That is the question posed by Mark Alba, executive chef at Hartley Kitchen & Cocktails in Midtown Atlanta. The answer, of course, is that everyone loves a good fried bite, and in the recipe below, Alba shares his recipe for perfect chicken fried mushrooms!
Don’t be confused by the name. There isn’t actually any chicken in this recipe, so it's suitable to serve to your vegetarian friends and could even be made vegan with a buttermilk substitute. However, if you don’t need to go totally plant-based, we suggest sticking to chef Alba’s recipe, so you can have the perfect crispy crunch.
“We love frying cluster mushrooms like Hen Of The Woods and Oyster mushrooms, and using a seasoned flour that you would use to fry chicken with,” chef Alba says. “A little secret to get that perfect crispness is using a bit of corn starch or rice flour in your flour mix. The mushrooms are soaked in buttermilk just like you would fried chicken. We call them Chicken Fried Mushrooms for that very reason—and the perfect dipping sauce? You guessed it: ranch dressing!”
This recipe is served as a side at Hartley Kitchen & Cocktails and serves two. It calls for maitake mushrooms, but as per Alba’s comment, you can try using whatever mushrooms you like best! Give this easy-to-make but hard-to-put-down treat a try at your next gathering, and maybe go ahead and make extra because everyone will ask for more!
Chicken Fried Mushrooms
½ pound maitake mushrooms, quartered
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups all purpose flour
½ cup corn starch
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp ground white pepper
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp kosher salt
Soak the mushrooms in buttermilk for 1 hour. In a mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients until thoroughly mixed.
Pull the mushrooms from the buttermilk and gently dredge through the seasoned flour mix until all areas of the mushrooms are fully coated.
In a deep fryer set to 350 degrees, add the mushrooms to the fryer and fry until golden brown approximately 1 ½ minutes.
Remove from fryer and allow to sit on paper towels to absorb any excess oil. Season to taste with kosher salt.
Serve with your favorite buttermilk ranch dressing.
Visit Hartley Kitchen & Cocktails in Atlanta online and for more delicious dishes and inspiration.