Vegan Fried Chicken
Best Vegan Fried Chicken recipe from scratch with a crispy panko crust and moist interior. It’s made from a combination of vital wheat gluten (seitan) and jackfruit that yields the most perfect chick’n texture you’ve ever had.
Servings 6 people
Seitan Jackfruit Cutlets:
- 1.25 cups vital wheat gluten (+ extra as needed)
- 20 oz can young jackfruit (green unripe packed in brine or water)
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tbsp fresh Italian parsley minced
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 pinch chili flakes optional to taste
- 3/4 cup vegetable broth
- 3/4 cup aquafaba (water or unsweetened plant milk)
- 3 tbsp flour i used chickpea flour
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- black pepper to taste
- 2 cups flour (chickpea, whole wheat, all purpose etc...)
- 2 cups panko bread crumbs
- olive oil for frying
- 2 + qt water or vegetable broth for boiling the seitan cutlets
Make the Seitan Chicken
Drain and rinse the jackfruit pieces. Discard any seed pods or extra tough pieces you might find. Use your hands and shred the jackfruit into smaller pieces that resemble pulled chicken.
In a large bowl whisk together the vital wheat gluten with the spices and herbs. Add the jackfruit pieces and toss to coat all over. Add the vegetable stock and use your hand to work everything into a dough. Knead for a few minutes until everything is incorporated well, the dough is stretchy and a little sticky. Add a little more wheat gluten if needed.
Tear the sietan into eight pieces then stretch each one into a thin pattie. Place on parchment paper and set aside. ( I make rounds because we will tear them again later before frying).
Boil or Bake the Seitan
Bring a medium pot of water or vegetable stock to a boil. If using water also add a good pinch of salt and a bay leaf or some thyme sprigs into the mix for flavor. Add the seitan cutlets to the boiling water and cook for 20 minutes. You might see some of the jackfruit pieces fall apart at this point, do not fret, it’s ok let it be. Alternatively preheat your oven to 375"F and bake the "chick'n" pieces in a baking dish covered with water or veggie stock for 35 minutes. (Make sure to also cover the dish with aluminum foil or a lid).
Transfer the boiled/baked seitan to a plate and allow to cool. Once cool enough to handle, use your hands and tear each cutlet in two or even three pieces. You want Irregular pieces so don’t worry about shape too much.
Fry the Vegan Chicken
Meanwhile assemble your breading station. Place the flour and panko bread crumbs in two separate shallow dishes.
Whisk the batter ingredients in a shallow bowl and place between the flour and panko bowls.
Dredge each cutlet in the flour first and shake off the excess. Dip in the batter then roll in the panko crumbs. Place on a cooling rack while repeating the process with the rest of the vegan chicken pieces.
Preheat 2-3 inches of olive oil or vegetable oil in a cast iron skillet between 360” and 375”F.
Working in batches fry the vegan chicken cutlets for a couple of minutes on each side until golden brown to your linking. Transfer to the cooling rack and repeat with the rest.
Enjoy hot with some nice mashed potatoes, in a sandwich with your favorite sauce or sliced up in a hearty salad.
- The batter - instead of making your own you can use a store bought vegan egg mix like Follow Your Heart vegan egg.
- Reheating - best way to reheat your vegan chicken cutlets is to broil them for 2-3 minutes on each side until crispy and warmed through. Alternatively you can toast them in the toaster oven for a crispy result, or just microwave but this method won't make them crisp up again.
- Panko substitutions - regular bread crumbs, crushed corn flakes or rice Krispies cereal.
Calories: 448kcal | Carbohydrates: 79g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 487mg | Potassium: 302mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 535IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 132mg | Iron: 5mg