So the miraculous happened the other day: the nephew of Colonel Sanders, founder of finger-lickin' KFC, gave a newspaper interview and showed off an old recipe card he had lying around, which had the recipe for the fabled 11 Herbs & Spices.
A lot of the internet went bonkers over this information, and we won't pretend that we didn't. We did! We love fried chicken, KFC especially. (Well, Brian more than Maddy) But my goodness does it feel greasy to eat, which is why we've been leaning pretty heavily onto ChefSteps' amazing sous vided Can't F*** It Up Fried Chicken. It's the best of both worlds: you get the flavour and texture of fried chicken, but you don't get the feeling that your heart just seized up.
So when the KFC recipe story broke, we gave it a go. Well, several goes, with chicken cooked sous vide then deep fried to finish. And it was good. But once we figured it out, where to go next?
Next is, of course, edible insects: one of the things we do at Gastrobug as we're doing our recipe development is to try to think of the foods that people love so much that, if you put bugs in them, they wouldn't run screaming but would stop and think "yeah, that could be good." And fried foods, specifically in a chicken-y form factor, are high on our list of delicious Trojan Horse foods. So once we felt comfortable with aping the Colonel's recipe -- which tastes like what you'd imagine a rougher-but-still-very-good version of what everyone currently enjoys as KFC would taste like -- we decided to coat us up some crickets, and have some fun.
We'd made some attempts at coating insects for deep frying before (Mealworm Straws, anyone?), and while they tasted good, the insects didn't quite get covered sufficiently. And when you're looking at food you can make that will convert non-entomophages to our side, a stray leg or antenna will be a deal breaker. But! We've got that sorted, because we did a fried-chicken-y double dredge: two times through the seasoning mixture, with a trip through some buttermilk in between. And it sticks to the crickets like an absolute beauty.
So here it is: our attempt at a sort of popcorn chicken with crickets, but using KFC's original recipe. We will be making this often.
If you give this a try, let us know how it turns out!
For no particular reason, here's a gratuitous picture of Toddlerbear helping us take pictures of the finished Crickets:
He was more interested in playing with the tripod and the honey than eating the crickets, but he's still very picky when it comes to his diet.
In conclusion, if you like fried chicken and you like crickets, you should definitely give these a try. You won’t regret it!