best vegan “chicken”

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Creating vegan “meat” recipes is fun and frustrating at the same time. I’ve had a couple recipes that have failed miserably, and others that worked beautifully. The more I learn about cooking seitan (sometimes called “wheat meat”) the more I love it. You might be surprised that, even though it’s made from vital wheat gluten, it’s high in protein, low in fat, low in carbs, and has zero cholesterol. What? Yup. It’s true.

An interesting facet to all of this seitan cooking is the reaction I get on facebook when I post a recipe. Mine was a non-vegan blog for 9 years prior to my transition to veganism, so it’s understandable that some of my followers are going to have things to say about what they consider “fake” meat. Most of the time I’m greeted with curious questions which I love. But sometimes I get comments like: “Why don’t you just make real chicken? For God’s sake?” or they just dive into the sad, tired comments that all of us vegans just adore… like “I had this cousin who had this friend who almost died going vegan. True Story.” Okay, Karen. 🙂 Or my all time favorites, “Where do you get your protein?” or “I eat real chicken because I get them from a farm where they’re happy and roam free.”

Oh, okay. Happy until they get their heads chopped off. Sounds fabulous. Do you hear the words that are coming out of your mouth?

But I digress…

Before I say too much, I think I’ll just share the recipe. 😉

This made about 8 pieces of vegan chicken. It may make more or less for you, depending on what size you choose to make your pieces.

3 cups vital wheat gluten

1 and 3/4 cup cooked white beans (like Navy beans or Cannellini)

6 Tablespoons nutritional yeast

4 Tablespoons tahini sauce

1 Tablespoon garlic powder

1 Tablespoon onion powder

2 Tablespoons poultry seasoning (yup, it’s vegan)

2/3 cup vegan “no-chicken” broth (I use Better Than Bouillon brand)

1 Tablespoon soy sauce or mild miso paste

Mix all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl until well combined. Knead for two minutes. Cut into single serving pieces (whatever that looks like to you.) Flatten pieces to 1/4 inch thickness with a rolling pin and then gently drop them into boiling water. Reduce water to a VERY GENTLE simmer. (This is important. You don’t want to keep the water boiling or your seitan will come out weird and spongy.) Cook for 15 minutes. Drain and cool completely before placing in an air tight container with your favorite marinade. I used a combination of salt, pepper, chopped up fresh herbs, a tiny bit of olive oil, and some mirin. Use whatever you like.

Refrigerate until ready to cook. I just fry mine up in a grill pan until lightly golden with grill marks on both sides and then I brush them with BBQ sauce, teriyaki sauce, or peanut sauce. This time I served my vegan chicken on a bed of seasoned couscous with a big salad on the side.

Enjoy!

~Melissa

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