LOUISVILLE — Colonel Sanders' handwritten recipe for fried chicken was back in its Kentucky home Tuesday after five months in hiding while KFC upgraded security around its top corporate secret.
Nothing went afoul when the recipe was returned from an undisclosed location to KFC's headquarters late Monday in a lockbox handcuffed to the wrist of a security consultant.
KFC President Roger Eaton was visibly relieved when the door to a new electronic safe was shut with the single sheet of yellowing paper stashed inside.
"It was very nerve wracking," Eaton said later of the recipe's hiatus from a vault where it has been kept for decades. "I don't want to be the only president who's lost the recipe."
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
The recipe lays out a mix of 11 herbs and spices that coat the chain's Original Recipe chicken, including exact amounts for each ingredient. It is written in pencil and signed by Harland Sanders.
The recipe is such a tightly held secret that not even Eaton knows its full contents. Only two company executives at any time have access to the recipe. KFC won't release their names or titles, and it uses multiple suppliers who produce and blend the ingredients but know only a part of the entire contents.
"We've very comfortable with the security," Eaton said. "I don't think anyone can break into it."