When I read on CNN yesterday that Colonel Sanders's original handwritten secret-recipe formula for the world's most famous fried chicken was being moved under guard while its secure location was being updated, I started to drool and gurgle Homer-Simpson-like on my keyboard. Mmmmm, eleven secret herbs and spices....gaaaaah.....
Now, I can tell you that I make a mean fried chicken myself. Over the course of the 11 years I've been cooking for me and Jason, I've consulted with my mom, watched cooking shows, and pored over techniques from chicken geniuses like Paula Deen to get a darn-good version into the supper rotation. Of course, we only use boneless, skinless chicken breasts in my immediate family, and some would tell you that this doesn't count. All I know is that my mother, one of the finest chicken fryers in the southeast, likes to come over for dinner whenever I get inspired to whip up a batch. That's just about the biggest compliment I could ever get.
I don't want to hide my "secret"; I'd gladly tell you the tips and tricks I've learned (some of which I just learned in the past 2 years or so; God love the Food Network.) The Colonel, on the other hand...Not so big on the sharing.
It's genius, really. By making such a big deal about all the security behind that little yellowed piece of paper, the KFC people have gotten a lot of publicity for their product. And by making people like me think about perfectly and secretly-seasoned deep-fried chicken skin, which I can't get on my own chicken, they're pretty much guaranteeing that this Kentucky girl is going to make a KFC drive-thru stop sometime in the very near future. I know I'm not alone.
Like McDonald's secret sauce, and Skyline Chili: often imitated, never duplicated. And therefore crave-worthy. As much as I try to stay away from fast food, these are the things I abandon my own perfectly-passable home-cooked dinners to eat and to later clog my arteries.
Damn you, Colonel. You and your wee beady eyes.
Do you crave the Colonel's Original Recipe? Are there other fast-food faves that make you abandon diets and New Year's resolutions and good food sense?