Chicken-fried chicken may seem like a culinary redundancy, but this Southern dish is so-named because it refers to a specific strategy for pan-frying rather than deep frying. But like its deep-fried cousin, chicken-fried chicken usually involves dredging a flour-coated breast in a mixture of egg and milk to prepare it for pan frying. Whether you've run out of eggs, have an egg allergy or are getting creative with vegan versions of faux chicken, several egg swaps will work.
If you've opened your fridge to find the egg carton empty, you just need something to get the job done. Liquid egg substitute is usually made from egg whites with some colorants and thickeners, and it behaves the same as whole egg. As an added bonus, it's already the right consistency for dredging. Powdered egg substitutes are another option, and you can wet them with however much milk or water you want to get the desired consistency. If you're avoiding eggs because you have an allergy, egg substitute is usually not an option, though some vegan versions from specialty grocery stores may be OK.
Milk is a viable option for dredging chicken-friend chicken. Some recipes call for buttermilk instead of egg, and it's a traditional use of buttermilk. If you want to use regular milk, you may need to thicken it with some flour or cornstarch to get the right consistency. If you're allergic to cow's milk, you can use soy, almond, goat or hemp milk, but you'll probably need to thicken it. If you use milk, don't shake off the excess, but allow it to drip off the chicken.
Other Dairy Products
If you don't have milk on hand, you might still be able to find something to use. Plain yogurt adds a slight tang to the chicken-fried chicken but is otherwise an even swap for eggs. If it's too thick, thin it with some water. Sour cream works in the same way -- a smidgen of extra tanginess and may need thinning, but otherwise a solid option if eggs are off the table. If you are feeling adventurous, thinned out creme fraiche or mascarpone cheese also work for dredging.
It may seem counter-intuitive that a chicken dish would need a vegan swap, but you can use a vegan alternative to eggs for a dish that's similar to chicken-fried chicken. One egg swap option is vegan mayonnaise, which is usually made with soy or coconut oil. A more creative twist is to whip up or buy some cashew cream, which is made by soaking and blending raw cashews into a creamy paste.
- Vegan Cooking for Carnivores; Roberto Martin
- Slash Food: Chicken Fried Chicken
- Party Vegan; Robin Robertson
Hannah Wahlig began writing and editing professionally in 2001. Her experience includes copy for newspapers, journals and magazines, as well as book editing. She is also a certified lactation counselor. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mount Holyoke College, and Master's degrees in education and community psychology from the University of Massachusetts.