KFC - Often imitated, never duplicated | KFC
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Often imitated, never duplicated

KFCFoodMarina P.April 08, 2021

There’s just something about a secret recipe that drives people to extraordinary lengths to know its ingredients. Our Original Recipe of 11 Herbs and Spices is one of the most famous secret recipes in the world and we’re certainly aware of all the attempts to identify the exact recipe. Countless people around the world have claimed to have found or recreated the recipe and the latest attempts were broadcast just this week across the United Kingdom.

Snackmaster KFC 1

Snackmasters, hosted by Fred Sirieix (a popular local TV personality) on Channel 4, challenges Britain’s top chefs to try to work out the secret techniques and recipes behind some of Britain’s best-loved snacks, before creating their own replica. With a premise like that, it was only a matter of time before KFC and our secret recipe was featured!

Chef Tom Aikens from Muse in Belgravia, the youngest ever chef to receive two Michelin Stars, and Chef Alex Bond from Nottingham’s acclaimed Alchemilla, went head to head with the Colonel to try to identify our elusive mix of the iconic 11 Herbs & Spices. The verdict? Well, given both Tom and Alex are Top Chefs, we’re sure their imitation recipes were delicious. Were they Original Recipe delicious though? Doubtful. In case you’re interested in taking a stab yourself, here is what they each came up with:


Tom Aiken


  • Salt

  • Dried thyme leaves

  • Dried basil leaves

  • Dried oregano leaves

  • Ground white pepper

  • Chicken pieces of your choice

  • Celery salt

  • Black pepper

  • Dried mustard

  • Paprika

  • Garlic salt

  • Ground ginger

  • Flour

How to cook:

  1. Dip chicken in salt water brine initially. The brine acts as a bond for the flour to stick and packs the flavors.

  2. Use the buttermilk and egg wash to coat the drumsticks & thighs first, and then add the flour and seasoning mixture.

  3. Heat oil to 175 degrees Celsius and fry in small quantities for roughly 15 minutes.


Alex Bond


  • Black Pepper

  • White pepper

  • Garlic powder

  • Dried Oregano

  • Paprika

  • Flour

  • Corn flour

  • Sugar

  • Dried Thyme

  • Celery salt

  • Mustard powder

  • Ginger

  • Onion powder

  • Basil

  • Cayenne

  • Salt

  • Chicken pieces of your choice


  1. Mix all herbs, spices, and flour.

  2. Coat chicken in flour mixture on both sides, then shake off any excess flour.

  3. Fry, and you’re all set!

The truth is, even we don’t know what goes into our Original Recipe! KFC uses two separate companies to prepare the ingredients which are then combined by a third party. The recipe is kept in a vault at our U.S. headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky, and supposedly only two people at a time know or have access to it. So, what do you think? Has our secret recipe been duplicated or only frequently imitated?

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