There’s a new KFC copycat recipe floating around the internet, and while that initially sounds exciting, it’s just reminding me how utterly disappointing it is to try to create a fast-food recipe at home.
Allegedly, the recipe comes from a family scrapbook that Colonel Sanders’ nephew accidentally shared with a reporter, not realizing that on that very page was the secret 11-spices recipe.
There’s one thing that really sticks out about the recipe, and it’s that absolutely nothing stands out about this recipe. Basically, if you took a standard spice rack and added a dash of everything savory to a bowl, you’d probably come pretty close to this exact recipe. I guess the ground ginger could be considered the surprise ingredient, but it’s still pretty humdrum — just a standard spicy blend that you add to flour before breading your chicken.
And anyway, the bigger secret is how they get that chicken so crispy. The flavor of the batter is almost beside the point.
But KFC’s copycat recipe isn’t the first to disappoint. From the Neiman Marcus cookie to the mayonnaise-based secret sauces of McDonald’s and In-N-Out, nothing compares to the real thing. And that’s because these foods are so experiential. Of course your fast-food burger sauce isn’t going to be mind-blowing when paired with a homemade burger — it was designed as an affordable way to jazz up bargain-basement burger patties that you eat in the car.
Some copycat recipes are basically pointless too — who would actually try to make this copycat Coca Cola recipe (which was ruled to be a fake, anyway) when the real thing is so cheap and already tastes exactly how you want it to?
In my opinion, if you want KFC chicken you might as well just hit the drive-thru and get it done exactly how you like. But if you want to try making fried chicken at home? Branch out! There’s a whole world of fried chicken recipes just waiting for you to try them.