Following last week’s successful attempt to ‘veganize’ Leon’s Classic Chilli Con Carne, I started thinking about other restaurants whose recipes might be ready for a vegan makeover. So here’s a take on Kentucky Fried Chicken – although I was never the biggest fan of KFC back in my meat-eating days as I was always dubious about the quality of the meat and conscious it was about the most unhealthy junk food you could get. But there is one at the end of my road, which meant the odd 2am drunken stop off for some popcorn chicken. How times change…
I came across this recipe on The Spruce for tofu nuggets which seemed straight forward enough so thought I’d give it a go, making a few adjustments along the way, so what appears below is slightly different to the link.
Ingredients: 1 block of Cauldron Tofu (400g) – pressed then cut into nugget sized shapes, bag of panko breadcrumbs (around 125-150g should do), 1/3 cup of alpro single cream, 2 tsp dijon mustard, 2 tsp chicken seasoning (check label of whatever brand you use), 1 tsp oregano, 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional), 1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper.
Firstly, press your block of tofu to squeeze out the excess water and make it firm up a little – I did mine using the tofuture tofu press I got at VegFest in January, which takes all the work out of it – no balancing saucepans or heavy cook books, just pop it in here, apply the ‘clamps’ and let the force do the work.
Whilst that’s happening, make the ‘cream’ for dipping the tofu in, rather than use an egg mix. Simply mix the alpro cream (or any plant based milk) with the mustard and the spices.
In a separate dish, mix the breadcrumbs with the salt and pepper.
Once pressed, cut the tofu into nugget sized shapes, dip in the cream and then roll in the breadcrumbs. This didn’t take as well as it normally would with an egg-wash, so you might want to double dip.
If frying, heat enough vegetable oil to cover the tofu and fry until crips on all sides. Or, as I did, arrange the pieces on a tray lined with baking parchment and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, or longer if you want a slightly browner and crispier finished.
As you can see from the main image, I served these with coleslaw made with Vegenaise, sweet potato wedges and an avocado and tomato salsa. Admittedly I’ve never seen that on a KFC menu, but they should consider it, as it was awesome. But then it’s probably not beige enough for them…
So does the Colonel and his ‘secret recipe’ have anything to worry about – well not quite. I’ll be honest and say that the nuggets would have been better fried, to make them properly crispy, and I found the soy cream dip didn’t really ‘take’ the breadcrumb mix on – so it was more of a dusting than a coating. But the taste was ok, and it was worth giving it a go. If anyone has any other recipes for veganizing KFC or Mcdonald’s chicken recipes, then post it below as I’d love to give it another crack with a tried and tested reader endorsed recipe.