You might find yourself in a situation where you have to replace the egg in your favorite fried chicken recipe. Whether you’ve developed an egg allergy, don’t have any eggs in the house, or simply want to try something different, there’s a way. In the age of information substituting anything is simply a matter of having the patience to scroll for a recipe for more than two minutes.
So, we come to you with an egg substitute in fried chicken. Actually, we have a few ideas ! We’ve also thought of a couple alternatives to frying chicken, which might be a nice change from the usual. Read up !
Best egg substitute in fried chicken
The best egg substitutes in fried chicken are a simple water and flour dredge, aquafaba and cornstarch, buttermilk, milk, or yogurt, cornstarch and water, or applesauce and flour.
Now, some of these options are better, and some will need more work to stick. You pick whichever sounds better to you and your preferences, or what you’ve got lying around the house. Note that some of these may provide a stickier coating than others, simply because they’re thicker.
For example the ones that rely solely on water will be very runny and may drip off the chicken. Those relying on a fruit paste or puree are going to be thicker and stick better.
The whole point of the egg is to bind the ingredients, seal in moisture, and fluff up during cooking. Once you remove that, you can’t expect a substitute to function the exact same way. Still, you can give all of these a try.
Read also: Can You Substitute Egg In Lasagna?
Water and flour dredge
The most basic of all dredges, your chicken will come out mostly dry and might burn a little faster. Make sure the flour if very well seasoned, and get a thick paste-like consistency. Don’t make the coating too thick though, otherwise the flour won’t cook through.
We really recommend taking the chicken through dry, seasoned flour, then the flour and water dredge. This way it will have something to stick to. If you’re feeling adventurous you can dip it in the paste again, and then flour it again so you get a flaky chicken coating.
Aquafaba and cornstarch
If you’re not familiar with aquafaba, it’s the liquid you drain form a can of chickpeas, or even beans. The flavor has no impact on the fried chicken, but it has one great advantage: you can beat it like egg whites. It fluffs up, and can provide a nice, airy coating without having to use baking soda.
Again, make sure the mixture of aquafaba and cornstarch is thick enough. You don’t necessarily have to coat the chicken in flour first, and then the mixture. If the meat is dry enough (pat it dry), the coating will stick on.
Buttermilk, milk, or yogurt and flour
If you want something less flat tasting than aquafaba or water, you can try a dairy alternative. It can be buttermilk, milk, yogurt, or even heavy cream. The point is that you have to work real fast with these.
If you’re wondering why, it’s because you’re exposing them directly to high heat, coking the proteins and fats in the dairy. In a normal batter with eggs, the eggs protect the dairy from cooking too much. Without eggs, you need to work with small pieces of chicken that cook through very quickly.
All of these dairy options will lock in moisture, but they may not suit everyone’s taste, especially the yogurt.
Cornstarch and water
Mixing cornstarch and water is very much like flour and water, but you get a much smoother end result. And you can use a thicker batter, but you might want to add a pinch of baking soda, sparkling water, or beer. Otherwise the coating will be too thick, dense. This way it gets a bit crunchy while also keeping the meat moist.
Applesauce and flour
Applesauce has a few advantages over any sort of batter. First, it’s definitely delicious. Second, if you’re going for a sweet and spicy or sweet and salty mix then you’ve got the perfect base.
And third, it mixes beautifully with cornstarch or flour to get you a nice coating. This works better for darker chicken meat, but it will work well with chicken breast too.
You can also use pumpkin puree, or another similarly sticky and sweet paste, like maybe tomato paste. Both are sweet in their own way, and will thicken up nicely if you add a bit of flour or cornstarch. However it might be worth noting that the tomato puree may turn bitter if you fry it for too long. Only use that for very thin strips of chicken.
Why is the crumb coating falling off ?
The most common reason your crumb coat is slipping or falling off is that it’s simply too moist. This can mean the batter is too thin and drips off the chicken, or you didn’t roll it in enough flour afterwards.
If you’re double dipping then you will need to let the first batter dry out a little, before dipping it again. Whichever substitute you use, you might run into some difficulties while coating the chicken. Eggless batters are simply harder to work with.
That being said, even batter with egg in them can get slippery. In most cases, you simply have to thicken the batter a little more, and make sure the meat is completely dry, or very well coated in flour (to dry it out).
You also have more of a chance of the crumb coat falling off if you use actual crumbs or flakes, as they can scrape the coating off.
Consider a different approach for fried chicken
If you’re looking for a replacement for egg in fried chicken, then you might be open to cooking your chicken strips differently. Who knows, maybe you’ll use these ideas now, or save then for a sunny day.
In any case, it’s worth shaking up your meals with a little variety here and there. And if fried chicken strips are the norm, then changing things might make you appreciate chicken all the better.
We’re assuming that the main reasons you’re using a frying method is for crunch, and flavor. So, we’re providing you with a couple of ideas.
Try baking, then broiling
We’re very aware that baked chicken strips aren’t that special, but hear us out. You can still use a little bit of oil so they resemble a fried chicken. Buy incorporate some of it into the batter, and drizzle a little onto the pan before placing the chicken.
You need a very thick, sturdy batter for this one, otherwise it can and will slip off and leave the chicken naked. Add cornflakes to the batter to crisp it up, this way the chicken strips will still be crunchy.
Make sure to turn on the broiler for the last few minutes of cooking, to get a real nice crispy edge on them. You will need to pre-heat your oven as high as it goes.
Fire up the grill !
Another options is to simply grill the chicken strips. Again, you will need a thicker batter, but as long as the coals are red and you can put a lid on the grill, the chicken will cook through nicely.
And that’s pretty much it for eggs in fried chicken. Finding an adequate substitute isn’t that easy, especially if you expect it to behave just like real eggs. Still, it’s a challenge for your creativity, so go and try things out !
If you’ve got any other food curiosities be sure to check the related articles below, we’re always adding more food facts to make your life that much easier.