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Spud Sunday: Kentucky Fried Spuds

What does Kentucky taste like?

Is it a mess of fried chicken, washed down with bourbon-laced mint juleps, while toes tap to the tune of a bluegrass soundtrack?

Those, at least, are the things that I think of when I hear the name Kentucky. That and the fact that it is home to the famous Kentucky Derby.

I mention it because Chef E is organising a twitter-based Taste of Kentucky Derby Party and I thought that I should bring something along.


Now, while Kentucky isn’t exactly my neck of the woods, and I can’t claim to know what would be a truly authentic derby party contribution, I reckon that you just can’t go wrong with spuds. I have even tried, in my own small way, to give these particular spuds a little bit of Kentucky-inspired flavour. Now I just need to get me a derby hat and I’m all set.


Kentucky-inspired spuds

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Rösti with Kentucky Fried Inspiration

See, I did promise that I would make my own rösti sometime.

What makes this nominally Kentucky-ish is that I used, as a rough baseline for the seasonings, a list that I found here which purported to describe the herbs and spices in the Kentucky Fried Chicken formula (a very closely guarded secret, by all accounts). Goodness knows if this list bears any relation to the actual formula and, not having eaten Kentucky Fried Chicken for eons, I can’t really say whether this tastes anything like it. I will just say that it’s tasty in its own right and it’s fried. Do you really need to know anything else?


You’ll need:
  • 750g potatoes, preferably a waxy variety
  • 1 tblsp butter
  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 0.5 tsp oregano
  • 0.25 tsp dried rosemary
  • 0.25 tsp dried thyme
  • 0.25 tsp dried sage
  • 1 small onion, about 100g, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tblsp chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 0.75 tsp salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
You’ll also need:
  • 24cm frying pan, preferably non-stick, plus a lid or plate slightly wider than the pan for turning the rösti over.
The Steps:
  • Scrub the potatoes and leave them unpeeled. Bring about 1.5l of water to a boil in a large saucepan, add the potatoes and about 2 tsp salt. Bring back to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and simmer gently, covered, for around 20-30 minutes (depending on size) or until just fork-tender. Allow them to cool completely, then peel and grate coarsely.
  • Place your frying pan over a medium heat. When hot add the butter and oil. When the butter has melted, add the paprika, oregano, rosemary, thyme and sage, stir briefly, then add the chopped onion and garlic. Stir and fry for about 4 minutes, or until the onion has started to soften.
  • Add the chopped parsley, salt and a couple of twists of black pepper to the pan, then gradually incorporate the potatoes into the onion mixture, and stir and fry for 2-3 minutes. You can add a little more butter if the mixture seems dry.
  • Flatten the potato mixture into a pancake using a spatula or similar, cover and cook without stirring for about 15 minutes until the base is golden.
  • To turn, take a plate or flat saucepan lid, place it on the frying pan, and invert the pan so that the rösti ends up on the plate. Then slide it carefully back into the pan and cook on the second side for about 10 minutes.
  • Slice it up and serve. Make a meal of it with a fried egg and bacon or perhaps even fried chicken, or slice into cubes and serve tapas-style.
The Variations:
  • Skip the onions, garlic and herbs if you just want a plain rösti. On the other hand, if the Colonel’s spice recipe ever becomes public, feel free to adjust the seasonings here accordingly.
The Results:
  • Side dish servings for 3-4 or main dish servings for 2.


  1. jenn

    I love it. I really do. This is spuds in a new way for me. :)

  2. Yvette

    Wow! It’s approaching lunch-time and my kitchen contains all the ingredients and that photo looks very enticing!! Go Spud!!

  3. Phyllis

    MMmmmmm…I’d rather have this over KFC any day! Gorgeous rosti!

  4. gastroanthropologist

    My grandmother was from South Carolina and always made the trip to the Kentucky Derby and when she got older hosted the party from her home. She even had special silver cups for the mint juleps. I haven’t had Kentucky Fried Chicken in forever either but I can imagine the spices used for the chicken must be delicious in the rosti. Must include this weekend coming up for a “kentucky” inspired brunch.

  5. Chef E

    I love it, well I am partial to a few of you, and its no secret, well not as a well kept KFC secret he he

    Your dish is wonderful! I keep saying I am going to make a potato pizza, now I have this pressure on me Spudsy, but I can handle the deliciousness of a final result!

    Now off to find other horses, uh I mean blogs that can run faster with a task than you have- I believe we have our lead filly for Taste Of Kentucky Derby!

    I have to tweet KFS- The new craving!

  6. Jamie

    No matter what, you always know how to make the humble potato look like a fabulous luxury meal. And spuds do indeed travel so well and this is one gloriously delicious-looking dish. Yum!

  7. Daily Spud

    jenn: always glad to bring you new ways with spuds :)

    Yvette: go you – hope you liked!

    Phyllis: me too, +1 for KFS over KFC anyday

    gastroanthropologist: ah, I love the sound of your grandmothers special silver mint julep cups, that’s doing it in true style!

    Chef E: I think that you will have no problem handling all of the deliciousness that the Taste of Kentucky will bring :)

    Jamie: Aw, thank you :) As someone said to me lately, spuds are not so much humble as noble – I think there’s a lot of truth in that!

  8. Tangled Noodle

    I am convinced that in the event of an apocalypse, all one needs for survival are potatoes and a cast iron skillet (well, a few seasonings wouldn’t hurt). Man can’t live on bread alone, but this woman can do just fine on Kentucky Fried spuds, thank you very much. Happy Derby Day!

  9. Daily Spud

    Couldn’t agree more, TN – spuds and the wherewithal to cook them are a key part of my disaster survival plan :D

  10. Lori

    I’m so glad you mentioned the mint juleps. :) In every country we have visited when a person asks us where we are from in the US and we say KY, they say KFC. Makes us cringe. There is great history there, but so much more great food here. :) That being said, we have plans to go to the original chicken joint that started it all so we can separate the cool history from the fast food.

    My favorite KY/Ireland connection was when we did the Jameson tour in Dublin. Some of their aging barrels come from our bourbon distilleries here in KY.

    So when are you coming to visit? ;)

  11. Daily Spud

    Great to get the view of a Kentucky native Lori! Will be looking out for the post whenever you do visit the original chicken joint – there has got to be some interesting history there. And I didn’t know that Jameson had some Kentucky bourbon barrels – what a cool connection. Would love to visit some time and see what other Kentucky Irish connections I could find :)

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