Chicken is delicious... but chickens are also funny, silly, loving and always sentient. Therefore I don't eat them (or any animals), and lovingly encourage everyone to do the same.
In honor of National Fried Chicken Day (because everything gets a day) here's a few recipes for Vegan Fried Chicken.
1- Spicy Fried Cauliflower "Chicken"
This recipe is from Jenné Claiborne at Sweet Potato Soul. Also, cauliflower is totally having a moment right now. Go, cauliflower!
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 30 mins
This spicy fried cauliflower recipe has been updated since I created the video. The flax "egg" has been replaced with arrowroot which is added to the dry ingredients. This creates a crispier batter when fried. However, if you do not have arrowroot (or cornstarch), feel free to use the flax "egg" like shown in the video.
1 cup all purpose flour 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder or cornstarch ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper ½ teaspoon white pepper ½ teaspoon onion powder ½ teaspoon garlic powder ½ teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika ¼ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast ⅓ cup hot sauce ¼ cup unsweetened plain soy milk or other non-dairy milk 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 5 cups safflower oil, or other frying oil 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into large florets
In a medium-sized mixing bowl combine the flour, arrowroot powder, salt, cayenne pepper, white pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, Old Bay, and nutritional yeast.
In another bowl combine the hot sauce, soy milk, and Dijon mustard and whisk until creamy.
Heat the frying oil in a large dutch oven or fryer. It should be around 350°.
Use one hand to carefully dip a cauliflower floret into the wet mixture, then drop it into the flour mixture. Use your other hand (it should be dry) to coat it completely. Dip it back into the hot sauce mixture, and again into the dry mixture, keeping one hand devoted to wet and one to dry.
Carefully lower the twice coated cauliflower into the hot oil. Repeat with remaining cauliflower until you can’t fit any more into the pot. Cook for about 4-5 minutes, until the pieces are golden.
Transfer fried cauliflower to a large plate covered with two sheets of paper towel to absorb excess oil.
Continue to cook the remaining cauliflower. Serve hot.
2- Vegan Fried Chicken (Seitan)
This recipe is from Claryn at Hell Yeah It's Vegan uses seitan, or wheat gluten, so it def ain't GF.
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 1 hour 30 mins
Total time: 1 hour 45 mins
1½ c vital wheat gluten 1 tsp garlic powder 1½ tsp cumin ½ tsp salt ½ tsp pepper ½ tsp chili powder 1 c cold water 2 Tbsp soy sauce 2 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce ______ 5 c water 2 Tbsp soy sauce 2 Tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce ______ ⅓ c water 3 Tbsp spicy brown mustard 3 Tbsp flour 1 c flour ¼ c nutritional yeast 2 Tbsp cornmeal 1 Tbsp baking powder 1½ tsp cumin 1½ tsp garlic powder 1 tsp paprika ½ tsp salt ½ tsp pepper
For the seitan, mix together gluten, garlic powder, cumin, salt, pepper, and chili powder in a large bowl.
In a small bowl, mix together water, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. Add wet mixture to dry and stir well.
Knead once or twice to work gluten into a ball.
Divide into at least 6 parts and shape into rough discs. Don't be afraid to really work and stretch them out thin; this elastic dough doesn't respond to gentle handling, and the discs will thicken substantially as they cook.
In a large pot, whisk together 5 cups water, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. Place cutlets in broth, cover, and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer cutlets, covered, for 60 minutes, flipping them halfway through.
In the meantime, assemble the breading. In a wide, shallow bowl, mix together water, mustard and flour until smooth. Set aside.
In another wide, shallow bowl, mix together flour, nutritional yeast, cornmeal, baking powder, and remaining spices. Set aside.
When seitan is done, remove from pot and let them drain on a plate.
Pour a generous ½” peanut oil into a frying pan over medium-high heat. Dip the tip of a wooden skewer into the oil to tell if it's ready; it should bubble steadily, but should not be smoking. If you add your cutlets too early, they’ll just soak up oil!
Working fast, dredge cutlets in wet breading mixture, followed by dry breading mixture.
Add two cutlets to the hot oil at a time and fry each side for a couple of minutes until golden.
Repeat until all cutlets are done, placing them on a cooling rack stood over a plate so excess oil can drip off without making your finished product soggy.
The time it takes for your seitan to cook fully may vary depending on several variables, including how rapid your simmer is. Be sure that your cutlets are fully cooked through to the desired degree before breading the cutlets, as frying won't alter them much. If they're gummy or tough, simmer them a while longer!