These aren’t chicken. They don’t taste like chicken and they don’t feel sad about it and neither should you. They really aren’t even trying to be chicken, they are just their own delightful thing that happened to be inspired by a dish usually made with chicken. They are crispy on the outside, tender and spiced on the inside and you will be making this again.
While tofu is the standard vegan/vegetarian meat substitute, I just don’t love it. I feel like it doesn’t really have anything going for it in the flavour or the texture department. So in searching for a reasonable substitute that wasn’t a highly processed, already premade thing, I managed to come up with these. They are delicious. I mean. I of course had to taste to adjust seasoning… but may have done more tasting than strictly necessary before even breading and frying them.
Time: about 40 minutes
Serves: makes 4-5 servings
You will need:
- 1 cup white navy beans (drained and rinsed)
- 1 cup chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
- 1 large clove of garlic, minced
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley + more for garnish
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- 2/3 cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 tbsp sunflower or olive oil + 1tbsp additional for brushing
- 1/2 cup high gluten flour (80%)
- 1/2 cup veggie broth
- salt and pepper to taste
- canola oil or vegetable oil for frying
- vegan mozzarella cheese, or regular mozza if you’re just feeling vegetarian rather than vegan
- about 1/2 cup of your favourite marinara sauce
- 1 cup panko
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/4 tsp basil
- 1/4 tsp oregano
- several grinds of fresh pepper
Add chickpeas, navy beans, garlic, shallot, fresh parsley, nutritional yeast, basil, oregano, thyme, panko, vegetable broth, and 2 tbsp oil to a food processor. Pulse in short bursts until ingredients are combined.
Remove mixture to a large bowl and add 1/2 cup of high gluten flour. Mix together and knead it a bit. At this point, if you wish, you can wrap in plastic and leave overnight in the fridge. Letting the mixture rest does seem to give it an easier to work with texture(tends to stick together a bit more and is easier to flip when frying) but is not strictly necessary.
Mix breading ingredients together. A pie plate works great for this, but a shallow bowl will work as well.
Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. You want the oil to be hot enough that there is vigorous bubbling when you drop some crumbs in. If your oil is too cold, your patties won’t get that nice crisp crust and will be somewhat soggy and oily.
Divide bean dough depending on how large you would like your patties to be. I find if you do larger patties, they look more like chicken breasts, but smaller patties cook and flip a little better. So- say 8 if you want smaller patties, and 5 if you want larger ones. Press them into an ovalish patty shape. Brush each side with the reserved oil and then place into the crumb dish. Firmly press breading onto both sides and around the edges of the patty.
Pan fry until golden brown on both sides, flipping once. Remove to a baking pan. When all patties are golden, top each with 1-2 tbsp of your favourite marinara (don’t spread it around, you want those edges to stay crisp) and then top that with the cheese or cheese product of your choice. Bake in a 450F oven for 10 minutes until cheese is melted and sauce is warm.