It’s finally here, vegan chicken! I have always been a fan of tofurky but it’s quite expensive and not available everywhere, so I wanted to make my own. The result is a super tender “Chick’n” with a very meaty and fibrous texture, this chick’n will blow your mind!
Get ready for something meaty!
After taking a look at the ingredients of Tofurky, I found out they were using tofu as the second ingredient. Tofu actually does a lot, it makes the seitan less chewy, more tender, and gives it a better texture overall.
The thing with seitan is that the final texture can be completely different based on how you knead it and how you cook it. For this recipe, we absolutely want to knead it for a long time to develop a fibrous texture, and then cook it wrapped in foil so it doesn’t expand or develop a spongy texture.
There are many recipes that call for garbanzo or navy beans to add tenderness to seitan, the thing is I didn’t want to add beans because I find them a bit hard to digest sometimes. So I stick to wheat gluten + tofu + seasonings + a secret ingredient to replace the beans: jackfruit! We are not using jackfruit for its texture here since it will be puréed with the other ingredients. Jackfruit adds tenderness to the seitan and makes it less chewy, which is usually a problem with seitan.
Regarding the flavorings, I didn’t use much as I wanted the chick’n to be versatile. Also, adding spices and herbs to the dough makes it darker and a bit less smooth so I didn’t add any. I prefer to flavor the ckick’n with a marinade afterwards. Now onto the process!
The first step is to blend the tofu with the water, jackfruit, salt, and a couple of tablespoons of oil until very smooth.
Next, you transfer the wet mixture to a stand mixer and add the vital wheat gluten. You want to knead the seitan for at least 20 minutes for it to develop a fibrous texture. If you don’t knead enough, the seitan won’t have that meaty texture. I highly recommend using a stand mixer, do not use a food processor, please! I broke the blade of mine when testing this recipe. The dough is very elastic so it won’t work well in a food processor.
Once your dough has developed a nice texture, it’s time to cook it. I’m sharing two ways to do so: in a pressure cooker or in the Instant Pot. You wrap the dough in two sheets of aluminum foil and pressure cook for about 30 minutes.
When your seitan is cooked, let it cool completely before shredding it, or cutting into the desired shape. I love to make shredded chick’n by simply pulling the seitan with my hands, but you can also cut it into pieces, or make chick’n breasts if you prefer!
Look at that fibrous and meaty texture!
I highly recommend letting the seitan cool in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before using as it will get a better texture.
At this point the chicken is not flavored, so you will need to add flavor with a marinade. I’m sharing 3 marinades in the notes, but feel free to experiment!
This chick’n is super tender, very meaty and has that fibrous texture that is very similar to chicken. Thanks to the tofu and seitan, it is also very high in protein (28g per serving!).
WHERE TO USE VEGAN CHICK’N
This vegan chick’n is extremely versatile, it can be baked, sautéed, or grilled.
- In salads: Simply shred it and add it to your favorite salads.
- In curries: Add shredded chick’n at the beginning of cooking if you want it to soak up the flavors of the sauce and become very tender. Add at the end if you want a slightly firmer texture.
- In pasta dishes: Finely shredded, sautéed, and added to spicy noodles, yum!
- In stir-fries: Marinade your chick’n before adding it to stir-fried vegetables.
- In soups, bakes, and so much more!
I hope you will love this vegan chick’n! It’s SO meaty, versatile, and would even surprise meat-eaters!
Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!
The Best Vegan Chick'n
- Drain and rinse the tofu. Pat it dry very well with kitchen paper towels. Add it to a high-speed blender. Drain and rinse the young jackfruit, remove the hardcore parts and discard. Add the jackfruit to the blender. Note: after removing the hardcore parts of the jackfruit, you should end up with about 7 ounces (200g) of jackfruit.
- Add the water, oil, salt, and onion powder to the blender and blend on high speed for about 30 seconds, or until very smooth.
- Transfer the wet mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater/paddle. Add the vital wheat gluten and all-purpose flour. Knead on speed 2 for about 5 minutes.
- At first it will look very wet, that is normal. Keep kneading. Once it's starting to turn into a dough, replace the flat beater with the dough hook and keep kneading on speed 2 for at least 20 minutes. This may seem like a long time but it's essential to get a very fibrous texture. Make sure you stay near the stand mixer as it will probably move. The dough will be soft and slightly sticky. Again, this is normal, you don't want the dough to be too firm.
- Once the dough has a fibrous texture, divide it into two balls. Shape each balls into a log and wrap tightly in aluminum foil. Wrap in a second layer of foil.
- Fill a pressure cooker (or Instant Pot) with cold water to the 2/3 (about 3 liters). Place the seitan logs in the pressure cooker. The logs will be submerged in water.
- If using a pressure cooker: heat over medium heat, once it is under pressure, cook for 30 minutes. If using an Instant Pot: set to Manual Pressure Cook and set the time to 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, release the pressure. Carefully remove the seitan rolls from the cooker and let them cool completely.
- Once cold, remove the rolls from the aluminum foil, transfer to a plate and cover with plastic film. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. I found out that chilling in the refrigerator for a few hours gives it a more fibrous, meatier texture.
- Next, using your hands, shred/pull the seitan chicken into bite-size pieces (or larger pieces!). You can now use it in any recipe! I recommend preparing a marinade before stir-frying or baking to add more flavor.
- Chick'n will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.