zaftigvegan (zaftigvegan) wrote in vegancooking,

Chicken-style Seitan Cutlets

Today I offer up my latest recipe for chicken-style seitan cutlets. I made half this recipe into vegan fried "chicken", which is pictured above. The rest I have frozen. I also froze the broth. I intend to make a ch'eitan noodle soup at some point. They would also be good chopped and added to stir-fries, stews, casseroles, etc. The possibilities are endless.

Two things about this method of cooking seitan (because it's easy to muck it up and end up with spongey tripe-like blobs). 1) Make sure the liquids you add to the dry ingredients are cold. 2) Make sure that the broth is cool before both adding, and removing the cutlets from the pot. I don't pretend to know the food science behind these tips, I just know they are the truth. Deviate from these instructions at your own peril.

Chicken-ish Seitan Cutlets

Dry ingredients
3 cups gluten flour
1 cup nutritional yeast
1 cup chickpea flour or wheat flour
2 tbsp tapioca starch or arrowroot flour
1 tbsp poultry seasoning
1 tbsp dried parsley
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
black pepper to taste

Wet ingredients
1/2 lb medium-firm tofu
1/3 cup cold water
more cold water as needed
2 tbsp oil

12 cups cold water
1 onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
3 or more cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 tbsp poultry seasoning
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 tbsp sea salt
2 bay leaves

Using a stand mixer* with it's whisk attachment, blend dry ingredients well. While they are mixing, puree the tofu with the 1/3 cup water, until smooth. Place this is a liquid measure and add water to make up 2 1/2 cups liquid, total. Whisk in the 2 tbsp oil.

Switch to the dough hook on your stand mixer. With the mixer running, begin slowly adding the (cold) wet ingredients to the blended dry ingredients. Let this mix on low speed until it forms a ball. Turn to medium speed and let this knead for about 10 minutes or so, pausing occasionally to scrape down the sides or re-adjust the dough as necessary. While it is mixing, place all the broth ingredients in a large soup pot, but do not heat it up yet.

Turn off your mixer and break the dough into 24 equally sized lumps. Using a rolling pin, roll these out into very thin (as thin as you can get them) cutlets. Place each cutlet into the cold broth. After you've rolled out all the dough and put all the cutlets in the soup pot, let them rest in the cold water for ten minutes.

Turn the heat on medium high, cover and bring to a fast simmer. Reduce heat to low, keep covered, and cook for one hour. All the cutlets will rise to the top of the pot. That's ok. You can lift the lid now and then and try to poke them around a bit to make sure they are cooking evenly, but be gentle as they will be quite fragile.

After the hour is up, remove the pot from the heat. Let it stand for another hour or so, or until it's cooled enough to no longer be steaming. Gently removed the cutlets from the broth. They are good to eat as-is or to be used in recipes as you wish. Strain and save the broth for use in soups, stews, gravies and sauces. The cutlets can be frozen for up to six months - I suggest layering them in an airtight container between sheets of parchment or waxed paper.

This was our dinner last night. Fried ch'eitan, roasted German butter potatoes, and a carrot slaw with cranberries, onions, poppyseeds and a tarragon-maple-mustard dressing.

*Mixing note: you don't need a stand mixer to make these. You can mix & knead them in a bread machine or even by hand. Just remember the longer you knead the dough, the more toothsome the cutlets will be once cooked. Roll up your sleeves and put those pipes to work, baby.
Tags: seitan, substitutes-meat-chicken
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