Vegan Fried Chicken

Have you ever made your own seitan before? It’s super easy! This looks like a very involved recipe, but it really isn’t. You are just making the seitan and then breading it and frying it. It’s just a little time consuming because the seitan has to cook for an hour. This “fried chicken” looks like fried chicken breasts to me. Taste-wise, no, we aren’t there yet. They were crispy and wonderful on the outside, but the inside was too tender, almost like tofu. Maybe I didn’t cook the seitan enough? In any case, don’t expect it to taste like fried chicken. But, for what it is, it’s good! Liv ate several pieces cut up (like nuggets), and Toby ate two sandwiches! I made “chicken” sandwiches, with Veganaise and tomatoes from our volunteer tomato plants.

rating: 9

Vegan Fried Chicken

Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 1 hour 30 mins
Total time: 1 hour 45 mins

Serves: 6


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.
Serve hot!

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!

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