Going plant-based doesn't mean you can't enjoy the occasional treat and that's exactly why we created this brilliant vegan chicken recipe, made with lemon and thyme. We know cravings are real. We've been vegan for two years now and we still have fancy eating naughty foods sometimes. It's normal, we spent most of our lives conditioned to like certain foods. Lucky for us, there are awesome alternatives to satisfy even the weirdest of craving. Starting with this vegan chicken, through an awesome juicy looking vegan steak to sizzling vegan sausages.
What's vegan chicken
Don't worry, when I say vegan chicken, I don't mean real chicken turned vegan. Ok, bad joke, I get it. Vegan chicken is made with seitan as most of my other "meat-like" recipes. Seiten is wheat gluten super popular in Asia. This ingredient has been used in China since the 6th century. Can you imagine? Such a simple ingredient, sometimes recommended by doctors to help prevent and treat diabetes.
Seitan, mixed with the right ingredients (like you will find it in this recipe) is actually an excellent meat replacement. The result is a meat-like consistency, where you can use a proper fork and steak knife. There is a proper bite to this vegan chicken and it's not mushy in any way.
What's great with vegan chicken is that it can be transformed into any dish you want. Cut it into strips and dig it in chilli sauce. Make it with lemon and thyme in a skillet like this recipe. Cover it in tomato sauce and marinate it a little. The options are endless and we will continue to write vegan chicken related recipes.
Should you eat a lot of this vegan chicken? Seitan, while vegan, is actually processed food. It is made by washing wheat flour dough with water until all the starch granules have been removed, leaving the sticky insoluble gluten as an elastic mass. So make sure you pair it with food which is high in protein and fibre like beans (like in this vegan chicken recipe).
You should always aim for wholefood ingredients where possible, but every now and then, you can absolutely eat a main of vegan chicken.
How to make vegan chicken
I know what you are thinking: vegan chicken sounds like a difficult task. Well, it's not! It's quicker than you think. It takes just 10 minutes to put together. The longest part is waiting for the vegan chicken to steam.
The vegan chicken is actually chickpea based. The chickpea, combined with tomato sauce, vegetable stock and spices is then sort of "held together" by the vital gluten. So technically you are just eating awesome tasting chickpeas, fried in a skillet with lemon and thyme.
Vegan chicken base
The first step is to add chickpea, nutritional yeast, tomato sauce, vegetable stock, soy sauce, dijon mustard, oregano, paprika, coriander powder, turmeric, liquid smoke, black pepper and salt to a food processor and process until all ingredients become a runny paste.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add the vital wheat gluten. You want to mix this until you get a sort of firm but stretchy dough. Be gentle when mixing the ingredients as the less you knead, the tender the vegan chicken breast. If you over-knead, the result will be a tough vegan chicken breast and will get a little drier during the cooking process.
Cut your dough into 4 roughly equal sizes. Shape them a little to resemble a chicken breast. Wider on one end, and slightly thinner on the other. Wrap each vegan chicken breast in aluminium foil. Using a steamer, steam them for 20 minutes.
Vegan Chicken Dressing
While your vegan chicken is steaming, it's time to make the vegan chicken dressing. Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix them together. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Add more lemon juice if you prefer a tangier flavour.
Frying The Vegan Chicken In A Skillet
Once your vegan chicken has steamed, unwrap the aluminium foil and transfer them to a deep plate. Pour the vegan chicken dressing over it. Turn around and make sure it's fully covered in dressing.
Add lemon slices and fresh thyme sprigs to a skillet. Drizzle a little oil over them. Warm up the skillet on medium heat, then carefully add the vegan chicken breasts. Fry for about 3-5 minutes on each side, or until it's golden brown on both sides. Serve immediately, hot.
Pair Vegan Chicken with:
- Mango Habanero Salad
- Italian Flat Bean Recipe
- Carrot Mango Salad
- Gigante Bean Salad
- Tuscan Panzanella Salad
You can also grill the vegan chicken if you prefer or sizzle it on the hot bbq. The oil-lemon dressing will further hydrate the vegan chicken so you will get a super nice and tender bite.
This recipe has been developed entirely by Yuzu Bakes. Any resemblance with other recipes is purely coincidental.