KFC reveals exactly how the fried chicken is made

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Hollis Johnson

KFC is making some major changes after losing customers’ trust.

With a new “Re-Colonelization” program, employees are being retrained on how to correctly prepare KFC chicken.

“Customers were saying, ‘Your food doesn’t taste the same,'” Jason Marker, KFC’s US president, said on Monday in a press event. “We’re not making the food the same way the Colonel had, and we’re not making food in what he described as ‘the hard way.’ Today marks the end of that.”

At the event, KFC head chef Bob Das and comedian Rachel Dratch – continuing KFC’s commitment to employing former “Saturday Night Live” cast members – gave a step-by-step look at how KFC chicken is made.


Step 1: Prepare the breading mixture, which includes flour, salt, milk, egg powder, and all of the Colonel’s original secret seasoning. According to Das, even he doesn’t know what spices are in the original recipe.

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Kate Taylor

To ensure a proper distribution of the dry breading mix, KFC employees are instructed to “twist and fold” the dry ingredients 20 times, then sift the mixture.

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Kate Taylor

Step 2: Dump out the chicken and inspect for defects. For example, any chicken that has part of a bone broken off or that looks bruised in some way would be discarded.

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Kate Taylor

Step 3: Dip the chicken in cold water for seven seconds to ensure that the breading will stick to the chicken. The water needs to be swapped out after every batch of chicken.

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Kate Taylor

Step 4: After the seven-second dip, let the chicken drip dry for seven seconds. The number seven is a big one in KFC lore.

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Kate Taylor

Step 5: Dump the chicken into the breading, lifting and folding it in the seasoning seven times.

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Kate Taylor

Step 6: Scoop the chicken into a basket, shaking off the excess breading with a sea-saw motion.

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Kate Taylor

Step 7: Rack the chicken, arranging it on the tray jigsaw-style to better fit all the pieces. Tips of wings are folded underneath, to prevent burned ends.

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Kate Taylor

Step 8: Stack the racks and place them in a pressure fryer for 25 minutes.

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Kate Taylor

While each location has a different model, the same tech — originally patented by Colonel Sanders — is used at every KFC location.

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Kate Taylor

After 25 minutes, the chicken is ready to eat. “It’s not a fast process. It’s similar to what you do at home,” says Marker.

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Kate Taylor

KFC needs to reconvince customers that its chicken is high-quality and authentic if it wants to win back Americans. Uniform quality is a huge piece of that puzzle, so, hopefully, employees will be paying attention in their “Re-Colonelization” training.

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Hollis Johnson

If not, customers can now return any dish that doesn’t meet their standards, thanks to the new “Colonel Quality Guarantee.”

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Kate Taylor