I like chicken! As a matter of fact, I like to cook chicken but, most importantly, I really like to eat it!
It has lean meat that is very versatile. Hence, chicken meat can be used as the main protein in various dishes. You could see it in flavorful stews, juicy and fresh-from-the-oven iterations, healthy steamed diet meals, and classic yet timeless deep-fried country-style chicken.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to cooking and eating chicken.
However, if you have been keeping up with the trends, you can see that plant-based meals are poised to replace our animal-sourced food, including chicken!
Because of the growing and productive discourse of sustainable food processes and options, veganism has been propelled to be at the forefront.
You might have seen vegan options in your local grocery stores and restaurants, ranging from vegan bread, non-dairy milk, plant-based tofu, and vegan meat, including vegan pork, vegan beef, and our beloved vegan chicken.
But what of this vegan chicken? What is it like? What is it made of? How do you make one?
Curious? Read the article below about vegan chicken and the frequently asked questions.
What is Vegan Chicken?
So what is vegan chicken?
As mentioned in the previous section, the vegan chicken was borne from the consumer movements pushing for an eating population that aims to address animal welfare and environmental issues linked to our meat-based diets.
Moreover, it was also conceived to have consumers who eat healthier and more nutritious food through plant-based, non-dairy, and gluten-free meals.
A vegan chicken is a plant-based “meat” that is supposed to resemble and taste like chicken.
In short, vegan chicken imitates what chicken tastes and looks like.
Furthermore, vegan chicken does not contain any traces of animal meat and contains animal by-products like milk, eggs, oil, or butter, just to name a few.
What is Vegan Chicken Made Of?
Now that we have gotten ourselves acquainted with the vegan movement that spurred the creation of vegan options, mainly vegan chicken, it’s time to discuss the usual ingredients that compose it.
Vegan chicken is typically made of pea protein, soy derivatives, wheat oil, and other seasonings.
Moreover, sunflower or coconut oil is usually used in making vegan chicken, for they typically act as a fat source to help bind the plant-based meat.
The pea protein (or even bamboo fiber) gives the vegan chicken its fibrous texture, which supposedly imitates real chicken meat.
Next, the plant-based thickeners—such as lactates and cellulose—are responsible for holding all the vegan meat together.
As for finishing touches, yeast extracts and seasonings are usually added to the vegan chicken meat to give it savory, natural, umami flavors akin to regular chicken.
How to Make Vegan Chicken?
If you are too busy to go out and buy yourself some store-bought vegan chicken yet curious enough to try making one yourself in the halls of your kitchen, then follow this recipe:
For the ingredients, the following are needed for you to make your vegan chicken: one and one-half cups of wheat gluten, one-third cup of all-purpose flour, two tablespoons of nutritional yeast, one teaspoon of onion powder, one teaspoon of garlic powder, one-half teaspoon of paprika, one and one-half cups of vegan chicken flavored broth (or vegetable broth), one teaspoon of salt, and two tablespoons of olive oil.
Add all the dry ingredients to a bowl and mix them while pouring non-vegan broth and olive oil.
Stir the mixture well until it becomes dough-like. You could also use an electric mixer while doing this.
Once the dough has formed and is suitable for molding, place it on a lightly floured flat surface and slowly knead it for at least one minute. You could then divide the dough into about six parts.
Wrap the six newly-formed vegan chicken parts in tin foil and steam for at least 30 minutes.
After this, you can remove them from their foil wraps and cook to your heart’s delight—be it fry, grill, or whatever method you like.
If you are not yet in the mood to eat your freshly-made vegan chicken, you could store it in your fridge for at least a week. Always remember that plant-based food is usually enjoyed when it is fresh!
How to Make Fried Vegan Chicken?
Speaking of frying chicken, how about we make some fried vegan chicken?
Follow the first steps in making vegan chicken—combining all ingredients and stirring them until they become dough ready for kneading.
After this, you could start preparing your buttermilk mixture—of course, it should be vegan—and another separate plate to place your flour and spices. This is for marinating and coating your vegan fried chicken.
Start by coating your vegan chicken meat with a dry mixture of flour and seasoning. Afterward, coat it with the vegan buttermilk mixture you have prepared. Lastly, top it off by coating the chicken with flour and seasoning.
You could fry your recently marinated and coated vegan chicken into a 350 degrees hot pot of vegetable (or any other vegan) oil. Fry the plant-based meat until it turns a golden brown color.
And there you go! Your fried vegan chicken is ready to serve! You could also add any vegan dips and sauces you like to flavor your plant-based meal. No one says you couldn’t enjoy meat from being vegan. You have so many options to enjoy chicken still while being vegan, so why not try this recipe the next time around?