For several weeks I have been thinking about trying fried chicken at different places and writing a comparison story. My friend Russ Salazar actually brought up the idea, but I was only lukewarm about it until I figured out it could be done as separate visits and not a compilation at the end.
The first stop, of course, was Kentucky Fried Chicken, now known as KFC. Why did they change it? I’m told it was because “fried” is a negative word in today’s healthy society and KFC is catchier.
We stopped by the KFC at 73 Main Street in Placerville about noon one day a couple of weeks ago just to give them a try.
They have a special on right now called a $5 Fill Up: Two pieces of fried chicken, larger mashed potatoes, biscuit, medium drink and a chocolate chip cookie for just $5.
Also on the $5 Fill-Up list are; three extra crispy tenders, larger mashed potatoes, biscuit, cookie, medium drink and dipping sauce; famous bowl, cookie and a medium drink; chicken breast (portion), larger mashed potatoes, biscuit, cookie and a medium drink or pot pie, cookie, and a medium drink.
I ordered the first one that comes with a drumstick and thigh (original recipe), while Russ ordered the pot pie, along with two extra sides, cole slaw and beans.
The chicken was almost exactly as I thought it would be. I really like the coating and the meat was tender and very tasty. The one thing that bothered me was the size of the pieces.
The drumstick was about three inches long and with a diameter about the size of a quarter. The thigh was large, but flat and had the thigh bone, but a lot more backbone. That was one small chicken.
The pot pie was excellent: full of meat and veggies, and with a very flaky crust. Both of us really enjoyed that. I think they have a special on the pot pie one day each week.
I like their cole slaw, but Russ really likes it. He said that if he was having something for dinner that needed cole slaw with it, he would stop at KFC and pick up a container rather than try to make it. “It’s always fresh and crunchy,” he said.
The beans were very good. “Better than any canned beans you can buy in the store,” Russ told me. (I wonder if they are canned?)
What can I say about their mashed potatoes? They always taste the same: slightly powdery, but, the flavor kind of grows on you. Their gravy always tastes the same. I have had better and I have had much worse. They do a good job.
Russ doesn’t like factory made chocolate chip cookies, so I got both of them. I have never had a chocolate chip cookie that I wouldn’t eat.
I like their biscuits. They are warm, taste good and pull apart easily. But, what is it that they serve with them? They are called Buttery Spread and Honey Sauce.
A young lady working there was kind enough to go back in the kitchen and check to see what is in their Buttery Spread. I heard the word soy, but don’t remember hearing the word butter. She loves it, she told me. It seems to work for people.
The Honey Sauce contains seven percent honey. The major ingredient is everyone’s favorite, high fructose corn syrup, followed by corn syrup, sugar and then honey.
Well, I shouldn’t nit-pick. The food at KFC is good and a lot of people eat there or pick up something to take home.
By the way, people try to imitate the taste and tenderness of KFC chicken at home. A number of cookbooks have what they claim is the KFC list of “11 herbs and spices,” but I have never found one that was exactly the same. Besides, their real secret is that they pressure fry their chicken (similar to broasting). Most home kitchens do not have the equipment to do that.
I probably don’t have to tell you what KFC serves. If it involves chicken, they have it.
The KFC we visited is open daily from 10:30 until 10 and can be reached at (530) 622-6664. For catering call (530) 542-1529
The KFC in Cameron Park is at 3959 Cameron Park Drive, is open Sunday-Friday from 11 until 10 and on Saturday from 10:30 until 10, and can be reached at (530)677-4626. For catering call the same number, (530) 542-1529.
By the way, Russ told me the reason that he likes KFC is because the menu is not fixed. If you want something different, they will figure out a price for you. I also like that about KFC.