The Kentucky Fried Chicken recipe is famous for two things: being "finger lickin' good," and being incredibly secret.
It's so secret, in fact, that KFC sued the last person who claimed to have found it. But now, the cat may be out of the bag, thanks to a reporter at the Chicago Tribune who traveled to Corbin, Kentucky, to interview the nephew of Colonel Sanders himself.
Joe Ledington flipped through a family photo album with the reporter, stopping to pull out the last will and testament of his aunt Claudia, Sanders' second wife.
On the back of the document, the Tribune reports, was the top secret 11 herbs and spices that were notoriously transported via armed guard to a secure location in 2008.
The full recipe as shown is:
11 spices — mix with 2 cups white flour
- 2/3 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 tablespoon thyme
- 1/2 tablespoon basil
- 1/3 tablespoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon celery salt
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried mustard
- 4 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons garlic salt
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 3 tablespoons white pepper
After revealing the possible recipe, however, Ledington walked back the claim in a phone interview, saying he did not "know for sure" if it was authentic.
A KFC spokesperson later told the Tribune via email, "We go to great lengths to protect such a sacred blend of herbs and spices. In fact, the recipe ranks among America's most valuable trade secrets."
"Lots of people through the years have claimed to discover or figure out the secret recipe, but no one's ever been right," the spokesperson added.