Ryan Johnson grew up foraging for morels in rural Monroe County, Indiana, but he didn’t learn about chicken mushrooms until he started working as a sous chef at FARMBloomington. “They’re not what you would think of when you think of mushrooms,” he says. “They have a really meaty texture. They’re almost exactly like chicken.”
Johnson is going all out on his southern-fried chicken mushrooms with a double-dredge — twice the breading and extra crispy. But if you want the bright orange color of the mushrooms to peek through, stick with a single dredge. Want to make this vegan? Scratch the buttermilk brine and soak the mushrooms in pickle juice instead.
Like many sandwiches, the extra toppings really make it spectacular. A healthy spoonful of Sweet Pepper Relish balances out the Horseradish Slaw. Make the slaw to your taste with mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, some fresh horseradish and a dollop of your favorite stone ground mustard. Add that sauce to some shredded Napa and red cabbage, onions and cilantro.
- 1 pound chicken mushrooms
- 3 cups buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 tablespoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 cups flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
- cooking oil
- Rinse the mushrooms and remove any woody bits. Heat one inch of oil in a cast iron pan.
- Make the brine by combining buttermilk, salt, pepper, paprika and cayenne pepper. Soak mushrooms in the brine. Remove mushrooms from brine and dredge them in the seasoned flour. To double-bread the mushrooms, repeat the brine-to-flour process.
- Drop mushrooms in the hot oil. Allow them to fry for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown and crispy on both sides. Before serving, let the mushrooms rest on a bed of paper towels to pull out any excess oil.