KFC-Style Vegan Fried Chicken Made With Jackfruit

These vegan fried chicken drumsticks look, cook, and taste just like their KFC counterparts.

It’s time to get cooking. On this episode of EATKINDLY With Me, Mark Thompson—AKA Sauce Stache—showcases another recipe hack: KFC-style vegan fried chicken.

So, how does Thompson make his realistic-looking KFC-style vegan fried chicken? Using his secret ingredient: jackfruit.

“I mean, look at these,” he says. “This is going to be so good. All we’re going to do is take our two cans of young green jackfruit. We’re going to open it up, drain it out, rinse them, and then just wash the jackfruit really well.”

“I just love how much jackfruit, once it’s all broken up, just looks almost like a pulled chicken—like how you would make a chicken salad,” he continues. “It comes out so, so good.”

Next up, Thompson adds in the seasoning. “We’re going to flavor the jackfruit, get rid of some of that fruit taste, add some more chicken-y taste to it,” he says. He achieves this by using a chicken-flavored broth.

After cooking the jackfruit, he uses vital wheat gluten to help bind it together. “Once you’re done, you have a formable jackfruit that will hold its texture and shape and have a really nice bite. It’s going to come out so good,” he adds.

The vegan fried chicken even features a “skin” made of bean curd sheets and a KFC-style breading. “Now that we have our jackfruit chicken and our skin, we just need the bone,” Thompson explains. “Today, I’m going to be using lemongrass.”

Hungry yet? Here’s how to make Sauce Stache’s KFC-style vegan fried chicken.

vegan fried chicken drumsticks
This KFC-style vegan fried chicken is made with jackfruit. | Mark Thompson for LIVEKINDLY

KFC-Style Vegan Fried Chicken

2 hours to prep
30 mins to cook
Vegan

Ingredients

Vegan Chicken Drumsticks

  • 2 20-ounce cans young green jackfruit
  • 4 cups water 
  • 1 teaspoon vegan chicken-flavored broth or vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch, separated
  • 3 tablespoons gluten flour/vital wheat gluten 
  • 1  3-4 ounce package of frozen bean curd sheets/yuba/soy skin 
  • 3-4 lemongrass stalks 

KFC-Style Breading

  • 1 cup plant milk (cashew milk)
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons egg replacer (Just Egg) 
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1-½ teaspoons dried thyme 
  • 1-½ teaspoons dried basil 
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon celery salt
  • 3 tablespoons ground white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons garlic salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon fresh black pepper 
  • Neutral oil for frying (vegetable oil, canola or peanut oil)

Preparation

    Vegan Chicken Drumsticks

    • 1
      First drain and rinse your canned jackfruit. While rinsing squeeze the hard end and break apart with your fingers. Remove any seeds you find.
    • 2
      Add jackfruit to a large saucepan and fill with water. Add broth mix and bring to boil. Let simmer for 20 minutes.
    • 3
      After 20 minutes, pour the jackfruit through a strainer (saving the liquid) and add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Mix well and allow to sit for a few minutes to cool down.
    • 4
      Once cooled add gluten and knead by hand until gluten forms and the jackfruit will hold its shape.
    • 5
      Unwrap soy skin and pull sheets apart. Depending on the size of your sheets, cut them into rectangles around the size of a sheet of paper. Place the sheets on a baking sheet pan and pour the remaining chicken broth from your jackfruit over the sheets. Allow the sheets to hydrate for about 5 minutes.
    • 6
      While the sheets are hydrating, cut your lemongrass stalks into 5-inch “bones.” This will be the “bone” of your jackfruit drumstick. Wash the cuts and place into a bowl, coating the lemon grass with 1 tablespoon cornstarch.
    • 7
      Grab a large meatball sized handful of jackfruit and squeeze it tightly around your lemongrass. Form the jackfruit into a chicken drumstick shape, then wrap with a sheet of soy skin. Twist the soy skin around the bottom of the lemongrass
    • 8
      Once all your drumsticks are formed and wrapped, place them in the freezer to firm up for around 2 hours.

    KFC-Style Breading

    • 1
      Whisk together plant milk, egg replacer and lemon juice in 1 bowl and in a separate bowl add flour and your herbs and spices.
    • 2
      Fill a large dutch oven ¼ to ½ way or whatever you safely deep fry in. (Remember to never fill a pot or pan more than half way with cooking oil. When you add your jackfruit drumsticks the levels will rise and you could have some boil over. With oil this is extremely dangerous. I always use a very high walled heavy dutch oven or high wall cast iron pan.)
    • 3
      Heat oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
    • 4
      Now remove your drumsticks from the freezer and dip them into the wet mixture and then the dry mixture. Press the flour and seasonings into your drumsticks then place them directly into the hot oil.
    • 5
      Fry for around 10-12 minutes until golden brown.
    • 6
      Remove them and place them on a wire rack. Find a nifty bucket to place your Kentucky Fried Jackfruit in and enjoy.

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