This may not be a weeknight type of dinner, but if you're celebrating a special occasion and want to spend a bit more time preparing, this Crispy Orange "chicken" is so very scrumptious.
We actually made this dinner early on in our vegan journey which is probably why we decided that going vegan wasn't going to be any problem at all. The recipe comes from the trusted folks at America's Test Kitchen, out of their Vegan for Everybody cookbook. We made up some fried rice to go along with this dish. Fabulous!
Crispy Orange Seitan
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
3 T distilled white vinegar
3 T Tamari or vegan soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp grated orange zest, plus 6 (2-inch) strips zest,
1/4 cup orange juice
3/4 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
4 tsp cold water
1 scallion thinly sliced
(the recipe also calls for 6 dried bird chilies - we left this out, but if you like things spicy, roll the dice)
1 1/2 cups cornstarch
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 cup canned coconut milk
1 lb seitan, drained, patted dry, and cut into 1 inch pieces
3 cups vegetable oil
In a large sauce pan, bring broth, sugar, vinegar, tamari/soy sauce, garlic, grated orange zest and juice, ginger and cayenne pepper to a boil. In a small bowl, whisk water and cornstarch together, then add to boiling sauce. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. You should be left with 1 1/2 cups sauce. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.
Warm the oven to 200 degrees
Combine cornstarch and cornmeal in shallow dish. Combine coconut milk and seitan in bowl; turn to coat. Working with 1 piece of seitan at a time, remove from milk, let excess drip off. Coat well with cornstarch mixture, pressing gently to adhere; transfer to large plate.
Heat oil in skillet to 350 degrees. Add half of seitan and cook until golden brown on all sides, flipping as necessary, 7 to 11 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to plate in oven. Repeat with remaining seitan.
Add seitan to sauce and turn to coat. Season with salt to taste. Transfer to platter and sprinkle with scallions and orange zest.