Despite the fact that Southern USA month was last month, I had a few loose ends to tie up so I'm carrying a couple of dishes through to this month. I know you'll look at this and think that it's weird, to be honest I'd agree. Fried chicken and waffles is not the kind of dish I'd normally go for. But when I featured USA, I asked some readers to suggest what they'd most like to see featured. Since the majority of my readers are American, I got quite a lot of suggestions. One of them came up often - Fried Chicken (Kentucky style) with waffles. Apparently this is a speciality of Southern USA and the enthusiasm to have this dish "veganised" was resounding. How can I say no to that?
It took me a while to get to this one, for a few reasons. Mainly because I had to get my hands on a waffle maker! To my great fortune a friend gave me one which she didn't want anymore, which mean't all I had to do know was to find the right mix of herbs for the batter.
I will confess that I'm not in the best position to replicate the exact flavour of true American Fried Chicken - chiefly because I've never eaten such a thing! Indeed, I've never even eaten the fast food franchise Kentucky Fried Chicken (although I've been told that even if I tried to replicate that flavour, I wouldn't be able to without getting my hands on some MSG). There are a lot of recipes on the internet, all of them use different herbs and spices, so I don't really know whether or not this tastes like 'authentic' Southern Fried Chicken. I'll look forward to some Americans trying the recipe and telling me what they think!
You can also make this recipe with seitan or with a commercial chicken substitute. I don't have any available that don't have egg in them, so I just used tofu.
The Fried Tofu
400g hard tofu, drained and squeezed gently to get as much liquid out as possible
3 cups soy milk
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
Vegetable or peanut oil, for frying
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1 tsp vegetable stock powder
1 cup of the soy milk used to marinate the tofu
1 cup flour
1 tsp vegetable stock powder
1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
2 tsp sweet paprika
1/4 tsp hot paprika (or chilli powder)
1 tsp celery seeds
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp oregano
1 1/4 cups wholemeal flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 cup soy milk
2 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
1. Whisk the soy milk and apple cider vinegar together and set aside to thicken. Slice the tofu into eight equal pieces and submerge them in the soy milk. Marinate for 2-3 hours, or longer if you have the time (you can marinate overnight).
2. Combine all the ingredients for the batter in a bowl and set aside.
3. Combine the ingredients for the seasoned flour in a separate bowl and set aside.
4. Mix the dry ingredients for the waffles together in yet another bowl. Make a well in the middle and gently stir in the soy milk and oil. Heat up your waffle iron (be sure to spray with oil to prevent sticking) and make the waffles according to the instructions of your waffle maker. This batter should make 4 waffles, although this may vary slightly depending on the size of your waffle maker. Place the cooked waffles on a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
5. Heat about a cup of peanut or vegetable oil in a fry pan (you can also use more oil and deep fry instead of shallow fry). Take a piece of tofu and dip it in the batter, coating liberally. Then coat in the seasoned flour and drop into the hot oil. Cook for a few minutes and then turn over to cook both sides (if you deep fry, you don't need to turn them over). Remove and drain on a piece of kitchen paper. Repeat with the remaining pieces of tofu.
6. Serve the fried tofu on or next to the waffles, with maple syrup to taste.
Check out my other Southern USA recipe posts: