Easy vegan chicharrón de pollo- Dominican fried chicken

Chicharron de pollo

 

Chicharron de pollo

chicharrón de pollo minus the pollo…?

Vegan chicharrón de pollo, is that even possible!? It sure is! This recipe is just as greasy, flavorful, and comforting. It’s one of those recipes that will persuade meat-lovers to open the vegan/ plant-based door. YES! It truly is that good! However, just like chicharrón de Pollo, you wouldn’t want to necessarily eat it every day, It is fried after all. However, it is healthier and definitely more guilt-free so you can absolutely enjoy it more often than actual chicharron de Pollo.

I created this recipe when we decided to incorporate more plant-based dishes into our diet.  Like many, I couldn’t live without fried chicken in my life!! If eating plant-based meant no fried chicken, I knew I wasn’t going to commit haha!! This encouraged me to experiment and create a fried chicken dish that would leave us 100% satisfied without missing the meat. Challenge accepted and accomplished!!

 

 

 

What is the secret to making this vegan dish so meaty?

To replicate the texture of meat, I used oyster mushrooms. Why you may ask? Well, oyster mushrooms are light in flavor meaning they don’t have that strong earthy smell or flavor that most mushrooms tend to have. They also have a very similar texture and appearance to meat when they’re cooked.

 

True story: When I first had some friends try this recipe, I didn’t mention that it was vegan. In fact, I introduced it as boneless chicharrón de Pollo. After they ate it, I asked for their honest opinions and guess what, they loved it! When I mentioned it was meatless, they honestly couldn’t believe it. That’s the power of oyster mushrooms! It’s absolutely fascinating how much oyster mushrooms actually resemble meat. 

 

 

Chicharron de pollo

 

 

 

 

chicharron de pollo

How did I make my Chicharrón de pollo more nutritional!

Let’s be honest here, there isn’t much nutrition when you pop anything into a fryer. But everything in moderation is a great way to quench those cravings, there’s no need to feel deprived from the food you like to eat. That feeling causes stress and a negative association with food, we never want that!

Instead, find ways to moderate the recipe to make it more nutritional where possible. Using mushrooms instead of a meat product for this chicharrón de Pollo recipe is already a step in the right direction. To make this recipe slightly more nutritious, instead of using white flour I used gram flour (chickpea flour). Gram flour is more flavorful and has a higher nutritional value than the heavily processed white flour we tend to swear by.

Gram flour is high in protein and fiber while also keeping low in carbohydrates and calories. The best part is, it’s also gluten-free! So definitely give gram flour a try. 

In this recipe, the gram flour also gives a much better crisp to the fried mushrooms. However unlike white flour, gram flour will brown much faster, so just make sure to keep a close eye when frying. 

 

 

chicharron de pollo

If you’re looking for a recipe to wow meat-lovers with vegan food, or you just want some fried chicken without all the guilt,  then this recipe is what you’re looking for. I guarantee you’ll absolutely love it! 

Serve this chicharrón de pollo as a starter or as a finger food platter with  El Colmadito’s mighty garlic mojo sauce for a perfect bite. It’ll be the highlight of your party. You can find the recipe for El Colmadito’s mighty mojo sauce HERE!

Or if you want to impress your guests at a dinner party, serve this chicharrón de pollo with some Arroz y habichuelas con coco and don’t forget the ensalada de papa for a fantastic ultra Dominican vegan comfort meal!!!

Don’t forget to check out my Adobo recipe, as it is used here.

 

Chicharron de pollo

Vegan Chicharrón de Pollo- Dominican fried chicken

hispanic-ish
Indulge with this quick and easy vegan chicharrón de pollo recipe. It's made with meaty oyster mushrooms which have a similar texture to meat, leaving both vegans and meat-lovers fully satisfied and asking for more.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Main Course, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Latin
Servings 4 People

Equipment

  • cast iron skillet or frying pan
  • Two large mixing bowls

Ingredients
  

Wet batter

  • 1 Cup Gram flour (Chickpea flour)
  • 1 TSP Onion powder
  • 1 TSP Adobo
  • ½ TBSP chopped garlic (about 3 cloves)
  • ½ TSP Salt
  • ½ TSP brown sugar (Any sugar works well)
  • Cup Vegetable stock

Dry coating

  • 1 Cup Gram Flour (Chickpea flour)
  • 1 TBSP Cornflour (Corn starch)
  • 1 TSP Onion powder
  • 1 TSP Adobo
  • ½ TSP salt
  • Canola oil for frying (Any oil with a high smoke point will work well)

Other

  • 300 grams Oyster mushrooms
  • Canola oil for frying (Any oil with a high smoke point will work well)
  • Finishing salt
  • Pinch of oregano

Instructions
 

  • Heat your frying skillet and oil to medium-high heat. To know when the oil is ready, sprinkle a pinch of flour into the oil. If it starts to bubble immediately, it's ready. If it takes a couple of seconds, it needs more time. You want the oil to be pipping hot.
  • While the oil warms up, mix all of the wet batter ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
    Chicharron de pollo
  • Mix all of the dry coating ingredients in a separate bowl and set aside.
    Chicharron de pollo
  • Prep the mushrooms:
    1. Trim the mushrooms if needed by cutting off the rubbery part of the stem. Some may have them cut off already.
    2. If you see some soil on the mushrooms, carefully run them through some water for a quick rinse.
    3. Make sure they are dry. Carefully pat with a paper towel if needed, especially if you rinsed them.
    4. Using your hands split the large mushrooms into smaller pieces. On average you can split them in half.
    Chicharron de pollo
  • Place the mushrooms in the wet batter and cover them completely.
    Chicharron de pollo
  • Carefully coat the mushrooms with the dry batter. You may want to place the mushrooms in the dry batter in two sections to avoid overcrowding.
    Chicharron de pollo
  • Immediately after, add the mushrooms to the frying pan. Raise the heat to high to prevent the temperature from drastically changing.
    Chicharron de pollo
  • Fry until crispy and golden brown for about 2 minutes with a maximum of 3 minutes. Turnover the mushrooms halfway. DO NOT overcrowd the frying pan.
  • Once fried, place on a cooling rack lined with paper towels to catch the excess oil.
    Chicharron de pollo
  • Repeat until all the mushrooms are cooked. May take about 3 batches to fry completely.
  • Sprinkle with some finishing salt and oregano & DONE!

Notes

Tips
  • To know when the oil is ready, sprinkle a pinch of flour into the oil. If it starts to bubble immediately, it's ready. If it takes a couple of seconds, it needs more time. You want the oil to be pipping hot. 
  • Because mushrooms are not meat, they only need to be cooked until the batter is crispy hence why they only need about two minutes. If you fry for too long, the batter will begin to absorb the oil. We don't want that. 
  • DO NOT overcrowd when adding the mushrooms to the dry coating as they will clump together. Too much batter will soak up more oil, and as a result, you'll have soggy oil-filled mushrooms. 
  • Do Not Overcrowd the frying pan either. This will also lead to soggy mushrooms by lowering the oil temperature.  Cook them in batches to achieve that perfect crispy texture. When in doubt, keep the heat as high as you can. 
Keyword adobo, chicharron, chicken, Dominican, easy, mushrooms, plant-based, pollo, quick, vegan

 

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