KFC lovers, brace yourselves — and hold onto your biscuits. That finger-lickin' gravy you've been slathering all over your mashed potatoes and fried chicken? We've got the low-down on how it’s really made — and it ain't pretty.
A video from 2020 offering an insider's view of a Kentucky Fried Chicken kitchen in the U.K. unveiled the surprising methods behind the chain's famed gravy. The below video — which recently went viral on social media — showcases Anne, a KFC employee from Chorley and Buckshaw in Northern England, as she is tasked with preparing 200 liters of the sauce ahead of a busy Christmas Eve rush.
The process is simple yet unglamorous. We watch as Anne starts by mixing and pressing chicken bits and meat juice through a sieve. What’s left floating on top? Not exactly the stuff foodie dreams are made of. She then microwaves the brown mixture to give it that recognizable thick consistency. Yuck!
Social media was rife with comments ranging from, "That's it, I'm off KFC for life," to vivid comparisons to unfortunate dog incidents (we'll spare you the details). “This video is the reason I refuse to ever eat KFC in my lifetime,” said one user, while another commented, “That is revolting. I wish I never saw this."
But here’s the kicker: Not everyone was horrified. Some pointed out that this is how gravy is traditionally made — using the remnants of cooked meat. One user even commented, "It’s refreshing to see actual chicken bits go into it rather than some factory-made concoction." And while most viewers found the process unappetizing, some applauded the authenticity. "Am I the only one who won’t get put off by this?" writes one user in a YouTube comment.
Copycat KFC Gravy Recipe
If you'd like to recreate KFC's gravy sans the nasty chicken bits and microwaving, here's a recipe from Recipe Tin Eats to get you started. It's actually quite simple to whip up at home.
- 4 tablespoons of butter or vegetable shortening
- 5 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
- 1 beef bouillon cube
- 1 chicken bouillon cube
- 2 cups of water
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt to taste
- Roux Preparation: In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter or shortening. Slowly whisk in the flour to create a roux. Keep stirring and cook for 2-3 minutes until it turns a light brown color.
- Dissolve Bouillon Cubes: While the roux is cooking, dissolve the beef and chicken bouillon cubes in 2 cups of hot water. Stir well until completely dissolved.
- Combine and Season: Slowly add the bouillon water to the roux, constantly whisking to avoid any lumps. Once all the water is added, bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
- Stir in the onion and garlic powder, black pepper, and salt to taste. Continue to simmer for about 5-7 minutes to allow the flavors to meld and the gravy to thicken.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and more pepper if needed.
- Once the gravy reaches your desired thickness, remove from heat.
- Serve hot over mashed potatoes, fried or rotisserie chicken, pork chops, biscuits — anything your heart desires, really.
Remember — like all recipes — you might need to adjust it a bit based on personal taste preferences. While this recipe aims to capture the essence of KFC's gravy, tweaking is always encouraged to ensure the seasoning and thickness is to your liking.
Related: 50 Cheap and Easy Chicken Recipes
The Bottom Line
The next time you're dipping your fried chicken into KFC's iconic red-lid pot of gravy, or find yourself enjoying some of its gravy-smothered mashed potatoes, remember: there's a saucy story behind every dish. But whether you find it delicious or distressing is entirely up to your taste buds — and we ain't judging.
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