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KFC Extra Crispy Tenders copycat recipe by Todd Wilbur
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KFC Extra Crispy Tenders


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As you can probably guess, KFC's Extra Crispy Tenders are chicken tenderloins coated with the same delicious breading as the Extra Crispy Chicken. These tenders come in servings of two, three, six, or twelve, with your choice of dipping sauces on the side including Buffalo, barbecue and the new Finger Lickin' Good Sauce.

An important secret revealed in this recipe is a specific type of ground black pepper. Find Tellicherry pepper, which is black pepper ground from mature peppercorns that have had time to develop more flavor. This ingredient is essential for a good hack, and I confirmed its use at KFC after chatting with the man who sold Harland Sanders his first pressure fryers, Winston Shelton, in Louisville, Kentucky. Winston, who was a good friend of Colonel Sanders for many years and claims to have seen the original secret recipe, whispered to me one day that Tellicherry pepper is the secret to the famous fried chicken’s special aftertaste. After conducting a side-by-side taste test with Tellicherry pepper and standard table pepper, I believe Winston is right.

Tellicherry black pepper costs a little more than the younger stuff, but this tasty ingredient is essential if you want a good clone of the famous crispy fried chicken. Be sure to grind it fine.

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  • 8 cups water
  • 1/4 cup salt
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