No one cooks fried chicken quite like Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). Let’s just get that out of the way.

Other brands, both local and international, have quickly caught on to the fried chicken craze, but KFC is one of the few names that matter in the battle for consumers’ chicken choices. Their chicken is without equal, rooted in a secret recipe that’s garnered unshakeable brand loyalty around the world with a loyal local following.

We’d also be remiss not to point out the fast food chain’s chicken and gravy combination—a pairing so perfect and iconic, it’s easily considered by many as reason enough to keep coming back to KFC. Needless to say there’s a lot that goes into arriving at that perfect pairing because, for one, there’s the almost sacred (and definitely top secret) fried chicken recipe that has to be executed right every time.

So, how exactly do they do it?

Start with a top secret recipe

When Harland Sanders, the iconic face and founder of KFC, came up with the 11 ingredients that make up his top secret fried chicken recipe, he went his entire life without spilling the beans. Before he died though, he did hint that all the ingredients could be found in a regular kitchen shelf.

Over the years, many have triedand failedto figure out the Original Recipe, much to everyone’s frustrations. But the mystery behind the recipe only adds to KFC’s appeal because it ensures that you can’t get their brand of fried chicken anywhere else—literally.

Invent your own pressure fryer

Ambitious and resourceful until the end, Sanders was the sort of man who, when faced with a path he didn’t like, made his own. And that’s exactly what he did when he realized the 35-minute cooking time on a regular frying pan just wouldn’t do. His solution: purchasing a recently released pressure cooker and modifying it into a pressure fryer that cut down cooking time to 15 minutes. 

Not only did it put the fast in fast food, but it also added an unparalleled juiciness and locked-in taste to KFC chicken. With his special pressure fryer in hand, Sanders set the fast food brand’s gears into motion.

Treat it like a home-cooked meal

Prepared daily, each piece of fried chicken is freshly delivered to your plate, hot and straight out of the pressure fryer. While it’s cooked in batches like any fast food restaurant, KFC offers more than just a quick meal: the rich, potent recipe combined with the unique cooking method gives the chicken a home-cooked taste.

Quick and delicious is how Filipinos love their food, so for spontaneous celebrations or family gatherings, what better way to celebrate than by ordering one of KFC’s many Bucket Meal deals, complete with pasta and extra gravy.

Top it off with a sought-after sauce

Speaking of their gravy, “sought-after” is putting it lightly. KFC’s gravy may very well be the second most popular product on their menu, and it’s just sauce. Go into any local KFC branch and you’ll find customers at the gravy station pumping out the sauce like it’s soup. It’s also customer practice to request for a separate plate just for the gravy simply because it’s just that good. And, again, it’s worth mentioning that it works so well with their fried chicken so well that it wouldn’t be easy to fault anyone who considers the pairing as easily the best chicken and gravy combination out there.

The mystery behind the recipe only adds to KFC’s appeal because it ensures that you can’t get their brand of fried chicken anywhere else—literally.

If that isn’t enough, then how about this: a gravy-scented candle. The people demanded and KFC delivered. While there are close seconds in the battle for the top spot, the competition is aware that from the fried chicken to the gravy, KFC is still king.