Fried “Chicken” Fingers

Just looking at this photo makes my mouth water.  I really, really, really used to love fried chicken.  Love it like it was actually my favorite food kind of love.  Throw in some mashed potatoes and biscuits and I was in heaven. Fried chicken was definitely one of the hardest foods for me to give up when I stopped eating meat.  But the first time I tried this recipe, I knew I had the food love of my life back.

And don’t think it’s just because I lost the taste for meat or something like that.  I’ve served these to a Kentucky boy who knows his way around a fried chicken, and also to our good friend, Justin, who is an full-on meat eater.  Both of them loved these bites and didn’t miss the real chicken one bit.

And the best part is that they’re not hard to make.  Yes, they’re fried, so you might not want to eat them for dinner every night.  But for Super Bowl Sunday or other days that call for bringing on the fried food, it’s not a big deal.  Even if you eat meat, please try this recipe!  I promise that you won’t miss the real chicken at all, and you can feel good about at least eating a healthier version of something that certainly isn’t health food.

Fried “Chicken”
This is a recipe from PETA’s food site,  The site is a great resource for recipes – particularly if you’re cooking for non-vegans.  I’ve served many of the recipes on the site to people who aren’t even vegetarian, and they’re always blown away when they realize how good vegan food can taste!

1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
3 tablespoons yellow mustard
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 pound mock chicken (try White Wave wheat meat, Gardein or your favorite chicken substitute)
3 1/2 cups vegetable oil

Mix together the salt, onion powder, pepper, garlic powder, flour, and nutritional yeast in a deep bowl.  In a separate bowl, dilute the mustard with 1/2 cup water.

Add 1/3 cup of the flour mixture to the mustard mixture and stir. Add the baking powder to the dry flour mixture and mix.

Dip chunks of the mock chicken into the mustard batter, then drop each chunk into the flour mixture and coat with the desired amount of “crust.”

Fry the chunks in hot oil on medium-high heat in a large skillet or deep fryer until crispy and golden brown, turning as needed.

Makes 4 servings

Notes:  I would at least double this recipe if you’re cooking for a crowd.  The bites keep well in the fridge once fried.  Just heat them in a 350 degree oven for 8 – 10 minutes, or until hot.  Serve these babies up with some barbecue, ranch or wing sauce, and you’re good to go!

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58 Responses to “Fried “Chicken” Fingers”

  1. oh boy! oh boy! these really look great.

  2. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I just love chicken fingers and you made me feel hungry!


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  3. I gotta say that I will probably never give up meat because I love the way it tastes and I don’t think that eating substitute foods would ever quench my need for meat, but those fried “chicken” fingers look better than any fried chicken that I have ever made.

  4. Hi, Sean! I never thought I would ever give up meat, so much so that I think my family still can’t believe that I actually have. All I can say is that with the right information you’d be surprised by what you’re capable of. And honestly, if I didn’t find vegan food just as satisfying as meat (if not more so) I would never be able to do this. And thanks for the compliment on the “chicken”!

  5. They look amazing! I love the Super Bowl food posts. Seeing that there is a vegan version of some my favorite junk foods and comfort foods is, well, comforting. Your posts and Ryan’s photos make transitioning to a vegan lifestyle attractive and interesting, not sterile and terrifying. :)

  6. Choice!

  7. these look absolutely stellar, Kim!

  8. C’est La Vegan is giving me a reputation. First came that dynamite nut mix that my friends are still talking about, and now these chickenless fingers for the Superbowl. People are already talking about them, and I haven’t even made them yet. Thanks for all your amazing hard work, dedication, and inspiration. With your help I don’t need to eat animals to I eat like a king.

  9. Fried chicken was probably my favorite childhood food, too, and those look delicious; definitely one for the “to do” list!

  10. Made these for the Superbowl. After eating several, my guests hoisted me onto their shoulders, carried me around, and showered me with confetti. I win.

  11. Hey, Jason! I love it. You win, indeed.

  12. Hi, Desdemona! You’ll have to let me know what you think if you end up trying the recipe. I hope you like it!

  13. Thanks, Jason! I so appreciate your kind words!

  14. Thanks, Celine!

  15. Thanks, Candy Baby! Once I realized I could still eat my favorite foods I felt that being vegan isn’t actually as difficult as I thought it would be. I’m so happy that this blog has helped you!

  16. Hi, Carsten! I hope you like the recipe!

  17. Thanks, kittee!

  18. I tried this coating with Joanna’s nuggets recipe and it was great! I baked them, and while it took longer, it was more hands-off. Just make sure to spray all over w/oil or you’ll have raw flour nugz.

  19. Hi, Maria! I’ll have to try baking these! I wasn’t sure how that would work out… thanks for posting about it!

  20. Hi there! I made this recipe and was blown away. I tend not to like the various fake meats, but these were fantastic. Do you think it would work with tofu too?

  21. Hi, Kat! I’m so glad you liked it! I think this should work with tofu – you might want to press it first. I’m not that adept at cooking with tofu (part of the reason I don’t use it that much), so if anyone else has tried this or is better with tofu than me please feel free to chime in!

  22. I love greasy vegan comfort food more than anything haha thanks for the post

  23. Making them again – absolutely fantastic! Thanks for the inspiration and tasty vittles from a Kentucky boy!

  24. What type of chicken substitute did you use?

  25. Hi, Stef – I’ve used both gardein Scallopini and a few different brands of seitan. This works well with whatever sub you like best!

  26. I tried this with tofu (because I didn’t have any gardein on hand) and they were pretty good, but they will be better with gardein. I sliced the tofu into 1/2″ pieces and then pressed for 30 minutes before dipping into the mustard batter and coating and frying. I upped the garlic powder, onion powder, and added white pepper. I also made a “fried chicken gravy” with the oil and flour left over in the frying pan, which was good except that I should not have used sweetened soy milk (ugh). Question: is the mustard prepared mustard or ground mustard? Thanks!

  27. These are AMAZING!!! Had them today, added some Cayenne, so delicious and crispy!

  28. Hi, Audrey! The mustard is prepared yellow mustard. Your changes sound great – I’ll have to give them a try next time I make these.

  29. I made these for the 4th and they were amazing! Creepily close to my childhood memories of KFC.

    My boyfriend and I are anti-mustard so we used almond milk, lemon juice, and spices in its place and it was wonderful.

  30. I used your recipes in my blog. I’m not sure how to do a trackback, but I at least wanted to acknowledge what I did.

  31. So good! I made this tonight with your vegan popeye’s biscuits. My meat eating sister loved everything and had seconds. I also enjoyed my meal and will be revisiting these recipes!

    Thank you!

  32. Angela Criswell 10. May, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    I know I’m late to the party on this but…were the gardien cutlets frozen when you fried them? I got the quorn frozen cutlets so I’m wondering g if they would work. Not sure if they would thaw ok?

  33. Yum. The “skin” was so yummy. Thank you.

  34. Hi, SF Cook! You’re very welcome!

  35. Hi, Angela! You’d need to thaw whichever “chicken” you’re using before frying it.

  36. Just made these with frozen May Wah chicken nuggets. They turned out perfectly from frozen. Just make sure you add on extra cooking time. This recipe will be in regular rotation — just as soon as I finish my detox. Made this for my “last supper” before I start the program. What a way to go out!

  37. Great recipe will make again thanks

  38. Have you guys been making them in a pot of oil or a deep fryer? Which way is better?

  39. Hi, Haley! I make them in a pot of oil. Either way will work – just depends on what you have and what’s easiest for you.


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