Food & Drink | August 24, 2016 9:00 am

Three Fried Chicken Recipes That Crush KFC’s “Secret” Blend

The Colonel's secret is out. But you can do better anyway.

This week while KFC was hawking chicken sunscreen, a reporter from the Chicago Tribune stumbled upon the fried chicken giant’s 80-year-old top-secret family recipe — by accident.

It all started out as a standard travel story. In an interview with Joe Ledington (Colonel Sanders’s nephew), the Tribune’s Jay Jones was handed a family scrapbook where lo and behold: he found a precisely measured recipe that contained 11 herbs and spices.

And while this could very well be the greatest inadvertent food scoops in food media history, a lot can change in 80 years. To rephrase: the Colonel isn’t the only source for finger-lickin’ good chicken. Advancements: there’ve been a few.

So skip the secrets altogether for these tastier fried bird recipes.

Nashville-Style Hot Chicken
This bird bites back thanks to six tablespoons of cayenne pepper. The result is a melt-your-face-off spice blend that won’t disappoint in heat or crispy crunch. Get the full recipe at Bon Appetit

Korean Fried Chicken Wings
This recipe is a perfect game-day side, but let’s be real: it’s craveable enough to have any day of the week. The spicy ginger-soy glaze comes with a good kick, but the subtlety is balanced by a touch of honey. You can’t get that complexity with a bucket meal. Get the full recipe at Food52

Southern Fried Chicken
If you can’t quit KFC, you’ll wanna try this similar recipe. Not only will it produce a crispier batch of bird, it’ll take you further in the juicy department, because this one is all about technique. Read: a better buttermilk brine and also the fact that you fry the chicken in hot fat and finish it off in the oven. Get the full recipe at Serious Eats