The real KFC coating recipe - maybe

Given its provenance, this should be it - or very close.

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The recipe as they printed it seems way out of whack. Almost a cup of spices to two cups of flour? I don’t eat KFC regularly but I have never noticed their coating being that heavily seasoned. Maybe those measurements should have been teaspoons rather than tablespoons? I also think the quantity of ginger seems WAY high - KFC doesn’t taste terribly gingery to me, and if there were a tablespoon of ground ginger in two cups of flour I think the flavor would be much more prominent.


I had all the spices on hand so I put together the mix. Mixing that much of the herb/spice mix with 2 cups of flour for the dredge seemed wasteful, so I just used a couple tablespoons of it to season some chicken tenders and cooked them sous vide (145°f, 90 minutes), chilled, then dredged the pieces in plain flour with a little salt and pepper added before shallow frying until golden. I haven’t eaten KFC in years so I can’t say how similar it is, but the chicken was pretty darn tasty!

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Agree with the above.

I’m thinking they left out a line like, “Add two TBs of spice blend to two cups of flour…”

I have all that also and am going to try it this weekend.

I may be nuts, but I think it sounds like a great breading for frying sardines.

You are probably right. The original piece in the Chicago paper includes a photo of the hand-written list, which has “Ts” as the measurement. This may have been the writer’s own designation for “tsp”; after all, why would you call for two thirds of a tablespoon of something, when that equals two teaspoons? Or four tablespoons of paprika when that equals a quarter cup?

That doesn’t surprise me too much. Older recipes use all sorts of “strange” measurements. I can see this being “measured” just using the same spoon for everything. So 3/4 makes more sense than getting out different spoons for different spices. We may not do this today, but this would make perfect sense a few decades ago. . . .

If someone is giving this a try- why not do a few pieces “full strength” and then add more flour if you want for the rest. . . . I’m curious enough. I can’t give it a try for a few weeks (life) but I’m curious.

I saw this floating around on facebook last week, and a blogger tried it with both teaspoons and tablespoons. They found the recipe with tablespoons was the winner, the other one was far too bland.

EDIT: It was the Chicago Tribune and here’s the article:

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Thanks for that link, which answers the questions posted on this thread. I don’t deep fry, but after reading the Trib’s results, will plan to adapt the recipe for baked chicken, if the hot weather ever decamps.

The Tribune did a taste test making the recipe using both teaspoon and tablespoon measures and decided that tablespoons gave the best result. As to why the herbs/spices are all given as tablespoon measurements my guess would be that it would make it easier to scale up the recipe for use in thier restaurant.

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Very interesting. And gingery. LOL. I’m curious to try the recipe, though - even if it’s not KFC, it sounds good!

Yes, C70 already referenced that, as was commented upon upthread.

I made a quorn version using the batter recipe as suggested on, i.e. tablespoons rather than teaspoons, and 1 tablespoon less of the paprika. It seemed too hot to me - making me feel a bit sick after eating it. I suspect that it really should be teaspoons. I added double the quantity of flour to the remaining mix and it cooled it down to a more palatable spice level. I made this second batch to batter sweet peppers, onions and potato wedges and they were really nice. I’ll be trying it again with teaspoons to see if it’s closer to the KFC taste. I have been vegetarian for several years now though, so I not sure whether I can remember the taste properly though.


For this one, it may be to avoid fractions, which can get wonky if you try to cut-and-paste into an ASCII text or something. It also makes it easier to halve a recipe.

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There are fractions for other ingredients in the recipe though, so that seems unlikely.

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I guess my real question is why anyone would want to duplicate KFC.

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I think KFC does pressure frying–not easy to duplicate at home without equipment most home cooks could not be bothered with, even a gear junky like me. The spice blend itself is probably not the whole story about KFC, which I quite like but haven’t had in years.