Country Fried VegChicken

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After I became vegetarian, one of the two foods I missed the most was KFC fried chicken.  Something about those 11 herbs and spices… smelled and tasted so good.  Below is the best recipe I’ve found so far to replicate it, the seasonings adapted from mashed.com.

Ingredients:

  • 20 oz Gardein Chick’n strips or one batch Vegan Chicken, separated in chicken-sized chunks
  • Neutral oil for frying, like canola or peanut oil
  • MSG seasoning, like Ajinomoto or Accent (optional)

Batter:

Breading:

  • 2 c self-rising flour
  • 2 t corn flour or masa harina
  • 2 t salt
  • ¼ t baking soda
  • 1½ t dried thyme
  • 1½ t dried basil
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • 1 T celery salt
  • 1 T black pepper, ground
  • 1 T yellow mustard, ground
  • ¼ c paprika
  • 2 T garlic salt
  • 1 T ginger, ground
  • 3 T white pepper, ground

Instructions:

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the Batter ingredients until they’re well combined and the ground seasoning is dissolved.
  • Add the chick’n to the batter bowl and toss to coat. Cover the bowl lightly with plastic wrap or a lid and let it sit for 10 minutes, or as long as overnight. If marinade times exceed 30 minutes, place the bowl in the refrigerator.
  • In a large bowl, combine the Breading ingredients.
  • In a large Dutch oven, heat about 3 inches of oil or fill an electric tabletop fryer to its MAX line.
  • Preheat the oil to 350ºF over medium-high heat, using a deep-frying thermometer to check the temperature.
  • Remove a chick’n piece from the batter. Place the piece in the breading allowing the batter to drip freely into the breading bowl while you do this.  The breading clumps is what gives the chick’n its signature flaky texture.  Press down firmly, allowing the flour to adhere on all sides.  Shake off any excess flour and carefully drop the chick’n into the hot oil. Continue dredging chick’n until the fryer is full but not overcrowded.
  • 2nd round of breading:  Dip each piece of breaded chick’n back into the batter quickly and then back into the breading.  Encourage clumping.
  • Drop the twice-breaded chik’n into the deepfryer separately, taking care to keep them separate. Cook the chick’n for about 4½ minutes, turning halfway through, until the crust turns an appealing golden brown color.  Remove from oil and cool.
  • Sprinkle each piece of chicken with a few shakes of MSG (optional) before serving.
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