This Is Why KFC's Fried Chicken Is So DeliciousFeb 27, 2020
Anyone who has ever bitten into a piping hot piece of KFC
chickenknows that it is
delicious. But what is it that sets KFC apart from other
chickenrestaurants? Turns out, there's more to it than just those 11 secret herbs and spices. Much has been made in KFC's history of its proprietary blend of 11 secret herbs and spices. However, in the culinary world, it's essentially the equivalent of an urban legend, and no one has been able to confirm precisely what that proprietary blend is made up of. Or do they have? In 2016, the real-life nephew of KFC's legendary Colonel Sanders appeared to unveil the top-secret list.
That year, Chicago Tribune reporter Jay Jones traveled to the small town of Corbin, Kentucky, where Colonel Harland Sanders began serving his now world-famous
friedchicken. There he met Sanders' nephew, Joe Ledington, who shared a family scrapbook with him. And there, scrawled on the back of a living will of his, was a handwritten list labeled "11 Spices-Mix with 2 White Fl Cups." What were they? Salt, thyme, basil, oregano, celery salt, black pepper, dry mustard, paprika, garlic salt, ground ginger, and white pepper. Since KFC's official blend of 11 secret herbs and spices has never been verified, it's unclear how accurate Ledington's list was.
But suffice it to say, whatever they put on that chicken makes it quite
delicious. "Excellent work, Captain. Now keep your herbs and spices balanced!" Anytime you get a craving for KFC chicken, it's the only thing that will satisfy the raging hungry beast inside of you. You don't necessarily know why chewing on a piece is so rewarding, but it is. In a Quora thread exploring the inherent appeal of KFC, chef Martin Bayer pointed out a possible reason why you can't seem to get the Colonel's menu out of your head, and it all has to do with our cravings.
He explained, "Sure, they boast their 11 herbs and spices, which is great, but that's not what you're tasting when you bite into an extra savory crisp. You're tasting sweet, salty and umami, or savory. That's what you get." Keeps you coming back for more KFC". Food that is more balanced between tastes is more appealing to the palate, and KFC's chicken simply ticks a lot of the boxes. Remember how the Chicago Tribune allegedly sniffed out KFC's secret blend of herbs and spices? Well, once they got their hands on what was supposed to be the magic formula, they decided to put it to the test.
They went to the kitchen in an attempt to replicate the signature flavor of the fast food restaurant's fried chicken. But something was missing. After several batches that weren't quite right, the Tribune team came, quote, "very close" to recreating the taste of the Colonel's Secret Blend. On a whim, someone grabbed a container of MSG flavor enhancer from the test kitchen and drizzled it on the chicken. voila! According to the newspaper, their test chicken was, in quotes, "virtually indistinguishable" from the bucket they bought at KFC. When reached out to the Tribune, a KFC spokesperson reportedly confirmed that they do use MSG in their original chicken recipe.
If you feel a little horrified, don't worry. There's really no reason to. While MSG tends to get a bad rap, U.S. News & World Report says the negative publicity is undeserved. MSG is simply a combination of sodium and glutamate, an amino acid found naturally in many foods. And guess what? The body digests it anyway, whether your food goes with it naturally or you sprinkle it on a bit. Plus, it makes food taste great. In 2014, KFC offered near-total transparency by inviting Gizmodo to take a behind-the-scenes tour of the restaurant's headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky. During the step-by-step reveal of how the signature chicken is made, they found out that KFC is obsessed with the number seven.
And surprisingly, it actually plays a big part in making chicken taste so good. "One two three FOUR FIVE SIX SEVEN!" In preparation for its breading, the chicken is inspected and then dipped into a brine. To dry the chicken, KFC employees toss it seven times. The chicken is then placed in the breading in a pseudo breaststroke motion seven times. When it is good and battered, the chicken is collected in a basket and raised seven times. Finally, the chicken is placed on the frying rack and pressure-cooked to perfection. So, you see, without KFC's commitment to doing things seven times over, chicken probably wouldn't be nearly as tasty.
When you think of someone making fried chicken, you probably think of dunking it in a bubbling tub or a cast iron skillet filled with oil. While KFC has always used oil, it originally used it in a decidedly different way: basically hacking into a pressure cooker. For the record, the Colonel lived on the edge, because using oil in a pressure cooker that wasn't made for oil was dangerous. Fortunately, in the late 1950s, a commercial pressure fryer specifically suited for
thisuse was developed. And while many other restaurants have embraced the oil and pressure cooking method, according to Josh Ozersky's book Colonel Sanders and the American Dream, KFC really pioneered hot oil pressure cooking in the 1940s.
The Science Behind why pressure cooking makes fried chicken taste so amazing is, well, kind of amazing. As Chef Jacob Burton of Stella Culinary explained, "The collagen in tough meat pieces like leg and thigh breaks down much faster, resulting in a tender product with less cooking time. Less moisture evaporates from the product, which which results in a juicier piece of meat." meat." Or, in the words of KFC, their chicken is "pressure-cooked at a low temperature to preserve all the great taste we're known for around the world." It would be easy to assume that KFC and other fast food restaurants use products frozen meat for all of its menu offerings.
Doing so would presumably equate to significant cost savings compared to fresh protein. But according to several former employees in a Quora thread dedicated to how KFC chicken is cooked, the restaurant is committed to using fresh, quality ingredients. One former employee had
thisto say about the type of chicken used: "Our chicken was always fresh, refrigerated, but not frozen. It was supplied by a local poultry company and was already cut into pieces: leg, thigh, breast, AND wing. There was nothing really special about the chicken itself; the poultry supplier supplied many other restaurants with chicken, so it was really all chicken.
KFC, at least from my experience, is very picky about their food. "Fresh is better, right? Every time you tear into a juicy bite of chicken, just tell yourself you're simply following your evolutionary cues, because yes, you can." absolutely thank your ancestors for your primal need to dive headfirst into a bucket of Extra Crispy.Business Insider has a breakdown of why the blame belongs with someone in your family tree who came long, long before you, And he explains it like this: "Because humans evolved as foragers, our brains learned to recognize and crave things that contain a lot of calories.
The caloric density scale runs from 0 for water to 9 for pure fat." Wondering where KFC stacks up? Let's just say this chicken should satisfy the forager in you. "Whereas raw skinless chicken has a density At 1.35 calories, KFC's Original Chicken Breast scores a 2.3. The extra crunchy version gets a 2.9. Skin alone gets a heady 5.0". To put it bluntly, our ancestors knew that in order to survive on a meager diet while still having to plunder food and travel great distances, they needed high-calorie foods to sustain themselves. So, if anyone ever questions your devotion to KFC fried chicken, just tell them it runs in the family. "Come on, honey.
Live a little. A few calories won't kill you." It's a well-known fact of life that salt makes everything taste better. Even if the flavor profile is near perfect, salt can improve it. So is it really surprising that delicious chicken Sodium-packed KFC? No. That smart Colonel Sanders knew exactly what he was doing when he developed the recipe the world would absolutely fall in love with.In an interview with NPR in 2012, researcher Paul Breslin of the Monell Center in Philadelphia pointed out the peculiar paradox of humans' love of salt: "If you don't maintain the level of sodium in your body, you will die.
There's no question that people who eat a lot of salt are at risk of heart attack, stroke, and death, and reducing their salt intake will save lives." Still, people don't like to let a little thing like imminent death gets in the way of our appreciation of salt. This ties in with KFC because their fried chicken, as you may have guessed, is incredibly salty. According to their own nutrition chart, an Original Recipe chicken breast has the a whopping 1,190 mg of sodium.Considering that the American Heart Association recommends limiting your sodium intake to just 1,500 mg per day, well, isn't it any wonder we love what's so, so bad for us? , the best food is the one that's fast and affordable, and KFC's chicken is both.
Most KFC menu items are a real bargain. A two-piece chicken combo will only set you back $5.99, and you can get a full meal of 8-piece fried chicken with two large sides and four biscuits, all for less than $22. Who doesn't like to save money? Also, it goes without saying that sometimes when you're tired and you've been dealing with work or the kids or whatever all day, you crave comfort food. According to Psychology Today, this is normal human behavior. They explain: "Eating foods high in fat, sugar, or salt activates the brain's reward system. Very tasty foods activate the same reward and pleasure brain regions that are active in drug addiction." So what they're saying is, yes!
You are definitely addicted to KFC, just as you suspected for many, many years. Target it at your brain's reward system. Make no mistake: KFC's fried chicken fresh from the pressure cooker really is scrumptious. But most of us can't devour our entire order in one sitting. So, we do the normal and responsible thing and keep leftovers in the fridge. And you know what? That chicken is as good cold as it is hot. What gives? For starters, eating cold chicken is not a new concept. There seems to be a reasonable explanation for this phenomenon. According to Southern Kitchen, the magic happens when the fried chicken gets cold.
The skin shrinks, the crust separates, and that delicious breading remains crunchy while losing some of the moisture concentrates the flavor. And you have to love that taste. Here's something you probably don't think about much: how your food sounds probably affects how you think it tastes. In a 2015 study, cognitive neurology researchers called sound the "forgotten sense of taste" for its importance in our enjoyment of food. The gist is simple and it says that our taste perception is multisensory, just like the actual experience of eating. And this is where KFC has an advantage. The study found that crunchiness and pleasantness were definitely connected when it came time to rate how tasty food is, and that's true of everything from fried chicken to French fries.
It's also why marketing campaigns focus so much on the crunchy and crunchy sounds that their foods make. Why are we like this? It's possible that our brains associate freshness with freshness, signaling to our ancestral foragers within that crispy chicken contains the kind of vitamins and nutrients our bodies need. So once again, go ahead and blame your ancestors for your weekly KFC run. They're not here to argue with you anyway. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, more Mashed videos on your favorite things are coming soon. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and activate the bell so you don't miss any.
If you have any copyright issue, please Contact