Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Buffalo 'Chicken' Deliciousness

OK...So I haven't always been meat and dairy free.  Prior to quitting meat and dairy, I was in love with anything smothered and covered in buffalo sauce.  Anything boneless, that is.  Mainly because when I say LOVE, I mean from the depths of my soul I would kill someone for one bite of good buffalo sauce - to the point that the bones in wings just got in the damn way of my ravenous hunger for the delicious sauce.  Now, most people like that crap that they serve at wing places.  Although its alright, it doesn't compare to the sweet tanginess of a really good buffalo sauce that I've tasted and longed for after going dairy-free, since a good buffalo sauce, in my opinion is loaded with butter.  Well, in walks dairy-free vegan butter to save the day!  I used to make a mean buffalo sauce back in the day and I have since made just a few minor adjustments to veganize it.  For those you you who have not tried meatless meats, try them!  Another thing I loved like a fat kid loves pie was highly processed chicken sandwiches from fast food restaurants.  NEVER grilled.  Only fried chicken smothered in some sort of secret sauce and smushed between 2 white buns.  The thought now makes me drool and gag a little at the same time.  Some of the veg chicken options actually taste just like those chicken patties I would devour at fast food joints.  Honestly - from a fried chicken sandwich lover to another - they taste damn good.  I LOVE the Boca chicken patties.  (P.S. Quit using that damn microwave to heat things up.  Its effects are questionable at best.  Get a cheap toaster over.  The regular oven takes too long, hence the overuse of micro-radiation to cook your food.  Invest in a toaster oven.  They are fast, make food taste better than mushy junk out of the micro and they use less energy.)  In this recipe, I used Gardein 'chicken' tenders.  They too, are pretty damn delicious - especially smothered in buffalo sauce!  I also used pita since I didn't have any buns on hand - but you can make patties on a bun, tenders on a pita, or just smother the tenders or faux nuggets as an appetizer.  When using the butter, use Earth Balance, which is the more common one used in vegan cooking, or Smart Balance Light.  The Light version is vegan.  I used SB Light because its readily available at my local grocer and its often on sale BOGO.  And, its yummy.  Its the same damn thing most of you probably already use, mostly - 'buttery spreads'.   Try it.  You'll like it.  And finally - you can use corn starch in place of arrowroot powder - but by all means, cornstarch isn't something you go through fast - go to the health food store and buy the aluminum free healthier version!  Don't half-ass being healthy.  You wont get very far.

Buffalo Chicken Pita
Makes enough sauce for about 2-3 pitas.  I was cooking for myself so didn't go overboard with measurements.

Faux-Chicken of choice
Pita bread
Sauce (see recipe below)
Lettuce & tomato

Make faux-chicken according to package directions.  Allow to cool slightly outside of oven to make breading crispier.

If you are have the same problem I do with pesky pita bread being stiff and not flexible, wrap it in a wet paper towel - or better yet - just wet the damn pita.  Dont plunge it into a bucket of water, but using wet hands, just wet the damn thing and shove it in the toaster oven for a few minutes to soften in.  Then you can fold it in half, shove it back in the toaster oven and it will get a little crispier in the desired shape. 

Sauce1/3 c Vegan butter
1/4 c Louisiana hot sauce
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp agave nectar
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne or more to taste.  The hotter you like it, the more you dump in!
1/2 tsp arrowroot powder

Melt butter in sauce pan over medium heat.  Add hot sauce, vinegar, agave, garlic, and spices.  Whisk over medium heat until well blended.  Turn heat down a little bit to medium-low and add arrowroot powder.   Whisk for about 3-5 minutes until sauce thickens a little.  Turn heat off and allow to thicken just a tad more. 

Now throw your slightly cooled chicken into the sauce and toss to coat.  Shove that in the pita with lettuce and tomato and add more sauce if you have dreams like I do of bathing in it. 

Make it a meal and serve it up with sweet potato fries.  Bon Appetit!


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