KFC discovers Colonel Sanders' secret book

The fast-food chain says it plans to publish the 200-page manuscript on the Internet next year.

By Kim Peterson Nov 11, 2011 7:11PM
We're about to learn a little more about Colonel Harland Sanders, the man behind the KFC fast-food chain, more than three decades after his death.

A KFC employee, rummaging around the company's archives, has uncovered a secret manuscript written by Sanders that promises to offer "real old-time American country and farm cooking before it's forgotten."

The book includes recipes for omelets, pancakes, casseroles, pies and bread -- but it doesn't have the top-secret directions for the concoction of 11 herbs and spices that helped make KFC's chicken famous. KFC, owned by Yum Brands (YUM), is still keeping that one to itself.

KFC plans to publish the whole book for free on its website next year.

"This is a new kind of book," Sanders wrote in the first chapter of the book, according to ABC News. "There's never been another written like it as far as I know. It's the story of a man's life and the story of the food he's cooked and eaten, running right along with it."

KFC reportedly is keeping the manuscript locked in a vault -- right next to the Colonel's secret chicken recipe -- at its Louisville headquarters, the Associated Press reports.

The company thinks Sanders probably wrote it around 1965, a year or so after he sold his interest in Kentucky Fried Chicken for $2 million. He died in 1980 at age 90.

Here are more lines from Sanders' manuscript:
  • "I've only had two rules. Do all you can and do it the best you can. It's the only way you ever get that feeling of accomplishing something."
  • "I've read hundreds of cookbooks. For my money they are the bird."
  • Some of his recipes "are worth more than all the imported recipes, with names an ordinary man or woman can't even pronounce, put together."
  • "The way I see it, if you've bought this book, you've bought yourself a bargain."
  • "I'm making room in these pages for real old-time American country and farm cooking before it's forgotten. I was a farm boy and lean toward farm cooking.  To me, my recipes are priceless."

Tags: YUM


Nov 11, 2011 10:28PM
wonder if he has a recipie for featherless beakless chickens in that farmers cookbook.  bet he never saw that coming.  wonder what he would think.
Nov 12, 2011 4:13AM
Nov 12, 2011 4:38AM
This ebook might very well prove to be finger-lickin' good, so I plan to buy a new keyboard before reading it.
Nov 12, 2011 5:25AM
The original recipe was changed from what the Colonel created... it was comprimised in the early '70's by corporate cost cutting measures which did not please Mr. Sanders. The recipe no longer includes "11 Herbs & spices"... It actually has only about 4-6 today.  Why KFC is still keeping it a secret makes no sense other than to make the public believe it is still using the original recipe, when in fact they are not, because if folks ever got to taste the Colonels chicken with his original recipe they would see the difference compared to the bland, greasy crap they sell today.

Popeye's, makes it much closer to what  the Colonel originally had and I prefer them over KFC.

Nov 12, 2011 6:31AM
If he did write this book it is full of stolen recipes that were stolen from others and put under his name. KFC original recipes did not come from Sanders but from poor black people that worked for him and did not know that they would be cheated out of there recipes.These people never received there due .How sad this is.
I believe the Colonel's Original Recipe contained 39 herbs and spices, not 11.
Nov 12, 2011 7:49AM

I used to work with Colonel Sanders' great niece (my commanding officer in the Naval Reserves). She stated that he was very harsh to his family and left nothing for them when he passed away. She further stated that he would constantly tell them "You have to earn what you get, not just have things handed to you."


Wonder if he'd roll over in his grave knowing this book will be given away for free?  

Nov 12, 2011 8:59AM
The real shame is that Yum ruined the product line. The chickens are still being abused; within the last 6 months I've had broken bones in my chicken. The fat content is off the scale (definitely NOT free range), the rolls were changed to biscuits, the corn on the cob is history, the deserts the Col. served are long gone. The only thing they haven't screwed up is the cold slaw. What was the Col's first rule? Do it  to the best of your ability?? Maybe corporate should go back to basics and resurrect the Col's way of doing things.
Nov 12, 2011 9:19AM
People today are not getting what the Colonel served. "Original" is a joke. I worked at a KFC back in the '60s and can tell you the 'pressure cooker' was the secret. That and the spices you rolled the chicken in. This fast food garbage they sell now has no resemblance to what was served back before corporate America got hold of it.
Nov 12, 2011 9:27AM
Today's KFC is greasy, soggy, nasty, TINY portions.  I would love to see what the Colonel has in this book, and try to make these things MYSELF.  Hope KFC dosn't get the idea to try to sell this stuff in the book.  LONG LIVE POPEYES!!!!!!!!
Nov 12, 2011 9:55AM
i can only wonder if the recipes in the cookbook can live up to the KFC acute heart failure standards set by the master Kernel himself when things first begun. it's a tall order to cause a deterioration of health so quickly...
Nov 12, 2011 9:56AM

A money-grubbing corporate giant's going to publish it for free? I don't believe it!Sarcastic


But if they were to, it would be nice to see it au-naturel, in his own handwriting, and not edited!

Nov 12, 2011 10:04AM
I lived in Corbin KY where the Colonel had his first restaurant before the KFC craze. For all of you experts who know everything I can assure you it was 11 herbs and spices and it was rumored he stole the recipe from one of his cooks, however there is no way she was black, as there were no blacks who lived in and around Corbin within 30 miles at that time or many years after.
Nov 12, 2011 10:42AM
The Colonel is one of the greatest sucess sories of all time.  He proved hard work doesn't hurt anybody and if you keep trying and quit whining, you too can be sucessful.  With that being said, I do belive the recipe has been adjusted over the years.  Almost everything has been as tastes change, but the Original Recipe is an excellent product the we enjoy often.  Popeye's has a good product too, if that's the chicken you like.  Quit hating on the Colonel.
Nov 12, 2011 11:20AM
@ Corbin Native, Blacks may not have lived there as you stated, but maybe, just maybe, they might have worked in Corbin. You know as maids, butlers, chauffeurs, field hands, doormen, dishwashers, seamstresses, and cooks. You get the picture, I hope.
Nov 12, 2011 12:11PM
"How to flood the market with uber- fattening garbage"?
Nov 12, 2011 12:30PM
I believe dcchick_ne,  That's not the first time African American ingenuity has not been given credit or the millions of dollars that our ideas have brought in to the folk that have said it was their idea...

Nov 12, 2011 12:40PM
Hey asu, Colonel Sanders lived to the ripe old age of 90 on that "uber-fattening garbage".
Nov 12, 2011 12:49PM

Might be interesting reading. The older generations have so much more grit than today's youth. They lived in a time where honor mattered. Where personal responsibility was not an idea, but a reality. And no one was hopelessly addicted to handouts. And thinking you are entitled to what someone else has simply because they have more than you was limited to communists.

But as for KFC - they have nothing on Popeyes. Popeyes has a Cajun flavor. It is also spicier. (It comes in mild and spicy - but even the mild is more spicy than KFC original). Their mashed potatoes and gravy is much richer and more flavorfull.

And then there is a Mexican fried chicken chain that is rapidly expanding. As you might imagine, it's flavor is also different than KFC.

So I expect the continuing decline of KFC in market share.

But to each their own.

Everyone likes what they like.

Nov 12, 2011 1:02PM

The colonel actually owned a motel with a dining room on the north side of Corbin, Kentucky, which became renowned for the chicken prepared by two sisters who worked there.  When the

state moved the main highway to the west, the motel went broke.  So the colonel loaded up his

car with a deep fryer and the sisters chicken receipe and began driving from town to town selling it to restaurants wherever he could.  The sisters never received a penny for their special chicken

receipe, but Saunders began his restaurant chain which he sold.  He subsequently made

personal appearances for the corporation that had made him rich.

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