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1960 Gulf To Bay Boulevard
Clearwater, FL 33765
Phone  - (727) 446-5935
•  Catering  •  Wi-Fi  • Delivery •

Manager - Ms. Yolandatampa

So my gal and I were shopping in Clearwater and low and behold passing Clearwater High School heading for Gordon Food Service,  I saw what appeared to be a new store version of KFC.  Compared to some older stores it   looked like the Taj Mahal.   

And my experiences with KFC over the past ten years had not been a good relationship.  I had them on the  DO NOT GO HERE LIST FOR TEN YEARS — Four stores all bad? But curiosity got the best of me — 

THE KFC PAST — If you read on you’ll see what in some terms for years I called it degenerate food handling, no one could screw up Chicken that bad.  

And just not the food, the help was obnoxiously incoherent like zombies and the stores were so greasy your shoes made noise like they were glued to the floor.  But add bad food to the mix and you leave.  Too many bad experiences and I love Chicken.

THE NEW — MAY 30,  2022  — It was lunchtime and  I saw this clean, new building and  by reflex stopped the car and drove in saying to my other taster and friend,  let's give them a shot.

I saw the ads on TV for the Super Chicken Sandwich and we were very nicely greeted by the Cashier/ Manager  who took our order for two sandwiches, fries and drinks.   I like the idea of cooked when ordered.  Most of the competition lunchtime like   “ Popeyes”  precooks theirs and they get mushy, they made the bad list.  A poorly looking not really clean operation.  Their store near me doesn’t need an epiphany, it needs a bulldozer.

A COMPLETE TURN AROUND — I'm a Food writer about town, I will knock whats  bad but praise whats good.  I also do write and research —  political and theological—  Critic, Chef, Complainer —( THREE “ C”s )  And also contribute time to feed the poor and homeless thru our local Charity circle work cooking for hundreds on the Christmas and Thanksgiving Holidays. 

I know a little about the food business  —  I cooked my way through college.  FRESH cooked is the key — Two of the most successful operations today are Chick-Fil-A and Culver's who emphasize FRESH COOKED also  —  It is the key adding clean stores,  good management, pay your people for continuity.  Advance from within — Biut what brings people back and loyal is fresh and wholesome in a clean environment —
That is the 
key, its hotter, it tastes better.   

A few minutes later, out comes  the order and lo and behold it was hot, fresh, tasty, huge and the fries were perfect as was the sandwich. 

 The packaging of the food was right, the store was immaculate, the staff smiled,  and I quietly asked other guests how was the food and they said delicious and one said,  “ spot on”  an expression I never heard used with food . it simply means it met its expectations — 

KFC  is number two in the volume of stores— McDonalds is number one and we do not eat at the Clown Circus

,  years of  faulty food processing, poor employee relationships and basically nothing offered other than processed crap food.  

Prices between the two are close enough that it warrants going to KFC.  Thats a  real piece of food, in the sandwich  knowing  a place like Mickey Dee only last year announced no frozen burgers ( A revelation, stunning) but admitted the meat in their burger could be from over 100 cows — stunning.  And their fries are coated synthetically for taste. More stunning.  And their CEO was fired for abuse and sexual misconduct — 100 million dollars of stunning

The bottom line is this manager and the way that store is being run turned ten years into a positive in a difficult period of time with COVID and employment problems. She should be training other stores. 

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—  2012-2021 —  FOUR TRIES - FOUR BAD — DISGUSTING —  

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2012 - 2021 - IT’S STILL THE SAME THING  —  I apologize, this chain is really screwed up, at least in my area.  Five years later.  I know some places can have a bad day and thats why before I do a negative review I give them three or four chances. Different locations tell us if it is a management area problem.  After eight tries to get good food, I gave up.

Help doesn’t show up for work, new young unskilled people on shift, long hours, boring work, it happens but when a chain in an area goes consistently bad in three locations you start looking at the management team and district supervision.

Countryside Mall Area KFC In Pinellas County, Florida, KFC must stand for Killed the Fried Chicken!  Four different times we were disappointed. The Colonel, if alive, would really take a good look at what he feeds you rather than the corporation worrying about what the Colonels picture logo and public image are about. He went from suit to apron or some ridiculous public relations act like that and they made a whole big media blitz about that. 

Fix the food stupid and people return!  It's about the food, the food, rule one in corporate success. Now it’s all about grease, dirty tables, help from hell, and food quality went from a ten at one time to a three perhaps worse.  The chicken pieces for the money were the wings, thighs and legs, little or no white meat and not worth the price nor the quality of the package. The floors and tables had that overall greasy feel you get when you are waiting for the order and we decided take it home as it was cleaner.

On a whim and a real desire for KFC, I used to be a big fan of theirs, I sent my secret shopper to get a bucket, potatoes and gravy and rolls. I also said could they put a breast or two in the package. I got a tub of mashed, some gravy, rolls, five wings, one unknown part, two mediocre breasts and a package of bits.   It all looked pathetic, I removed the what appeared to be “ double breading to make it look bigger'. With the skin and the rest of the garbage parts in one pile, the meat in another and realized several things. 

This was not a good ratio, not healthy and not fresh. The food had to of been stale since the insides had shrunk severely from the outside. The wings had the feather tips on, which most places dump as unfit to eat, the wings and parts were undersized, and the breast looked half the size of what I had been given in the past.   The "new" bits got dumped in the lake behind my house as the pieces were dark, old looking, ice cold and totally uneatable. The carp, the baby gator and bigger coy loved them.

And this happened on several occasion's from different locations.  At Countryside, the food wqs so stale we just threw it out. 

INSIDER INFORMATION —  My cousin at one time had a middle management position working for the Colonel when she worked for them. They had strict policy's of food longevity and quality. If it wasn't sold in x-amount of time it was scrapped. This food is just not acceptable. The quality of the products they are getting from their vendors has diminished as prices go up and that small bucket was 23.00 dollars US. 

So I called my cousin and asked her what gives—  She said not the same people, same ideals, food costs drive the retail, management cuts, drive the quality down and when three places in a 15 mile region are all bad, you have a local management problem in addition to corporate troubles. They asked her to do things she was not comfortable with and left.

Corporate Guano Thinking —  For many years, scientists have attempted to discover the authentic Colonel Sanders ‘ ingredients  but without success. Some formula books have nearly devised similar tasting fried chicken, but there is only one on the market which has CLOSELY cracked the KFC technique. Everybody loved it.

Keeping things secret is nothing but more corporate bullsh*t than anything else…  Who cares, I don't,  because even when they do everything wrong, their places were filthy,  greasy dirty, untrained help, lousy health records with the kitchen police… people went there for the flavor of the chicken and rubber sneakers stuck to the floor from the aerated grease.

This is the closest and it came from Australia, I believe.  If you spent the time to read my comments on four visits to four different KFC stores, you will understand my disdain for this chicken franchise and I coined the phrase “ Who killed the frickin Chicken”.

The grease and filth, poor quality overstayed food which should have been dumped hours ago.  Still in the hot tables kept way too long, and served to the public and some of the stupidest help I have ever encountered worse than Mickey Dee.

History  —  A copy of the recipe, signed by Sanders, is held inside a safe inside a vault in KFC's Louisville headquarters, along with eleven vials containing the herbs and spices. To maintain the secrecy of the recipe, half of it is produced by Griffith Laboratories before it is given to McCormick, who add the second half.

In 1983, William Poundstone conducted laboratory research into the coating mix, as described in his book Big Secrets, and claimed that a sample he examined contained only flour, salt, monosodium glutamate and black pepper.

KFC maintains that it still adheres to Sanders' original 1940 recipe. In Todd Wilbur's television program Top Secret Recipe, the Colonel's former secretary, Shirley Topmiller, revealed that Sanders learned from his mother that sage and savory are good seasonings for chicken. Also, Winston Shelton, a former friend of the Colonel, said that the secret recipe contains Thalassery black pepper.

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Legal Schmegal Pounding Salt  —  It is well attested that Harland Sanders asked Bill Summers of Marion-Kay Spices in Brownstown, Indiana, US to recreate his secret blend of 11 herbs and spices.  While alive, Sanders recommended the Marion-Kay seasoning to franchisees over the corporate version, as he believed the latter had been made inferior by its owners. 

In 1982, after Sanders' death, KFC brought a lawsuit against Marion-Kay and the latter was barred from selling its mixture to KFC franchises. The Marion-Kay seasoning is still sold under the name "99-X," and according to Sanders biographer Josh Ozersky, it is indistinguishable from the original KFC recipe. It works and no prepping and mixing needed. and is available from them.

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Joe Ledington  —  In August 2016, the Chicago Tribune reported that Joe Ledington of Kentucky, a nephew by marriage of Colonel Sanders, had claimed to have found a copy of the original KFC fried chicken recipe on a handwritten piece of paper in an envelope in a scrapbook. Tribune staffers conducted a cooking test of this recipe, which took several attempts to get right.

They had to determine whether the “ s" meant tablespoons or teaspoons, and soon concluded the correct interpretation was tablespoons.   After some trial and error, they decided the chicken should be soaked in buttermilk and coated once in the breading mixture, then fried in oil at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until golden brown. They claimed that with the addition of MSG as a flavor enhancer, they could produce fried chicken which tasted “ Indistinguishable” from fried chicken they had purchased at KFC.

— The Recipe Credited / Found By Joe Ledington 11 Spices —

Plan A —

  • Mix With 2 Cups White Flour Called “ Lite Flour”  - Key ingredient — Wondra
  • 2/3 Ts Salt
  • 1/2 Ts Thyme
  • 1/2 Ts Basil
  • 1/3 Ts Oregano
  • 1 Ts Celery salt
  • 1 Ts Black pepper
  • 1 Ts Dried mustard
  • 4 Ts Paprika
  • 2 Ts Garlic salt
  • 1 Ts Ground ginger
  • 3 Ts White pepper

Plan B —  Here Is The Backup  Recipe

  • 2 eggs, beaten well
  • 1 1/2 cups milk, regular
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup fine bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp. Knorr chicken bouillon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder (not salt)
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder (not salt)
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/8 tsp. ground sage
  • 1 tbsp. chopped parsley
  • 2 large cloves garlic, bashed
  • 1/2 tsp. soy sauce - Kikkoman
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. Wondra flour or arrowroot.

You will also need, additional flour for separate pre-coating, 5-6 cups non-hydrogenated Crisco or peanut oil, and obviously frying chicken, cut in pieces. 

Do it the KFC way and get a handle on using a pressure cooker, cooks in minutes ! ! ! Pour the oil into the pressure fryer or deep pan suitable for frying, read INSTRUCTIONS for amounts and then heat over medium heat to about 360°F. or adjust dial. 

I do mine in my electric WOK sometimes.In a small bowl beat the egg, milk, and soy sauce, then stir in 1/2 tsp. Knorr chicken bouillon (save the other 1/2). Put the garlic cloves through a garlic press and add into the egg mixture. Add half of the parsley and 1 tablespoon Wondra all-purpose flour. Stir well.

In a separate bowl, combine the 1 cup flour and the bread crumbs, and the remaining ingredients. Mix well with a fork.  The Wondra flour is important, as it’s lighter and cooks faster than regular flour.  Put about 1/2 cup additional flour in a separate small bowl and use this to dip each chicken piece, prior to dipping in the milk and seasonings.Roll each piece of chicken around until well covered, first in plain flour, then in milk mixture, then in flour/bread crumbs mixture.  Gently lower the chicken pieces into the hot oil and allow to become a golden color.

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PLAN C  —  The Third Version  

The recipe, as written in the notebook and transcribed in the Chicago Tribune, seemed so simple:

11 Spices — Mix With 2 Cups White Flower  ( Arrowroot)  or WONDRA
1) 2/3 Ts Salt

6) 1 Ts Black Pepper
7) 1 Ts Dried Mustard
8) 4 Ts Paprika
9) 2 Ts Garlic Salt
10) 1 Ts Ground Ginger
11) 3 Ts White Pepper
12)  Buttermilk or Brine

NOTE:   It was obviously no ordinary flour they were mixed with. This was much finer and lighter.  Thus arrowroot or superfine Wondra flour and fried chicken loves a bath in buttermilk or brine prior to it’s breading.  Buttermilk*  gives the best results. Make sure larger flakes of dried thyme, oregano and basil should spend a few seconds in a food processor.  I use a small coffee grinder which is much finer on all herbs. I have two, the other sticks with coffee. You can use a mortar and pestle if you are a professional gourmet herbologist and seek authenticity above the average mortal  —  

Bang :  We Deleted The KFC Use Of Msg In Their Current Chicken Recipe.  The final missing piece, the other great secret to Kentucky Fried Chicken’s succulent deliciousness, is their use of a glorious piece of equipment called a pressure fryer.   A cross between a pressure cooker and deep fryer, it fries the chicken under pressure, speeding up the cooking process and yielding much juicier results because the super heated moisture cannot escape.  It only needs about a 1/4 oil as the pressure does the fluidity and work.  It s basically a pressure cooker filled with small amounts of oil.   You can manage a pressure cooker using minimum amounts of oil according to instructions.

Here’s Another Hint      If you love Buffalo or Hotter (and there are thousands of deadly combos) wings or tenderloin chunks but find most of the coverings like the most popular hot sauces like FRANKS a bit too much,  we found using Buttermilk mixed with Franks and tossed in a container calms the process down a hair and give the wings an even greater flavor.   Milk is the secret blend when one stupidly thought a Habanero was a small tomato.  It might save your throat and larynx.  Buttermilk is great too mixed with Frank Dedicated Wing Sauce.

Preparation  —  

Do it the KFC way and get a pressure cooker, cooks in minutes ! 
Pour the oil small amount into the pressure fryer cooker
In a small bowl beat the egg, milk, and soy sauce, then stir in 1/2 tsp. Knoor  chicken bouillon (save the other 1/2).
Put the garlic cloves through a garlic press and add into the egg mixture. 
Add half of the parsley and 1 tablespoon Wondra all-purpose flour. 
Stir well.In a separate bowl, combine the 1 cup flour and the bread crumbs, and the remaining ingredients. Mix well with a fork.
Put about 1/2 cup additional flour in a separate small bowl
Use this to dip each chicken piece, prior to dipping in the milk and seasonings.
Roll each piece of chicken around until well covered, first in plain flour, then in milk mixture, then in flour/bread crumbs mixture. 
Gently lower the chicken pieces into the oil and lock the top and allow to become a golden color. 15-20 minutes,

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PLAN D  —  Another Take On KFC For Chicken ( No Pressure Cooker)  —  I made this recipe three times with various adaptations. The recipe below tastes the closest to the original KFC recipe even though it was deep-fried not pressure-fried.  Salty, juicy, a hint of that herbal spice, the flavors are pretty close. The biggest difference is the texture:  KFC’s skin is softer while this version is much crispier and more delicate. Most taste testers said this is the closest to KFC. Some liked it better.

Wilbur’s recipe calls for tellicherry pepper, a fine black pepper known for its fruity notes from the Malabar region of India. I doubt the Colonel was using this, so I opted for regular black pepper. The recipe also calls for skim milk in the dredge, but I’m inclined to believe the Colonel prefers buttermilk, so that is what I used. I also marinated the chicken for an extra half-hour which resulted in a more flavorful bird. 

A bit of baking powder also makes the bird crisper, a tip I got from Niagara College chef-instructor Michael Olson. If you want that iconic salty, spicy umami bomb go to the Colonel.  If you want a crispier version with a fresher herbal taste, make this at home.

For The Brine To Pre-Soak The Chicken  —  

1 tbsp  MSG   
1/3 cup  table salt
8 cups water
10-15 pieces of chicken (drumsticks, wings and breasts)

For The Dredge  —  
2 large eggs
2 cups (500 mL) buttermilk

For The Breading  —  
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

For The Seasoning  —  
1tbsp + 1tsp table salt
1 tbsp MSG
2 tsp granulated sugar
2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 ground savory
1/2 ground sage
1/2 ground marjoram
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 ground cayenne
Vegetable oil for frying

Process  —  

  • In a large bowl, whisk MSG and salt in water. 
  • Add chicken. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate cold  for 3 1/2 hours.  
  • Remove chicken from brine. Rinse with water and blot dry with paper towel.
  • In another bowl, whisk together eggs and buttermilk. Set aside.
  • In a large shallow bowl, combine all ingredients for breading. Set aside.  
  • Meanwhile, in a large pot over medium-high heat pour oil about 3-inches deep. 
  • Bring oil to 300 F (150C).
  • Dip chicken into buttermilk mixture. Transfer to bowl of breading and toss until evenly coated.
  • Shake off any excess breading and let sit for five minutes before frying. 
  • Repeat with remaining chicken.
  • Fry chicken two to four pieces at a time, making sure chicken isn’t crowded in pot.
  • Adjust heat so oil stays at 300F. Cook chicken for 15 to 18 minutes or until skin is golden brown.

MSG SAFE OR NOT — MYTH —  It’s one of the most popular flavor enhancers in the world, but MSG — short for monosodium glutamate — has a marketing problem.  In the late 1960s, the ingredient came under fire for allegedly being a toxic addition to some of your favorite foods, from soups and salad dressings to Chinese takeout and French fries. It became so stigmatized, in fact, that some restaurants started advertising that they’d cut MSG from their menu entirely.

Since then, research has debunked the myth that MSG is a villainous ingredient, and research shows that in small amounts, it doesn’t cause any significant or lasting harm. Registered dietitian Beth Czerwony, RD, of the Cleveland Clinic explains what MSG is, how it got such a bad rap and what we now know to be true about it.

What is MSG?  —  You’ve probably heard that MSG is bad for you, but … wait, what is MSG, anyway?  This flavor enhancer gives an umami kick to many popular Asian dishes, and it’s often added to fast food items like fried chicken. It’s made from an amino acid called L-glutamic acid, produced by fermenting corn, sugar cane, sugar beets, tapioca or molasses.

“MSG is one of the most widely used food additives, and it’s in a lot more foods than people think,” Czerwony says. “It’s most commonly thought of as being in Chinese food, but it’s in a lot of other things, as well.”  

Though it naturally occurs in tomatoes, cheeses and some other foods, MSG is also commonly added to processed items like:

  • Canned vegetables.
  • Condiments, including ketchup, mustard and salad dressings.
  • Deli meats.
  • Potato chips.
  • Soups.
  • Soy sauce.

Umami foods increase saliva production — literally, they make your mouth water — which improves the way food tastes. And although MSG does add a salty flavor to foods, it has just one-third the amount of sodium as standard table salt, which makes it a popular substitution.

Is MSG Safe?  —
MSG been used as a flavor enhancer in since the early 1900s, but it started to get a bad rap in the late 1960s. Suddenly, MSG was said to be associated with all kinds of health issues, and for a while, it was branded a “toxic” ingredient.

Now, though, most of those myths have been dispelled, and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says MSG is “generally recognized as safe.” Global food-regulating bodies like the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) agree.

Still, MSG continues to be a controversial ingredient, in part due to a longstanding stigma against it and a lack of conclusive data about it.