Monday, June 20, 2022

My Name Is Nuggets And I'm A Big Fake Butter Chicken.


   So, unless you've been hiding under a rock for the last few weeks you've seen Nuggets the "Big Fat Chicken" who's actually an Indian Mynah bird and not a chicken at all. My great aunt Amelia had an Indian Mynah, it fascinated me as a kid as it knew all the best swears and never tried to pass itself off as anything but a "Dirty Bird".

But watching Nuggets started me thinking about Nuggets. Not the bird, but actual nuggets like chicken nuggets. I don't cook meat much around here. Generally, it's family holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving, Passover, or Easter. Depending on which side I'm cooking for. I've been cooking Indian food for 32 years now and with all the variety of vegetarian and vegan dishes available in Indian cuisine I don't need meat to make a fancy meal. I've used banana flower, jackfruit, mushrooms and a variety of other vegetables that take on the meat role in any dinner production but I couldn't get nuggets out of my head. I wanted nuggets but no chicken.

Then I saw it. Okay, so I know it's weird and I don't generally keep up with the Kardashians but I couldn't help but notice  this 

Yeah, there's a lot to unpack here, but ignoring Kourtney, and Travis, all I was seeing was PLANT CHICKEN!!!!!

I cook with Beyond Meat products fairly often when I need something that mimics meat but isn't, like Kheema Mattar. Nobody pays me to cook with it, or has ever given me any of this stuff for free to try. I read about it, bought it myself, and everybody here, likes it a LOT. Hard case carnivores included.

One thing I like about their stuff is that the spices and side ingredients are kept to a minimum. This is important to me especially when I am going to be adding a lot of spices. I want it to have the same bare bones quality that meat or a plain vegetable will have so that the recipe determines the flavor and there are not a lot of other notes being played.

One of the reasons I haven't bought other faux meats is precisely that. There are always too many additives . Especially in the world of nuggets. That is why I got so excited about Daring Chicken

This stuff is pretty pristine, flavor wise. At least the original variety. I could spice the hell out of this and it wouldn't have a bunch of other flavors interfering.

I visited the website, read reviews, and then went out and bought some. But first I wondered where did this faux chicken come from. Travis Barker, Kourtney Kardashian????

Nope. It was this guy. 


Yeah, Drake is one of the investors in Daring Foods, Chicken. I was looking for basically vegan  "naked chicken" and Drake said...I got this!

First time cooking this, I decided to try a very simple weekday dish , Butter Chicken.  I don't make Butter Chicken very often, and I'd just made it last week using Jackfruit in place of chicken so I thought, "great we can contrast them". The perfect opportunity, and damn, did it work!

  This dish took less than an hour to make, which worked great for a workday meal...and there were leftovers. Something I'm particularly fond of as I don't want to finish a days writing and then immediately start cooking. It's great to get a break every few days

So I'm calling this  Drake's Fake Butter Chicken.  

 Here's What You Need:

1 package of Daring Chicken Original Plant  Based Chicken

1 can of coconut milk

1 cup tomato puree, I used a bottle of passata

1 large brown onion diced

3 cloves of garklic or 3 shallots minced

1 Tbs grated fresh ginger

1 Tbs vegetable oil. I used coconut oil

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp garam masala

1/2 tsp Karshmiri chili powder , more if you want it hotter

1/2  tsp ground cumin 

1 Tbs fresh lemon juice

1 Tbs sugar

2 Tbs nutritional yeast

2 Tbs dried fenugreek leaves  (aka methi) 

Cilantro to garnish

Here's What To Do:

Heat the vegetable oil over medium heat, and add the diced onion. Saute for about 3 minutes or so

 Add in the garlic or shallot, and  ginger.

Then add in the spices on top of that.

Saute for another two minutes or so.

Now, add in your Daring Chicken...

...sugar,  nutritional yeast, and fenugreek leaves...

...and tomato puree...

 ...and lemon juice.

Turn the heat up a bit and simmer the mixture for about 10 minutes.

 When your Daring Chicken is tender, add in your can of coconut milk.

 Mix it in and turn the heat down so that the coconut milk doesn't separate.

Serve it up, scatter some chopped fresh cilantro on top.

 I served this with Basmati rice cooked with cashews, sultanas, spices, and saffron.

Was it good? You bet. Did my carnivore like it? You bet. He kept saying his head knows it's not real but his body says CHICKEN!!!! 

He kept saying "it's like in the Matrix.Joey Pants and the steak!"

 And I said  "yeah, but dude, you're not hooked up to some alien battery draining your energy while they feed you imaginary  head meat. This is Drake's Fake Butter Chicken, and you're really eating it and it's delicious."

So there you go.  Nobody paid me to eat this fake chicken, I bought it myself and I love it.  The only thing I'm not crazy about is that it's made of soy, but wahtcha gonna do. It's damn good.

Coming up next, I'm going to pick up more of this Daring Chicken. It stores great in the freezer, and I'll be trying it as part of a hot and spicy South Indian Chicken dish, also, I'll be doing some other Summery recipes, Indian and Italian which is how we roll around here. 

Follow along on Twitter @kathygori

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