This Hen of the Woods Recipe is filled with meaty, juicy flavors coated in a Kentucky spice blend. Foraged, store bought, or grown- Hen of the Woods is a medicinal fungi that is amazing breaded and fried, air fried, or baked!
I updated this recipe to include fried, air fryer, and oven instructions to make a healthier options for preparing this mouth watering recipe.Try out all 3 ways you can make these Kentucky Fried Hen of the Woods
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Hen of the Woods aka, Maitake Health Benefits
The star of this show is the Hen of the Woods, a delicious, and nutritious mushroom.
Hen of the woods or maitake, is an earthy, meaty fungi that grows on hardwood trees in the forest. The Japanese call it the dancing mushroom because of foragers happy response to finding it because of the wonderful health properties. It’s considered a medicinal mushroom by improving your immune system, helping prevent and potentially kill cancer cells -all while tasting amazing.
Where to find them?
You can find these mushrooms at health food grocery stores, international grocery stores (Asian grocery stores often carry it since maitake is considered a medicinal mushroom), and farmers markets.
Hen of the woods is a great mushroom to forage! It grows mainly on the East Coast of North America, but it is also found in Western Europe and in Asia. It grows on dying or recently dead hardwood trees.
The Flavors at Play
Not all fungi are created equal- this recipe will not be the same if you substitute the mushroom for a different variety.
This Hen of the Woods recipe works perfect with Chicken of the Woods and Oyster Mushrooms.
All three taste amazing in this- but hen of the woods will have the most meaty- yet juicy flavor.
The chicken of the woods will have a more chicken like flavor, but is much drier than hen of the woods.
The oyster mushroom is the easier to find- foraging or at the grocery store. It has a more metallic, yet meaty flavor- and is very juicy. It is great in this recipe- but the hen of woods really is king here.
The main ‘Kentucky’ flavor in this Hen of the Woods Recipe comes from the flour mixture you dunk it in.
The combination of nutritional yeast flakes, mace, black salt, and smoked paprika has that effect.
This seasoning blend is savory, rich, and really brings out the meaty flavors of the mushrooms.
Black salt can be found in Indian grocery stores, vegan specific grocery stores, and online.
It commonly used in Indian recipes, tofu scrambles, chickpea omelets, plant based cheese recipes, it adds a savory sulfur flavor. It adds an extra depth to savory recipes- perfect for curries, stews, and savory dishes. Be mindful that is is powerful, a little goes a long way. Too much can easily overpower and ruin the best recipe. Since sulfaur is similar to an egg flavor you’ll want to be mindful to not use it in place of sea salt. Rather a pinch can add a meaty element of depth. Use just the right amount and you’ll ground your savory dish into a meaty masterpiece.
Black Truffle Salt is also great in this recipe. However, that is a specialty item you would need to buy from a gourmet cooking store or order online. It is not necessary, but it is a great ingredient to have on hand. Black truffle salt has this earthy savory flavor that pops with black pepper. White truffle salt on the other hand has a wine like earthy flavor, like a earthy white wine. I would save the white truffle salt or oil for a savory dish that needs a little lift. Not in this dish. Stick with black truffle salt or oil if you have it.
Ways to Serve it
Max out with this Kentucky Fried Hen of the Woods Recipe with all these ways you can serve it up
- With soul food like mashed potatoes, corn, kale, coleslaw
- With mac and cheese and buffalo sauce
- In a sandwich with hot sauce and coleslaw
- In a sandwich with ranch, cheese, lettuce, tomato
- In a wrap with sprouts, red peppers, cucumber, with poppy seed dressing
- Over a buddha bowl with brown rice, peppers, tempeh, sprouts, and bock choy
- Over a buddha bowl with black beans, quinoa, salsa, guacamole, and lettuce
Find some Chicken of the Woods?
Try out this Fried Chicken of the Woods Wings recipe!
Love Hen of the Woods?
Try it roasted!
Looking for more Wild Mushroom Recipes?
- Try this Oyster Mushroom Jerky! Whether you forage, grow, or buy your oyster mushrooms this chewy jerky is a great snack to enjoy them!
- This lobster mushroom bisque is one of my personal favorite wild mushroom recipes– it’s so creamy and decadent! This recipe uses the wild lobster mushroom, a mushroom that tastes like lobster! This bisque is the best way to enjoy them.
- Chanterelle Toast is the ultimate fancy mushroom toast! This toast has you sauté chanterelle mushrooms in a maple miso sauce, topped with mixed greens, crushed hazelnuts, and a sprinkle of chili crisp.
- Chicken of the Woods Wild Rice Soup is the ultimate cozy meal! This recipe uses the wild chicken of the woods mushroom in a classic Minnesotan wild rice soup recipe, made plant based! This creamy and hearty soup is perfect for those who love the North country!
- If you love mushrooms but don’t want to forage, this shitake mushroom burger recipe is perfect for you! The Shiitake Bao Burger has all the flavors of shiitake mushrooms inside a delicious burger with bao buns!
Kentucky Fried Hen of The Woods
- 16 Ounces Hen of the Woods, aka Maitake
- 2 Cups Water
- ¼ Cup Flax Seed Powder
- 2 Drops Liquide Smoke Optional
- 2 Cups Flour of Choice
- 1/2 Cup Nutritional Yeast Flakes or Smoked Dried Torula Yeast
- 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1 tsp Mace
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- 1 tsp Onion Powder
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp All Spice
- 1 tsp Oregano
- 1 tsp Thyme
- 1 tsp Sage
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 2 cups Refined Coconut Oil, Sunflower oil, or Canola Oil
To Air Fry*
- Oil to brush or spray on wings
Prepping the Wings
- Clean your mushroom, lightly scrub base to remove any dirt
- Slice the mushroom longways at about 1/2 to 1 inch slices (or close to 13-20mm)
- In a wide bowl whisk your flax seed powder with the liquide smoke, then set aside
- In another wide bowl add all your dry ingredients and mix well
- Take your mushroom slice, dunk it in the flax egg, then in the flour mixture- repeat 2-3 times for a thicker breading
Pan Frying Directions
- Using a non stick pan heat up enough oil to thoroughly cover the bottom surface, about 1 inch deep on medium heat The amount will vary based on the size of your pan
- Fry for about 4-5 mins on medium heat while covered, then flip and repeat
- Place cooked mushroom on parchment paper or a clean towel to absorb excess oil
Air Fryer Directions
- Freeze for 20 minutes to ensure the batter doesn’t seep through the air fryer basket
- Brush or spay oil over the frozen wings
- Put in Air fryer, allowing space between each wing. Do not over crowd
- Cook at 370 for 20 minutes in the air fryer, flipping half way through
- Preheat oven to 375F
- Freeze for 20 minutes, then brush oil over them For oil free wings skip this step, do not freeze
- Bake for 30 minutes or golden brown, flipping after 15 minutes
- Allow to cool and serve
Chia and flax seeds are a great source of omega 3, give it a try!
However it can be a bit dry on it’s own if there is no oil, if it’s in something you wouldn’t notice at all.
Another option is to add 1/2 tsp liquid smoke or 1 tsp black truffle oil to the Flax Dip
If you don’t have either of those, as a last resort, use 1 tsp soy sauce The nutritional yeast flakes add a umami depth to this recipe, it adds a savory punch.
Love this recipe?
Check out more plant based recipes, eco-friendly lifestyle tips, and more on wild/grown food below!
- Vegan Beef Seitan
- Washed Flour Seitan
- Oyster Mushroom Bacon
- Fermented Brussels Sprouts
- Cultured Sunflower Cheese
9 thoughts on “Kentucky Fried Hen of The Woods Recipe in 3 Ways”
Like your typical chicken fried steak, these would be fine with some red-eye gravy, or just a few lemon slices and a green salad for a lighter touch. Love all your earthy cooking. Such wonderful recipes and ideas ! I will be sure to try the olio santo next time I happen on some blue indigos. And I still have one last batch of chicken of the woods in my freezer from last year and am eager to try frying them as you suggest! I also wondered about breading them in panko.
Hi Flynn! Thank you for your kind words- I’m happy you enjoy them.
Chicken of the woods works amazing in this recipe. Since your mushroom was frozen and chicken of the woods can be on the drier side, I would fry them rather than bake or air fry. I’ve found the air fryer or oven can really dry them out- even when fresh.
Frying them up in some oil will add back some moisture and it tastes amazing.
I think adding panko bread crumbs to the seasoned flour would be a great addition!
Give it a try with 1 cup flour and 1 cup panko bread crumb instead of the 2 cups of flour the recipe requires.
That way the flour can help provide an even coating while the panko adds that delightful crunch.
This looks amazing! I thought it was actually chicken. It sounds delicious, too! I can’t wait to try it. 🙂
Oh goodness these look yummy 😋😋😋 can’t wait to try it. Love the spice mix you used !!
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I just made this and it’s the best thing Ive ever tasted THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU
I’m so happy you enjoyed it- it’s one of my favorite recipes too!
I made these last week and offered bites to my wife and in-law. Neither of them like mushrooms, but they tried these to be polite… and then they both ended up LOVING them and went back for full pieces (and seconds)! My wife has already requested I make more. Thank you for sharing this recipe! 🙂
WOW! So good, I make these all the time. Since switching over to vegetarian, it’s been hard for me to give up fried chicken, and this is the best substitute I’ve ever found. I serve it with biscuits and a green onion gravy for brunch and it’s phenomenal. I’ve recommended it to a ton of my vegan/plant based friends.