We have a new go-to coleslaw recipe in our house, and there's a good chance you've tasted it before.
After discovering a post in the TopSecretRecipes subreddit where one user asked which of the subreddit's trove of copycat recipes are most authentic, there was one simple recipe that caught my attention: Kentucky Fried Chicken's coleslaw.Cheap_Papaya_2938's comment from discussion "All Restaurants - The Greatest Hits: Which recipes have you found this sub that *actually* nailed it?"
The popular recipe comes from Todd Wilbur, a chef and cookbook author who has created a copycat versions of mainstream classics like a McDonald's Big Mac and Mrs. Fields' Chocolate Chip Cookies in addition to the Reddit-famous slaw recipe.
The recipe is pretty straightforward — ingredients like mayonnaise, milk, sugar, buttermilk and vinegar combine to create a slaw dressing that transform vegetables into a heavenly side dish perfect for picnics and barbecues.
The secret? Finely chopped cabbage and carrots.
In fact, in the recipe for the side dish, Wilbur suggests chopping the vegetables to "about the size of rice."
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I tried making the recipe, which one Redditor described as "amazing" and "exactly like the original," and I'd have to agree. It was darn good coleslaw. And yes, it tasted just like KFC's version, which I learned is something people swing by their KFC drive-thru for, to take home a pint or two for parties.
I've never lived super close to a KFC, so Colonel Sanders and his menu weren't staples in my home. But my husband, who grew up eating KFC at family picnics confirmed that this coleslaw is legit.
Wilbur's suggestion for finely chopping the veggies just may be the key: Toss 'em in a food processor until they get to that almost-rice size.
But what goes into cracking a restaurant chain's heavily guarded recipe?
"Every recipe is different, but I generally become familiar with each of my subjects by consuming massive amounts of them and interviewing servers and chefs whenever possible," explained Wilbur, who recently released his twelfth book, "Top Secret Recipes Unleashed."
"I usually study other recipes that are similar to establish a starting point, then the trial and error begins," he added. "With each attempt I learn a few different things to do and a few things not to do until the recipe is as good as I can get it."
Wilbur says he likes hacking the most famous foods in the U.S., and KFC's coleslaw was high on his list from the beginning.
"That is, hands down, the most popular coleslaw in the country, and probably in the world," he said, "so it makes sense that this recipe would be one of the most shared recipes on the internet."
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