We've seen beyond the greasy curtain of fast food and discovered how KFC actually makes fried chicken from the raw animal to the final product that gets put into buckets and double downs at their stores. It's basically like how your grandma would do it—except they use an infernal magic machine called "pressure frier."
After recently taking a tour of KFC's headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky and running into creepy, beyond realistic statues of Colonel Sanders (one surprised me because it moved and talked) and trying to see if KFC employees always eat KFC for lunch at the cafeteria (they don't but they could!), I got my apron on in the KFC company kitchen and made some fried chicken the official KFC way.
Here's a video clip showing the whole process:
And though much of the specifics that have turned Kentucky Fried Chicken into KFC is purposely played up to create a mythical company lore (no one knows the secret 11 ingredient Original Recipe, a fact that KFC likes to remind people of, and the Colonel was the World's Most Interesting Man, a title KFC hopes to re-take from the Dos Equis guy), it's a little bit comforting to know that, well, comfort fast food is made in a way that we can relate to. Well, except KFC does it on a much more massive scale.
But the real surprise is in how unsurprising the process actually is (which I guess, is indicative of how low we set the bar for fast food chains). Here's what they do:
KFC uses real chickens but those chickens come in a bag because they've already been processed into the desirable cuts. The first step in making KFC fried chicken is to check the chicken. Basically, it's a quality control thing, the people in the back of the restaurant are seeing if the chicken is bruised, if there is excess fat or leftover feathers or accidental organs left in. They're usually fine.
It's to get the breading to stick.
You'll soon see that KFC is obsessed with doing things 7 times. The drying toss is done to ensure the chicken isn't too wet when it hits the breading.
Now the fun begins.
The breading is so fine that when you put your hands in the mixing tub, it basically feels like swimming in fairy dust.
Yup, 7 strokes.
Again, with the 7 times. This is done to make sure the chicken isn't over-breaded (and to re-use the breading).
There's a whole chart that KFC uses to teach its employees how to place the breaded chicken cuts on a rack with different illustrations depending on the size of the cuts.
KFC pressure fries its fried chicken which sounds scary and awesome and requires special machines to do so.
10. Wait over 10 minutes for the machines to do their thing and... that's how you make KFC fried chicken.
Pro tip: KFC fried chicken tastes especially delicious when you're the one making it.