Have you seen the new KFC commercials with the creepy “Colonel Sanders” guy? I don’t know what they were thinking. The recipe with eleven herbs and spices is a closely guarded secret, much like the Coca Cola recipe, but there are many copies and similar versions available on the internet. This one uses milk and pancake mix. I have seen others that use buttermilk. They all claim to replicate the famous “original recipe” that the Colonel popularized many years ago.
While Harlan Sanders is well known as the Colonel, he was not a colonel in the army. His title was an honorary one awarded to him by the state of Kentucky in recognition for his entrepreneurial spirit during the Great Depression. While others struggled, in the 1930s Sanders thrived. One of the secrets to his popular chicken was not deep frying it (although I don’t know if that is still the method today). He used a modified pressure cooker to cut down on the time to cook the fried chicken, while retaining the moistness and crispy coating of pan frying.
This particular recipe calls for frying, then baking the chicken, but perhaps pan frying or pressure frying might be interesting.
Col. Sanders Fried Chicken
3 lbs fryer parts
2 packages Italian salad dressing (Good Seasons)
3 T flour
2 tsp salt
1/4 c lemon juice
2 T butter softened
1 pt (8 oz) salad oil
1 c milk
1 1/2 c pancake mix
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp sage
1/4 tsp pepper
Wipe chicken. Make paste of first five ingredients (salad dressing mix, flour, salt, lemon juice, butter). Brush on evenly. Stack pieces in bowl. Cover and refrigerate several hours.
1 1/2 hours before serving heat 1/2″ oil in 2 large skillets so the chicken won’t be crowded.
Dip pieces in milk, then pancake mix, coat well. Dust off excess. Lightly brown about 4 min each side. Place in 1 layer shallow pan. Spoon remaining milk over pieces. Seal with foil. Bake 1 hr at 350º, uncover, bake 10 min at 400º to crisp. Baste with milk again.