Monday, February 22, 2010

KFC 11 Secret Herbs and Spices

In this dish that I made, I have accidentally concocted a spice mix that tasted almost exactly like KFC. So I am now in a quest to discover the secret KFC recipe and this is my first attempt.

To compare my herb/spice mix with the real deal, I went to KFC and bought a gravy and made my own gravy using the following:

1 tsp 5-spice powder (which contains, szechuan peppercorns, star anise, cloves, cinnamon, and fennel seeds)
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp oregano powder
1 cup flour

The KFC gravy

My first attempt gravy

By making the gravy, you can put chicken stock to the thickness that you like and add salt to your taste. 

The 5-spice powder counts as 5 so there should be around 12 herbs/spices in there, but I count szechuan peppercorns and black pepper as one spice. So all in all it's 11.

The result was that my gravy almost tasted just like the KFC gravy, except that it's hot due to the paprika. I also felt that there was something in the KFC gravy that was missing from my gravy.

I created another batch of gravy and replaced paprika with sage and the taste was much more closer to the real KFC flavor. Some people I know who tasted this gravy immediately said it was KFC although I have not told them what it was.

Below is my modified version that has no paprika:

1 tsp five spice (peppercorn, star anise, cloves, cinnamon, fennel seeds)
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black peper
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp sage
1 tsp oregano

I thought that this might already be the 11 secret herbs/spices of KFC and so I went to the supermarket and bought chicken wings so I can fry them using my spice mixture.

I added 1 cup of water to my spice mixture 
to create a batter and then put the chicken 
wings to coat them.

The cooked chicken seasoned with my own spice mixture. 
Since I do not have a pressure cooker, I just deep-fried 
the chicken using palm oil

My second attempt of gravy, together with the chicken wings.

The result, although the chicken tasted so delicious especially together with the gravy, the smell of the cooked chicken did not smell like KFC. The taste is also not quite there.

But why does the gravy taste so much like KFC and the spice mixture was exactly what I used in cooking the fried chicken? In the fried chicken, I can smell the cinnamon while in the gravy you cannot smell it.

So I guess I need to create my own 5-spice powder but without the cinnamon then replace it with powdered bay leaves or coriander powder. As I have noted earlier that there was something in the KFC gravy that was missing from my own gravy, although the distinct flavor of KFC is already present in my mixture. I strongly feel it's a spice and not an herb. I also feel that the measurement of each herb/spice is not so important as you can immediately detect the distinct flavor of KFC once you got all the 11 herbs/spices correctly. From there, you can then adjust to your taste. Oh, another good candidate for testing is allspice. Let's see.

My quest continues so please keep posted...

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