CFC Drumsticks (Cruelty Free Chicken)
I’ve been putting off this post because it’s going to be a big one, these CFC Drumsticks took me about two hours to make a fortnight ago. Adapted from the amazingly inventive recipe here, dreamed up by Zacchary Bird, these are probably one of the most challenging vegan recipes I have made but I was glad I did!
I can’t remember where I saw these first, Instagram or Facebook, but they blew up both of my feeds and I was intrigued. I had tried jackfruit previously in a pie at VegFest but I had never tried cooking with the stuff myself.
First step – find some jackfruit. I swear, if there is any in the shops in Inverclyde I have no idea where! I went to my local-ish Asian supermarket and managed to get some but sadly it was sweet not young in brine, this is important, for the “meaty” texture it must be the young/green jackfruit in brine. For those in the UK here on is where I ended up ordering from, £1.39 a tin, worth every penny!
The following is a repost of the original recipe, however I did make some changes due to being unable to get some of the ingredients and hearing about some further suggestions on instagram.
- 3/4 cup plain white flour
- 3/4 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon celery salt
- 1/4 teaspoon sage
- 1/4 teaspoon all spice
- 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
- Pinch of dried oregano
- Pinch of turmeric
- 1 can of aquafaba
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cans young green jackfruit
- 1 medium cauliflower
- 1 + 1/2 cups of chicken style stock ( I couldn’t find any vegan chicken style stock so followed this recipe from Sharon123 and made my own)
- 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
- 4 pieces of rice paper
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 10 drops of liquid smoke
- 500 – 750ml vegetable oil
There is no getting away from the fact that this is a mammoth recipe. I’ll try to cover it fairly quickly, Zacchary Bird covers it in depth, it is his recipe and anyone interested should go and check out the original.
Drain, rinse the jackfruit and squeeze out the seeds. As it was my first time using jackfruit I actually found this stage quite complicated, trying to discern what was a seed and what wasn’t was confusing! Got there eventually though.
Put in a pot with the stock, nooch, onion powder and liquid smoke. Boil for 10 minutes, simmer for 10 minutes or until liquid is soaked up.
Next, chop up the cauliflower, strip off all the florets and split the central part into four. This gives you the “bone” shape.
Lay out cling film. I then soaked a rice paper wrap and laid this on top of the cling film. Then I took the jackfruit mixture and squeezed it around the “bone”. It falls off, it is quite hard to do, this is why others have suggested the rice paper, you put your drumstick on it and wrap it all together using the rice paper and then the cling film. After this you put them in the freezer for an hour or so.
You then mix up your dry ingredients into one bowl, and aquafaba into another. Once they have frozen for an hour, put your oil on to heat and carefully unwrap from the clingfilm one at a time. Dip in aquafaba, then dry mix, then aquafaba then dry mix again then drop into the oil. They need cooked for around 3 -5 minutes, then take them out with tongs and drain on kitchen roll.
My CFC drumsticks were fairly pale, I think in part due to my paranoia of using oil and fires so I may have needed to heat it up a little more. However, I don’t think there was any impact on the taste, which was lovely! Weirdly meaty, but not meaty enough to put you off. I had them with fried new potatoes and barbeque beans. I would definitely make these again, however, the time constraints mean this is an occasional make as opposed to every day. I do recommend everyone to try them at least once though, even for the novelty.
Shout out to Zacchary for sharing my instagram post, keep an eye on his site for other fun recipes, I know I will be!