surprise! KFC keeps original recipe secret

Saucy cook

        Don Nickol of Reading wants a recipe “real close” to Kentucky Fried Chicken. So, to amuse myself, I call KFC Corporation headquarters in Louisville to ask president Cheryl Bachelder for the authentic formula for KFC's “original recipe fried chicken.”

        But, it seems Cheryl is busy — takes a lot of time to pluck enough chickens for the 8 million people KFC serves worldwide each day, I guess. So I try the customer service line with the same recipe request. Andrea, the patient lady on the other end, heaves an audible sigh.

        “Ma'am,” she says, after a long pause. “Is there anything I can really help you with today?”

        Of course, KFC isn't giving up their “secret blend of 11 herbs and spices.” For you, Don, is Todd Wilbur's three-spice clone from Top Secret Recipes (Penguin; $10.95). Colonel Sanders began using a “newfangled gizmo,” the pressure cooker, to speed up cooking time in the late 1930s and KFC continues to cook its chicken under pressure today.

        Let the coated chicken rest a few hours before cooking for best results.

KFC Original Recipe Fried Chicken Clone

        6 cups Crisco cooking oil
       1 egg, beaten
       2 cups milk
       2 cups all-purpose flour
       4 tablespoons salt
       2 teaspoons black pepper
       1 teaspoon MSG (monosodium glutamate or Accent Flavor Enhancer)
       2 frying chickens with skin, each cut into 6 pieces

        Pour oil into pressure cooker and heat to 400 degrees. In small bowl, combine egg and milk. In separate bowl, combine flour, salt, pepper and MSG. Dip each piece of chicken into milk mixture, then roll in flour mixture until completely coated.

        In groups of four pieces, drop coated chicken into oil and lock lid in place. When steam begins shooting through pressure release, set timer for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, release pressure, remove chicken to paper towels to drain and repeat with remaining chicken. Makes 12 pieces.

        • Patti Schutte of Hyde Park wants a baconless clam chowder recipe similar to Panera's. Here is Christine Hale's version from Fairfield.

Boston Clam Chowder sans Bacon

        1 cup chopped celery
       1 cup chopped onion
       2 cloves garlic, minced
       1 stick butter
        1/2 cup flour
       4 cups clam juice
       2 cubes fish bouillon (chicken will do)
       2 cups diced red potatoes
       12 ounces chopped clams
       1 teaspoon thyme
        1/2 teaspoon oregano
       1 teaspoon basil
        1/2 teaspoon white pepper
       1 cup cream

        Saute celery, onions and garlic in butter until soft. Add flour to make a roux, cooking and stirring well until it turns light brown. Add clam juice slowly, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Add bouillon cubes, potatoes, clams and seasonings. Simmer until potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes. Finish with cream until heated through. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Can you help?

        • Suzanne Wynn of Pierce Township seeks a black bean and rice recipe and any good recipes for tofu.

        • Angie Woerner in Winton Place needs a tasty recipe for meat-stuffed cabbage rolls.

        • Runners, what is your premarathon carbo-loading favorite?
        Send food questions, tips, recipe requests and recipes to Saucy Cook, c/o the Enquirer, 312 Elm St., Cincinnati 45202; fax: 768-8330; e-mail: Please include name, neighborhood, e-mail and phone number.



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