The Unlikely Ingredient To Swap Out For Eggs When Making Fried Chicken

Plate of fried chicken
Plate of fried chicken - Coool885/Getty Images

There's more than one way to prepare chicken for frying, but the three-step breading process is probably the most common technique. This method typically involves coating the raw poultry with flour (also known as dredging), dipping it in beaten eggs, and covering it with breading before finally dropping the chicken into a vat of hot oil. However, should you need to ditch the eggs from this equation for any reason, such as an allergy, a surprising ingredient swap can be employed to get the same results.

Believe it or not, flaxseed meal can serve as a replacement for eggs when you're making fried chicken — though simply coating the protein in the ground flaxseed isn't going to do the job. However, combining 1 tablespoon of flaxseed meal and 3 tablespoons of water will give you the flax equivalent of one egg. This ratio can also be doubled or tripled if you need a bigger batch. Allow the mixture to sit for five minutes, and then it's ready to take the place of the egg wash portion of the three-step breading process.

Only have whole flaxseeds on hand? You can easily turn them into flaxseed meal using a coffee grinder (it is not recommended to use a full-sized blender or food processor for such a small amount). You can also grind them by hand using a pepper grinder, flax mill, or mortar and pestle.

Read more: 15 Mistakes Everyone Makes When Cooking Eggs

Why Does Flaxseed Meal Work As An Egg Substitute For Fried Chicken?

Mixture of flaxseed meal and water
Mixture of flaxseed meal and water - olepeshkina/Shutterstock

When making fried chicken using the traditional three-step breading process, eggs act as a binding agent for the breading, helping prevent it from falling off during frying. Given that flaxseed meal and eggs are two very different ingredients, you may be curious how flaxseed can act as a substitute for the chicken byproduct when making the Southern delicacy. The addition of water is a major factor.

Alone, flaxseed meal is just a powder. However, mixing it with a little H2O activates the soluble fiber in flax. After a few minutes, it takes on an egg-like consistency. In other words, the combination becomes gelatinous and sticky, giving it the same ability to keep the breading adhered to the chicken. The flaxseed meal and water mixture also has very little flavor, so there is no risk of this substitute altering the taste of your chicken, or anything else you might want to fry.

Frying isn't the only time you can swap your chicken eggs for a flaxseed meal-based one. In fact, flax eggs are Guy Fieri's go-to egg substitute for binding burgers. They can also take the place of eggs in baked goods.

Read the original article on Mashed.