We can always trust KFC to treat us right. Just this past Christmas, they gave us gravy by the bucket load so our festive dinners can be that much sweeter and not too long ago also, they invented chicken that doesn’t smell. Allowing us to chow down on the train, bus or metro without getting any weird looks. They really are looking out for us.
Later this month, KFC will release its newest sauce, Smokey Moutain Barbecue. The sauce – subtly sweet, salty and finishes with a hint of smoke – can be slathered on the chain’s chicken sandwiches, chicken tenders and signature fried chicken. What a time to be alive.
KFC’s head chef, Bob Das has been with KFC for 19 years. “If it’s been done with chicken, I’ve probably seen it once or twice before,” he says, but he even after all that time, he still gives props to the original “11 herbs and spices,” recipe.
“That recipe is under lock and key in Louisville, Kentucky. It’s just a recipe that is impossible to replicate,” he says, but if you do want to try to recreate KFC fried chicken at home, Chef Bob has three essential tips before you get started.
When trying to cook fried chicken at home, always ensure you before you start that you marinate your chicken beforehand. Whatever flavorings you use, marinating the chicken for two hours or more allows your meat to soak up the flavor. A good marinade for KFC style chicken would be a buttermilk marinade.
Das also suggests you season your flour. He leaves little reasoning as to why, but I believe you shouldn’t leave good tasting chicken to chance. Flour is a very good base to add extra flavor to, and in the architecture of some fried chicken recipes (flour-marinade-flour for example) you can double and even triple the flavor of your chicken if you season your flour well.
Once you have seasoned your meat and are ready to cook, Das says: “Cook the chicken at a medium-high heat so that it gets crispy but doesn’t burn.” The flour helps somewhat in stopping your chicken from going dry and burning too quickly but if this part of the process isn’t done right, it goes without saying that your chicken won’t be as good as it could be.
If you’re still a little intimidated by the notion of cooking fried chicken at home, you can always revert back to going to the colonels for your crispy treats. Just in time to try Smokey Moutain Barbeque sauce for yourself.
Talking about the sauce, Das went on to say: “We wanted to create something that would be appealing to the masses so we went through the “barbeque belt.”We took the sweetness from Kansas City, we took the vinegar notes from the Carolinas, and then we took the dry rub that gives you texture from Memphis.” You can give it a go from January 29, at KFC locations across the country.