Vegan KFC Chicken
Updated: Jan 21
The Classic KFC Recipe made VEGAN!
I never really went to KFC much before going vegan. But incidentally enough, the last chicken I ever ate was from KFC! So that says something now doesn't it? Honestly, it wasn't the taste that turned me off, but the incredibly awful feeling (both mentally and physically) that it left me with for like 4 hours afterwards. Well, that's where this recipe comes in, all the taste, none of the regret!
For the spices, I literally just took the recipe from the Wikipedia page! This recipe makes a TON of chick'n so it's great if you are serving a bunch of folks. If not, you should still make the full spice recipe and just have some leftover. It's really awesome and would go well in other dishes.
I highly recommend serving this with some vegan Honey Mustard and BBQ sauce or the KFC sauce (recipe below)! Use any sauce you like of course, but these were super friggin yum yum with those two sauces.
2022 Beyond Chicken Update
I recently revisited this recipe for the Beyond Chicken release and made it with some twice frozen tofu! Just get a block of extra firm tofu, freeze it in the package and thaw it, and then repeat (so freeze and thaw it twice!) then press it and tear off nugget sized chunks! This is something I picked up from MARY'S TEST KITCHEN! Looking at her post, she says to use Medium Firm tofu, I used Extra Firm and did not find that it was grainy, but go ahead and try it with either, perhaps the Medium Firm is even better, I'll have to experiment!
I also tried pressing the tofu, THEN freezing and thawing and pressing again, and I found it to be similar, so try that if you like too. I have a recipe for a big bucket of chicken and then a recipe for 2 blocks of tofu (which is still a lot so feel free to half it!)
Here's a video for it!
A few tips for Fried Chick'n:
If using Gardein Chick'n products, thaw them overnight in the fridge or on the counter top for about an hour. DO NOT microwave or you'll end up cooking them and they won't be pliable.
Use a cooling rack after frying to prevent the chick'n from steaming itself and getting soggy.
Don't use olive oil to fry. You need to use something with a high smoke point, I usually fry with peanut oil.
If the recipe calls for a vegan buttermilk, really let the plant-milk and vinegar sit for a good 5 -10 minutes. I have found that different plant-milks will thicken more or less. If it's not thick enough, add some more vinegar.
Shake off the excess flour and batter when you dredge.
Make sure you press the flour into the chick'n so it sticks!
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SPICES & SAUCES
KFC Spice Mix
Makes about 1/2 cup
2⁄3 Tbsp Salt
1⁄2 Tbsp Thyme
1⁄2 Tbsp Basil
1⁄3 Tbsp Oregano
1 tsp Celery salt
1 tsp Black pepper
1 tsp Dried mustard
4 Tbsp Paprika
2 Tbsp Garlic salt
1 Tbsp Ground ginger
3 Tbsp White pepper
1 tsp Accent Seasoning (optional)
Vegan Honey Mustard
1/2 cup vegan mayo
2 Tbsp dijon mustard
2 Tbsp yellow mustard
2 Tbsp vegan honey (agave, maple syrup)
Juice of half a lemon
1 cup vegan mayo
1 Tbsp vinegar
1/2 Tbsp KFC spice mix
2 Tbsp Ketchup
2 Tbsp Mustard
1/4 cup BBQ sauce
BEYOND CHICKEN METHOD
2 blocks of extra firm (or medium firm) tofu
1 cup (120 grams) flour
1 cup (120 grams) cornstarch
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 Tbsp vegan chicken powder (optional but recommended)
3 Tbsp KFC Spice Mix (recipe above)
1 cup unsweetened plant milk
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp vegan chicken powder (optional but recommended)
2 Tbsp of the Dry Dredge mixture
Combine ingredients for VEGAN Honey Mustard and / or KFC sauce, season to taste and set aside.
Freeze and thaw the tofu in the package TWICE and then press out the liquid. Or you can press it first, then freeze and thaw it, and then press again. I found both options to have a similar texture. Tear off nugget sized chunks and set aside.
Combine all the ingredients for the KFC spice mix and set aside.
Next combine all the ingredients for the dry dredge in one bowl, and then all the ingredients for the wet dredge in another.
Bring a pot or skillet of neutral high smoke point oil (like peanut, vegetable or canola) to 350 - 375° F.
Dredge each tofu nugget first in the dry, then the wet, and then back in the dry, shaking off the excess each time.
Fry the nuggets in batches for about 4 minutes each, or until beautiful and golden brown. Let them rest on a wire rack.
Eat immediately with the KFC sauce!
BIG BUCKET METHOD
Makes 32 pieces of Chick'n
4 bags Gardein Chick’n Scallopini (thawed)
2 cups plant milk
8 oz vegan egg (or use 1 more cup of plant milk)
2 Tbsp hot sauce
3 cups flour
3 cups cornstarch
3 Tbsp baking powder
8 Tbsp KFC Spice Mix (recipe below)
Combine ingredients for spice mix and set aside.
Bring a pot of oil to 375 degrees.
While your oil is heating up, tear your Scallopini Filets in half. I tore my at an angle instead of clean in half to create irregular shapes.
Prepare your dredging station. Combine the plant milk, hot sauce and vegan egg in a bowl. If you are making a vegan buttermilk and not using a vegan egg, use an extra cup of plant milk and 2 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar. Let it sit for a couple minutes to form the buttermilk. Combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and KFC seasoning in another bowl.
Once oil is up to frying temperature, dredge your filets first in the wet mixture, then dry, and then repeat to double dredge. Place carefully in oil and let it fry until golden brown. Let it rest on a cooling rack.
Serve with honey mustard sauce, biscuits, coleslaw, mashed potatoes, whatever you want!