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Tina’s Crispy & Juicy Vegan Fried Chicken (Chxn)
The crispy-delicious-decadent-juicy flavor of this dish might just cause your brain to explode trying to figure out how it’s vegan – make at your own risk.
This is the kind of high-intensity recipe you will make when you have all day on a Sunday or during a Tuesday quarantine. This is neither simple or quick, but the reward is worth the effort. I adapted my recipe from various online recipes until I found the best of each.
- Prep Time: 2.5 hours + chilling
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Total Time: 3.5 hours+
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: meat alternative
- Cuisine: main course
- Diet: Vegan
- 1 can chickpeas + their water (aquafaba)
- 1 ounce water
- 1 Tablespoon Pinch Finger Lickin’ Chicken
- 1 Tablespoon Porcini Mushroom Salt
- 1 Tablespoon white wine or rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ cup silken tofu
- 1¼–1 ¾ cup vital wheat gluten
- Several cups vegetable oil
- 4 Tablespoons chickpea flour
- ¾ cup plant milk
- 1¼ teaspoon cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Pinch Spice Market Carolina BBQ On My Mind
- 2 cups plain white flour
- 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoon Grey French Salt
- 2¼ teaspoon Pinch Wings of Doom or Bay Seasoning
- ½ teaspoon ground Black Malabar Pepper
Make the Chxn
- In a high speed blender or food processor, combine chickpeas with all of the aquafaba, the extra water, Finger Lickin’ Chicken, Porcini Mushroom Salt, white wine or rice vinegar, onion powder, garlic powder, and tofu. Blend until very smooth.
- In the bowl of the mixer, fitted with a dough hook, combine the vital wheat gluten and the liquid from the blender. Knead on medium in the mixer for five minutes … You just made seitan. It should be smooth and stretchy, with a consistency like warmed silly putty but not like cold silly putty or a rubber band. If it is not right, the next step will not work! Add more gluten and mix another 4-5 minutes if needed.
- Cover the mixing bowl and rest for 10 min.
- Remove the dough from mixer and slice into three even sized pieces. Return two pieces to the covered bowl. (I put mine in fridge.)
- Take the first piece of dough and slice into six equal-ish pieces. Set aside. Lay out a large piece of parchment paper (NOT wax paper) on an open, flat surface.
- Place one of the small dough pieces on the left side of the parchment paper, then fold over to cover the dough. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough as thinly as you can. It doesn’t matter what shape it makes.
- Unfold the parchment and peel off the thin piece of seitan. (If you can’t do this, go back to the mixing bowl and add gluten to the whole dough batch.) Stretch it out a bit more with your fingers and place it flat on a plate. Brush lightly with vegetable oil.
- Repeat the process with the next piece of dough. Lay the new piece on top of the last, pushing down lightly with the flat of your hand to remove air bubbles between layers.
- When you get to the sixth (!) layer, stretch the top piece of dough down over all the other layers to envelop and and tuck under the bottom layer. It can be messy and not perfect – makes it look like real chxn pieces!
- Take the six-layer seitan bulk and place on a fresh piece of parchment and wrap it up tightly. Wrap again with aluminum foil and set inside steamer basket.
- Repeat the whole shebang with the remaining seitan. You will end up with three double-wrapped packages of seitan, six layers each.
- Fill the steamer with plenty of water and steam the heck out of those wrapped seitan packages for 90 MINUTES. Rearrange and flip them over halfway through (at 45 minute mark).
- Clean the kitchen and watch an episode of Nailed It while you wait.
- Remove the packages from the steamer and let cool in room temp for 20 min. Then, move packages to fridge for one hour or overnight. Keep wrapped!
- Take seitan out of packages and tear apart into roughly chxn breast size, or you can make nuggets-size. Just don’t make them too small.
If you are very tired now, put back in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for 2 months. If you’re ready to go, get the fryer ready!
Fry the Chxn
- In one small or medium bowl, combine chickpea flour, cider vinegar and Carolina BBQ On My Mind spice. Whisk well. This is your “egg” bath.
- In another medium or small bowl, combine spiced flour ingredients and stir well.
- Prepare your deep fryer (I can’t believe you own a deep fryer!) or your super dangerous pot of boiling oil. If you have enough oil to cover the chxn pieces, great. If not, you can flip over halfway through and try not to get shot in the face by popping oil.
- Bring the oil to med-high heat (340° F). (I used setting 6-7.)
- Dunk one chxn piece in the spiced flour to coat. Then, dunk it in the egg bath. Next, dunk it AGAIN in the spiced flour. Cover it good and well.
- CAREFULLY (as if it were boiling oil), lower the coated chxn into the pot with the slotted metal spoon or spider. Let it deep fry for 3-4 min until a rich, golden brown. Remove to a paper towel to drain. Once you get the hang of it, you can do multiple pieces at once.
- Eat while hot if possible. Leftover fried chxn can be eaten cold, but is best when fresh and hot.
- Calories: est. 442 per serving