We don't need to hide any secret ingredients, coz with a dash of Kiwi ingenuity we've worked out how to add that famous umami flavour without the MSG! By using freeze-dried 'Quick Draw' Fermented Slaw from our mates at Living Goodness. Make your own finger-licken' chicken without all the nasties.
Freshly ground and batch-blended in New Zealand from the highest quality local and imported ingredients: Sweet Paprika, Garlic, Organic Manuka Smoked Sea Salt, White Pepper, Quick Draw Slaw Powder, (Fermented Cabbage, Celeriac, Carrots, Red Onion, Himalayan Salt, Garlic, Ginger, Caraway Seeds, Celery Seeds, Black Pepper, Chilli, Vegetable Culture Starter, Chicory Extract), Mustard, Ginger, Thyme, Rosemary, Oregano and Basil.
I've tried Raptor Rubs in the past and been impressed so I had high expectations for their Lucky Kentucky Rub. It is a mild flavouring rub that comes in a 65g glass bottle. I was impressed with the label stating that there were no secret ingredients, only natural, good-for-you flavour. In fact, the rub has no artificial colours or flavours, no nuts, sesame, soy, egg, or dairy, no MSG, no preservatives, is gluten-free, and contains only vegan ingredients. Although it says it's for Kiwi Fried Chicken (a play on KFC) I decided to use it on my wedges first. We have homemade wedges a lot in our household and I'm always looking for ways in which to make them taste different so I liberally sprinkled some Lucky Kentucky over them and stuck them in the air fryer. The wedges were full of flavour (paprika and garlic were the most obvious) and tasted delicious. Other family members couldn't quite identify the different herbs and spices but did agree that the mix was tasty and they were keen to try the rub on some chicken.
The following day I got some chicken breast and rubbed Lucky Kentucky over both sides, left it for 30 minutes in the fridge, and then cooked it in the air fryer. Although I didn't think it tasted like KFC, I did enjoy the flavour, as did the rest of my family. It wasn't overly hot and spicy (which was great for my kids) but was really tasty and gave the chicken lots of flavour.
Lucky Kentucky is going to be a regular pantry staple as it's versatile and tastes great!
We love our Raptor seasoning - use them all the time especially with vegetables and steak dishes. So I am a little amazed that I am about to write what I am. As much as I want to love this item I have to say it is a little bit of a miss for us all.
I brought chicken drumsticks and chicken legs to try a couple of ways. With the chicken legs I rubbed into the chicken a couple of times and let sit in the fridge for a little under an hour and then cooked in the oven - just beforehand I gave a quick dip in flour and then roasted along with our vegetable melody with the Vegie Salt Sprinkle (swear by this stuff). With the chicken drumsticks using the left over flour I had mixed the Lucky Kentucky in with this and after dipping the chicken in water dipped in the flour mixture. I then used the deep fryer to cook the chicken.
Both dishes looked nice and golden and along with the vegetable melody and roast potato served up. My husband and I had one of each the drumstick and leg and the girls had 2 drumsticks each. All four of us agreed it was rather bland. I honestly could not taste much of anything. My husband said there is not enough pepper then he changed his mind to not enough salt where as I really could not taste anything in particular.
Its weird as I have used half of the container just on this dish alone and I was expecting there to be a flavour explosion. Smelling the jars contents you could definitely hint at Herbs especially the Paprika but I feel like its missing something. As a whole we just were not really impressed maybe I needed to use more of the seasoning but you could definitely see it in the flour and it was very noticeable on the chicken itself. I am not sure where the problem lay because as I have stated we absolutely adore Raptor products and have never had an issue before.
I am so glad the word "umami" has come into regular usage in the English language (and probably others as well). I have long known that of all the flavour groups this one is closest to what I enjoy most. Deep fried food, the enticing smell of fast food being prepared, savoury bites at a party - give me those any day! I don't have a sweet tooth, and prefer my food not too salty, so I will gravitate right past the cakes and salted potato chips and head straight for the battered mushrooms and fish bites!
Of course, all those oily foods play havoc with the digestion, not to mention the unwelcome calorie load, so it is amazing to discover that there is a new spice mix available which can be used to flavour food prepared at home. Lucky Kentucky closely mirrors the effect of a certain commercially available fast food product without all the hidden nasties. This was a find indeed as it means I can incorporate that wonderful flavour into my own recipes and not feel I am overloading everyone with junk food!
I have already used the whole jar so I will be stocking up with more - everyone who tried it with me was most enthusiastic about the "authentic" flavour! There is a more than a hint of sauerkraut and mild paprika, but the exact taste varied from person to person - everyone could identify something slightly different. All good: the important thing was that we enjoyed it. I found that the recommended amount (two tablespoons for a whole roast chicken) was about right; the jar is a 65g size so that adds up to three good sized meals with a little over.
My first meal consisted of chicken breasts roasted dry, with just a spray of cooking oil to save them from burning. I dusted some of the spice over, left them for ten minutes, then massaged the spice into the surface. The breasts were then dipped in a mix of beaten egg, panko crumbs and spice; they were baked with foil on top so they would not dry out. I took the foil off for the last few minutes and was rewarded with a wonderful crisp surface. We ate them hot with oven baked kumara chips, silver beet, and a side salad. One of my rude friends said it was ALMOST as good as a takeaway! (He was threatened with no seconds if he did not make a nicer comment!)
I mixed some of the rub into a dumpling mix which I used to top a chicken pie in place of a pastry crust. This was very different, and just as well received. I tested this with two friends who were keen to try it: normally I put mixed herbs into savoury dumplings, so this made a delicious alternative. While the herbs and spices are individually available so you could theoretically mix your own, it would be a mission to include everything - this little jar really packs in the flavour and you are not left with a heap of different spice jars with just a little taken out of each one.
I used the last of the jar to make a marinade with olive oil and coconut cider vinegar; this was used to soak white fish for an hour prior to cooking. Having drained the fish, I poached it for a short time in coconut milk - it had already partially "cooked" in the marinade - and served it on a bed of mashed potatoes cooked in a little of the reserved marinade. This was served with a runner bean and tomato salad; a wonderful summer meal.
I would like to see the rub produced in a larger size - as mentioned, I went through a jar really quickly. I would also be interested in a slightly hotter version (more chilli perhaps) for people like me who appreciate a fuller flavour. Not that I am complaining; I can always add a pinch or two of chilli separately if I wish! But I travel a lot and also frequently cook in other people's kitchens, so it is useful to be as economic as possible on the packing front. But these are both minor issues; I will be buying it and recommending it to friends as well.
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