Fast Food Fried Chicken Experiment: The Results Are In!

September 9, 2010   9 Comments

Last week, I started another experiment see here: Fast Food Fried Chicken Experiment: Is it Fresh Food?. My experiment has gone 7 days and the results are in.

Fried Chicken Rot Experiment: Results

Here is the original picture and the key:


1. P = Popeye's
2. K = KFC Original
3. KG = KFC grilled
4. H = Homemade by Snack Girl

As you can see, the fried chicken rotted (as did my homemade chicken which basically melted). I shot this photograph outside because the chicken was so disgusting after sitting in a plastic bag for 7 days.

Why did the fried chicken decompose while the McDonald's cheeseburger remained untouched (see McDonald's Burger Left for Two Weeks)?

My theory is that the fried chicken is closer to REAL food. I spoke briefly to a manager at KFC who informed me that they receive a shipment of fresh chicken (never frozen) to their stores every 3 days.

The chicken is then breaded and deep fried. The KFC Original Recipe® Chicken is:

Fresh Chicken Marinated With: Salt, Sodium Phosphate and Monosodium Glutamate. Breaded With: Wheat Flour, Sodium Chloride and Anti-caking agent (Tricalcium Phosphate), Nonfat Milk, Egg Whites, Colonel’s Secret Original Recipe Seasoning.

Okay, so you have A LOT of salt, but basically it is milk, eggs, and flour on fresh chicken. The manager also explained to me that fried chicken really isn't fast food. Huh?

Well, it seems they cook a whole bunch of chicken (it takes 20 minutes) and then leave the chicken in a warmer for people to grab and go. Every day they guess what they will sell and then make it before customers even arrive.

I want to be clear that I am not saying that fried chicken is a healthy choice, but it may be closer to a whole food than a McD's hamburger. Battered and deep fried food is a treat and not an every day choice.

What about the KFC® Grilled Chicken ? It makes me a little sad to post this ingredient list:
Fresh Chicken Marinated With Salt, Sodium Phosphate, and Monosodium Glutamate. Seasoned With: Maltodextrin, Salt, Bleached Wheat Flour, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and Cottonseed Oil, Monosodium Glutamate, Spice, Palm Oil, Natural Flavor, Garlic Powder, Soy Sauce (Soybean, Wheat, Salt), Chicken Fat, Chicken Broth, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Extractives of Turmeric, Dehydrated Carrot, Onion Powder, and Not More Than 2% Each of Calcium Silicate and Silicon Dioxide Added As Anticaking Agents.

Why do they add all that? Wouldn't just fresh grilled chicken with some salt taste great? The grilled chicken does have fewer calories so it is a better choice than your regular deep fried chicken. I haven't tasted it but I would guess it would taste salty.

Why do you think the chicken rotted and the McD's cheeseburger remained intact?

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Perhaps because they make the patty. It's not an actual part of the cow, it's mashed up parts from the cow and maybe other animals ergo they can put what they want to put into it from the starting stage.

There's only but so much you can do to the outside of a chicken wing/leg. You can put all those ingredients, but you cannot alter the composition of a whole piece of animal.

Just a thought. Thanks for these experiments - very helpful!

From Marirose on Facebook: Thank you Snack-Girl for posting the list of ingredients for their grilled chicken. I am bummed. I offer only good, whole food at home but I don't want to be the mom that prohibits everything not slow cooked with whole, organic ingredients. My 12 year old wanted to go hang out with his friend a few weeks ago and they wanted to go to KFC for lunch. Knowing how I'd feel though, he suggested a compromise by ordering the Grilled Chicken. I had no reason to deny him that very mindful compromise. Sadly, now I will show him that list of ingredients. He will back off on his own volition no doubt, but I'm sorry that there are so few decent choices for pre-teens and teens to eat out while hanging out with their friends.

Basically what Sneeka said. They MAKE the patty in a factory and probably add preservatives and other synthetic components in with the meat. A chicken wing is a chicken wing. So, basically, the chicken is made by nature and the burger is made by a company. Company-made food is usually chemically treated not to rot. Nature doesn't treat food.

Do you think it could have totes because they were in a plastic bag, and moisture stayed in it.. As opposed to keeping it out of the bag?

SO much MSG! Very unnecessary. Bad for those who get migraines or have asthma.

I've looked for ingredient lists for Chicken Express, but can only find nutritional like calorie and vitamin content.

At least it doesn't send me into a migraine.

As for the difference between the hamburger and the chicken, probably something to do with the preservatives in the processed meat. At least the chicken places use fresh chicken.

I used to work at fast food chicken place and they can't legally leave it under a warmer for more than 30 minutes. Then they are required to throw it out. Just FYI. :)

Btw, the reading ingredients lists often put me off food. Not necessarily a bad thing since it probably isn't good for me anyway.

I actually work at KFC in Australia. We get a chicken delivery every morning, every day. It is never frozen, though we do have about 5 hours sales worth of chicken frozen just in case.

It takes between 5-20 minutes for everything to cook (different product here as opposed to America) and it legit is hand breaded in store. I'd upload a video of a flour fight to prove it, but would probably lose my job.

As for freshness, we do a lot of math, then throw it out the window to guess what we will sell, cook just enough to hopefully not run out, and you do get the stuff pretty damn fresh. We cook maybe once every 30-40 minutes, and stuff like crispy strips and wicked wings are thrown out after that long if not sold.

The truly bad items on the menu here are the speciality drinks.

Just read this. Then on Kauliapele's blog today, I saw that a man bought a McDonalds meal on Oct 31, 2009 for a souvineer, when the last McD's in Iceland closed due to lack of sales.It still has not decomposed and went from a museum to a very public display. WAY TO GO ICELAND!!!

Public display for any & all to see. Way to go Icel

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