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    Score: 3.75. Votes: 8

    The year 1963 was a big one in McDonald's history. The 500th McDonald's restaurant opened in Toledo, Ohio, and Hamburger University graduated its 500th student. It was in that same year that McDonald's served its one billionth hamburger in grand fashion on The Art Linkletter Show. Ronald McDonald also made his debut that year in Washington, D.C., and the Fillet-O-Fish sandwich was introduced as the first new menu addition since the restaurant chain opened in 1948.

    Source: More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 3.45. Votes: 11

    In 1971, the Heublein Company—the new owners of KFC—approached Colonel Harland Sanders with a recipe for a crispier version of the famous fried chicken. The marketing department decided they wanted to call the product "Colonel Sanders New Recipe" but the Colonel would have nothing to do with it. The stern and opinionated founder of the company, who had publicly criticized the changes to his secret formulas—in a newspaper interview he called the revised mashed potatoes "wallpaper paste"—refused to allow the use of his name on the product. Since the Colonel was an important component of the company's marketing plan, KFC appeased him. The new chicken was then appropriately dubbed "Extra Crispy," and sales were finger-licking good.

    Now you can reproduce the taste and crunchy breaded texture of the real thing with a brining process similar to that used by the huge fast food chain to create a moist fried chicken that's filled with flavor, followed by a double-dipped coating. Make sure you thoroughly toss the chicken around in the breading so that you get lots of crispy bits on each piece. Unlike the Original Recipe chicken clone, which is pressure-cooked, this version is deep-fried. Find the smallest chicken you can for this clone since small cluckers will fry much better and will create the closest clone of the real deal. 

    This recipe is a tweaked version of the recipe found in Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.15. Votes: 27

    The talented chefs at Benihana cook food on hibachi grills with flair and charisma, treating the preparation like a tiny stage show. They juggle salt and pepper shakers, trim food with lightening speed, and flip the shrimp and mushrooms perfectly onto serving plates or into their tall chef's hat.

    One of the side dishes that everyone seems to love is the fried rice. At Benihana this dish is prepared by chefs with precooked rice on open hibachi grills, and is ordered a la cart to complement any Benihana entree, including Hibachi Steak and Chicken. I like when the rice is thrown onto the hot hibachi grill and seems to come alive as it sizzles and dances around like a bunch of little jumping beans. Okay, so I'm easily amused.

    This version of that popular side dish will go well with just about any Japanese entree and can be partially prepared ahead of time, and kept in the refrigerator until the rest of the meal is close to done.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    The little red packets of viscous hot sauce at the fast food giant have a cult following of rabid fans who will do whatever it takes to get their hands on large quantities. One such fan of the sauce commented online, "Are there any Wendy's employees or managers out there that will mail me an entire case of Hot Chili Seasoning?  I swear this is not a joke. I love the stuff. I tip extra cash to Wendy's workers to get big handfuls of the stuff." Well, there's no need to tip any Wendy's employees since now you can make as much as you want of the spicy sauce in your own kitchen.

    The ingredients listed on the real Hot Chili Seasoning are water, corn syrup, salt, distilled vinegar, natural flavors, xanthan gum, and extractives of paprika. We'll use many of those same ingredients for our clone, but we'll substitute gelatin for the xanthan gum (a thickener) to get the slightly gooey consistency right, and for the natural flavor and color we'll use cayenne pepper, cumin, paprika and garlic powder, then filter the particles out with a fine wire mesh strainer after they've contributed just what the sauce needs.

    This recipe makes 5 ounces of sauce—that costs just pennies to make—and it's just the right amount to fit nicely into a used hot sauce shaker bottle.

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    This soup is only served on Mondays at the Denny’s near my house and it’s not even on the menu. But of all the soups served at the huge diner chain this one tops the list for cloning requests we get here at TSR HQ. A home clone for this popular soup is beautifully simple: make a roux with flour and butter, add milk, shredded Cheddar cheese, chicken broth and broccoli, and simmer until thick. The only suggestion I would make is to shred the Cheddar yourself rather than using the pre-shredded stuff. I find that in soups like this freshly shredded cheese melts much better, giving the soup a creamier and less grainy consistency.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.67. Votes: 202

    Even though the early press runs of the first book, Top Secret Recipes, excluded buttermilk in this recipe—a very important ingredient if you really want pourable batter—many figured out the missing ingredient on their own and the error was quickly corrected in later copies. Now we just like to call those copies of the book the "Collector's Editions." For any of you who were lucky enough to get one of the "Collector's Editions" we'd like to say "Congratulations!" Now here's the recipe—with the complete list of ingredients—to make pancakes just like those served every day at IHOP.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.82. Votes: 300

    If you've ever seen a clone recipe for KFC Cole Slaw it probably looks like this. This replica recipe has become one of the all-time most shared recipes on the wires of the intraweb. Here's the original secret formula from my first book, Top Secret Recipes, to clone the world's best slaw.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.86. Votes: 7

    You're grilling some steaks or baking some chicken and don't know what to serve on the side? Try out this simple clone for a dish that's served along with several of Applebee's entrees. Since the recipe requires converted rice because instant rice is gross, you have to plan ahead about 25 minutes to give the rice time to cook. It's worth the wait. The secret to an authentic, great-tasting rice pilaf is sauteing the uncooked rice kernels in butter first, before adding the liquid—in this case chicken broth. Then, as the rice is cooking, you have plenty of time to saute the almonds, celery, and onions that are tossed into the rice at the end.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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