Straight up, how the fuck can mankind be in an era that can create the quantum computer, split the atom or decode a DNA chain, but cant somehow workout the eleven secret herbs and spices in Kentucky Fried Chook! You cant tell me one of the greatest mysteries on Earth, besides the Pyramids of Giza is a herb and spice blend made by some other old Geeza from Indiana.

You know what? My guess is there probably isn’t 11 at all… might be ten. Old Harland probably just said that to throw everyone off. I know a lot of people over the years have tried to replicate the Colonels infamous Chicken, but let me honest; it wouldn’t matter how many herbs and spices you used to try and replicate the old KFC taste, it will be near impossible without the MSG they stuff in it. Yep, MSG..

So, that said, us Maori’s sure do love ourselves some churcken, and it doesn’t even have to taste like KFC. But if we can’t get our softball mitts on some proper hangi chicken, then it best be fried! I like to think this version’s better anyway because it uses a TWELVE (12) not so secret **herb and spice blend. Besides, finding your own herb & spice mix is all part of the fun. On this venture into the hot oil abyss, I used gluten-free self-raising flour mix. It gave a really delish crispy coat.

Whether it be different flours, different herb & spice blends, marinating first in buttermilk, the one thing that always brought the best results and remains solid for me is peanut oil. The taste is just next level-ish, so sorry to all the anaphylaxis crew. You fellas just use an alternative oil that’s good for deep frying. Avoid that canola shit.

For your 12 herbs & spices Churcken, you’ll need:

Clean plastic bag or bowl
1.5 Cups gluten free Self Raising flour
1 tbsp Dried Mustard Powder
1 tbsp Black pepper
3.5 tbsp White Pepper
1/2 tbsp Ground Sage
1 tbsp Celery Salt
2 tbsp Garlic Salt or Onion Powder
1/2 tbsp Ground Basil
1/2 tbsp Ground Oregano
1 tbsp Ginger
1/2 tbsp Ground Thyme
4 tbsp Paprika
1 tbsp Salt
1.5kg Chicken pieces (skin on)

Glaze (optional) 2 tbsp honey. 100g Butter’

Baking tray with cooling rack piece

4L Peanut Oil

1. Heat oil to 175degC and oven to 160degC fan forced or 170degC normal  2. Put flour, herbs and spices in the bag and shake to combine well  3. I hope you made sure the bag was big enough to put the chicken pieces in? If not use a bowl or get another bag ya egg  4. Toss the chicken pieces in the flour, making sure they are thoroughly coated. Any wet spots, cover with flour  5.  When coated, dust off excess flour mix and place in fridge until oil is ready  6.  If you don’t have a thermometer, use the back of a wooden spoon to check the heat. If oil starts to fizz around handle it’s ready. If you don’t have a wooden spoon, your up shit creek, just guess  7.  When oil is ready place chicken pieces into oil and don’t over crowd the pot. Do in batches if you have too  8.  Keep and eye on them, turning them in the oil  9.  Cook pieces for about 8 minutes or until golden  10.  Place pieces on baking tray and cook for a further 8-12 minutes or until cooked right through  13.  Melt butter and honey on stove  14.  With a basting brush, paint chicken place back in oven for a couple of minutes. Take out and repeat then EAT


**To all those around the world (excluding the Jamaicans, because they are cool and say shit any way they want) who say “erb” instead of “herb” – FFS THE ‘H’ IS NOT SILENT!!!! Grrrrrrrr