Clean Protein Recipe of the Week: Hot Fried Maitake Chick’n
Protein is having a zeitgeist moment, and rightly so: There is perhaps no single nutrient that has a greater impact on the health of the planet, as well as the people and animals that inhabit it.  

This is why GFI Executive Director Bruce Friedrich and New York Times bestselling author Kathy Freston teamed up to author 
Clean Protein: The Revolution that Will Reshape Your Body, Boost Your Energy and Save the Planet.  

For the next few weeks, we’ll be bringing you recipes from Clean Protein that show how easy and delicious it can be to eat well while doing good. 

And while you’re waiting for your dishes to simmer, go order yourself a copy of Clean Protein

Hot Fried Maitake Chick’n 
From Derek and Chad Sarno of Wicked Healthy 
(both GFI advisors, by the way!)

Makes 2 to 4 servings 

"Delicious, fun, and finger-licking good! Here’s our wicked healthy take on southern fried chicken that uses whole chicken of the woods (maitake) mushroom clusters and shows that eating plants has never been easier or sexier. Shake and bake!" – The Brothers Sarno 

  • 1 pound whole chicken of the woods mushroom clusters 
  • Olive oil for brushing the mushroom clusters 
  • 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning 
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite hot sauce 
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 tablespoon coarse grind sea salt 
  • 1 tablespoon finely ground black pepper 
  • 3 cups Follow Your Heart VeganEgg wash mixture (see package directions) 
  • 3 cups panko bread crumbs 
  • 3 cups crumbled kettle-cooked BBQ potato chips 
  • 1 cup canola or grapeseed oil for frying 

Let's do this thing.

Heat a cast-iron skillet or heavy-duty saucepan over medium heat. On a large baking sheet, lay out the mushrooms and lightly dab oil onto them, just enough so that the seasoning will stick to them. Sprinkle 1/4 of the poultry seasoning onto the top of the mushrooms, then transfer to the skillet, seasoned-side down. 

Place a weight on top of the mushrooms, like a heavy lid, to create a press. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then flip over and season again. 

Repeat until all the seasoning is used and the mushrooms are lightly golden brown, with no liquid remaining in the pan. Remove from the heat and allow the mushrooms to cool. In a bowl, toss the mushrooms in hot sauce, cover, and allow them to marinate for at least 1 hour, or overnight. 

Set up a breading station with three separate bowls. 

In the first bowl, combine the flour, salt, and pepper. In the second bowl, add the VeganEgg mixture. For the third bowl, pulse the panko bread crumbs and potato chips in a food processor until coarse, then transfer to the bowl. Add 1/4 to 1/2 inch of oil to a cast-iron frying pan and heat to medium. Once hot, take a chicken of the woods mushroom cluster and dredge it through the flour, then the VeganEgg mix, and finally into the breadcrumb and potato chip mix. 

Transfer to the oil and fry until golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel to drain. Repeat with the remaining mushrooms and serve. 

NOTE: You can make these ahead of time and reheat them in the oven at 350°F for 5 to 10 minutes.

Bon appétit!

All images courtesy of Wicked Healthy Foods. Check out their site for more recipes! 

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