I Can’t Believe it’s Not Chicken!

I have been a vegetarian for just over a year now, and as of January 1, 2011, I have gone vegan.  Let me assure you that it is not because I feel bad for the animals.  Mind you, I care quite a bit about animals (I own two rescued dogs and three rescued cats), but I primarily went vegan to lose weight.  The parameters were simple:  No animal products whatsoever, no added fats or oils whatsoever (including cooking spray), and no refined carbs whatsoever (white sugar, white flour, white rice, etc.).  Daunting at first, I know, but then I came across this wonderful blog called the fat-free vegan kitchen (http://blog.fatfreevegan.com) run by a fabulous woman by the name of Susan V.  This site, along with a few others held my hand and led me into the scary world of nutritional yeast, vital wheat gluten, and agave nectar.

In high school, I was captain of my culinary team and throughout my undergraduate years I taught gourmet cooking classes.  I am no novice to the kitchen, but vegan was/is a whole new world to me.  But I am happy to say that 29 days in I am officially making my own seitan based on my own recipe and I couldn’t be prouder.  For the past 21 years I had been living in the South and I wanted a bit of that for lunch today, so I decided to make my own “healthy vegan southern-style oven ‘fried’ chik’n seitan.”  I know it’s a mouthful and a bit contradictory, but it was amazing.

This being my first food post, I did not have the foresight to put together a nice place setting to photograph.  Nor have I created a nutritional profile for the dish yet, but I promise to update with the nutritional information soon.  So if you’re not weak hearted, and have a bit of time to make your own seitan…Take a Bite!

Chik’n Seitan

1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
1/4 nutritional yeast
1/2 cup water
2   1/2 cups of water
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 cup unbleached flour
1/4 cup non-dairy milk
3/4 teaspoon mustard powder
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs 
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
Fresh ground pepper and additional salt to taste 

Mix the seitan ingredients until well combined and knead for about a minute on a clean surface that has been dusted with a little wheat gluten.  The dough will be very stretchy.  Flatten to about a half of an inch and cut into desired shapes or sizes (I cut into 6 strips of 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch wide).  Keep in mind that the seitan will double in size when cooked.

In a medium stockpot, combine all of the broth ingredients and bring to a boil.  Carefully add the seitan pieces to the broth, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer.  Be sure to stir the seitan every ten minutes for about 40-50 minutes until most of the broth is gone.  Smaller pieces take less time.

I usually cook a double batch of this at least the night before.  This allows the seitan to rest after being cooked.  It should last for week in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

To make the oven “fried” seitan, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a shallow dish, add the unbleached flour and season with salt and pepper.  In  another bowl, whisk the non-dairy milk and mustard untill blended well.  Mix the remaining ingredients (the panko and seasonings) well and set aside. 

Dredge the prepared seitan pieces in the flour mixture and shake to remove excess flour.  Then dip the piece in the liquid mixture allowing any extra liquid to drip off.  Finally, coat in the breadcrumbs and place them on a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat (alternatively, you could use some non-stick cooking spray, but this recipe contains no added fat). 

Repeat this for the rest of the seitan pieces and place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes, turning once halfway through, until lightly browned.

I would pair this with a Columbia Valley Pinot Grigio or a nice pale ale depending on your tastes.


~ by thevintedlawstudent on January 29, 2011.

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