I suffer from migraines, and as a kid, the only food I ever thought I could manage to stomach during one was cold breaded chicken.
I never did (felt too sick), but it held a mysterious appeal, especially as I rarely ever had it. I guess it offered a soothing combination of tender, chewy, minisculely-crispy, savouriness – bland but tasty.
I don’t eat it that often even now, but feel I would miss it more than sausages. I do so love crispy breaded things.
Enter the vegan alternative, Vivera Plant BBQ Chicken Goujons. I had them oven-baked hot one night, and chopped up cold in a salad the next day.
I wonder about making these things look meat-like. If they were just rectangles rather than goujon-shaped, would it be better or worse? As you can see, they have an irregular outline, but their uniform thickness affected the illusion – a strange uncanny valley of pretence.
The BBQ flavour was mild but definitely worth having – the baseline taste of chicken is really more about texture, so I think an enhancement is needed in these vegan imitators. The crumbs were disappointingly uncrispy though as oven-baked can sometimes be – I’d fry them next time. As for the goujon interior, it was a bit soft when warm but pretty good cold, and definitely chewily-reminiscent of meat.
I’d like them to make a panko version which I would then merrily deep fry. Winner, winner, not chicken dinner.