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 as I prefer to flavor the ckick’n with a marinade. 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 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. It can be used baked, sautéed, or grilled.
You can use this chick’n in salads, stir-fries, curries, bake, pasta, and so much more! Thanks to the tofu and seitan, it is also very high in protein!
Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!
- 9 ounces (250g) firm tofu
- 1 20-ounce can young green jackfruit
- 2/3 cup (157ml) water
- 2 tbsp (30ml) oil
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp onion powder
- 1 and 1/4 cup (140g) vital wheat gluten
- 2 tbsp (16g) all-purpose flour
- Drain and rinse the tofu, and 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.
- 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.
- Once it’s starting to look like 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, this is normal.
- Once the dough has a fibrous texture, divide it into two balls.
- Shape the balls into a roll 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 rolls in the pressure cooker.
- 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.
- 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.
Olive oil & Thyme: Combine 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp dried thyme, 1 tsp dried rosemary, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1 clove of garlic minced in a bowl. Add about 1 and 1/2 cup of shredded chick’n and stir to coat.
Coconut Yogurt Curry: Combine 1/4 cup coconut yogurt, 1 tbsp lime juice, 2 tsp maple syrup, 1 tsp curry powder, 1/4 tsp chili, and 1/4 tsp salt in a bowl. Add about 1 and 1/2 cup of shredded chick’n and stir to coat.
Teriyaki: Combine 2 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp maple syrup, 1 tbsp white rice vinegar, 1 glove of garlic, and 1 tsp sesame oil in a bowl. Add about 1 and 1/2 cup of shredded chick’n and stir to coat.
- Serving Size: 1 (about 100g)
- Calories: 156
- Sugar: 0.2g
- Fat: 5.7g
- Carbohydrates: 7.9g
- Fiber: 1.8g
- Protein: 18.7g