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The Controversial “Chicken” and Chips

November 5, 2010

Now this post needs and introduction as I cannot dive into it like that. I do not endorse the regular consumption fried foods but in the spirit of Vegan MOFO and my theme of Comfort Food I decided why the heck not create this plate my mother use to make for me on  some Friday or Saturday afternoons.

Bajan "Chicken" and Chips

Now in the Caribbean we call what Americans call French Fries chips. Some people may say fries but the word is  chips for fries and chips for chips and not crisps. Now before chips came in bags with chip cartoons on it people would peel potatoes…..wow….:) and they still do nothing  changed. We would get something call local potatoes back in the day that use to be unscrubbed and I remember the best chips being made from these potatoes. On Friday’s in Barbados you would get something “light” in the afternoon I do not know how a bowl of oats and some hotdogs are light but do not get too bothered with that. You would also get fish and chips not to be compared with the British version (meh) sorry guys or you would have chicken and chips. I remember going into the city with my parents and asking my dad why he did not buy me KFC and he said you have food at home Taymer so I never ate fast food which is not a bad thing but as my father was building his dream house he did not put money into those companies pockets instead everything I wanted to eat I would get it at home. Now some of you health nuts including myself may be wondering what kind of parents give their kids fries. I did not eat it everyday but on some Fridays I would and the portions were small and I was never overweight or obese due to this diet as my parent made lots of healthy meals during the month so having this dish was not too bad as it was not weekly.

My mom would always be responsible for this dish and would always make fresh salads to go with it. She was of the school of thought that no meal was not complete with a serving or 2 of vegetables so imagine having a large side of salad with this meal after eating the salad sometimes you could not finish the fries or the protein. I would always get the first batch of chips which I hated because the oil was too fresh and did not make my chips turn brown and crispy. The chips were always hand cut salted and shallow fried and drained and sometimes  my father would put a bit of vinegar on them for me and of course I had to get pepper sauce at the tender age of 5 ,I could not eat without it.Chips are not chips without equal amounts of pepper sauce and ketchup (for me). The protein of choice was whatever was there and it had to be well marinated in Barbadian Seasoning as protein without seasoning was a no no in every household in the Caribbean. I would sit on the ground or go outside and have this in the backyard when I got my plate because I could not stand to sit at the table and I would enjoy the plate until I was full but there was always a longing for more. It was just so good better than any fast food joint. After my dad turned vegan and health nut fries stopped and he started to bake them and there is a recipe for white sweet potato chips in Caribbean Vegan for this method. Even after eating many Friday baked fries there is something sinful and special about chips done in broken down oil that mummy made. There was something special about that salad that a little ketchup got on because of the proximity and there was something special about the way her protein was marinated.

Bajan "Chicken" and Chips

Do not think my mom is a big cook she isnt…she is a basic cook who has perfected her skills in the few dishes she knows  and cooking for her was like doing the laundry but doing a good job but there was no joy in it….it is daddy that is the cook and the experimental chef and being around these two different cooks all of their passion has passed down to me. My mothers basic Caribbean cookery and my father’s adventurous cooking style.

I just knew I had to make this vegan but make it right and make it so right that my dad the picky  and health nut vegan will be open to try it  at least one when I got home. Do  not ask me for the recipe  I was sick hunched over quickly making this but I will pass on my secrets today so you can experiment at home. I will say after sending the pics to my father he said with his monotone voice hmm it looks really interesting I need to get some  vital wheat gluten so he can experiment. Not so fast dad I will show you how to do this.:) So I made a chicken style seitan with a bit of mushroom which I marinated generously with Bajan Seasoning. Then I boiled my seitan breast in a broth and then I made a batter laced with Bajan Seasoning and breaded it how my parents did and  Voila! For the fries I use half parts old oil with new and I did not soak them in cold water as the old oil makes them crispy. I keep some strained old oil around for  the little frying I do and I store it in a sterile jar in the dark. Here is an upclose shot  of the seitan chicken and a picture of what it looks inside. How does it taste? It taste like bajan seasoning a bit of poultry and there is a tender bite to the seitan since it is boiled.It does not have the stringy texture that chicken had but the taste is good. It has a really really good taste from the Bajan Seasoning which takes away that gluten taste which seitan haters like myself cannot stand. Bajan Seasoning is a mixture of herbs and spices that are use as a protein and vegetable condiment in Barbados and that is in the book if you want to know and I will prob put up the recipe soon.

FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT BAJAN (BAY JAN) IS IT THE LOCAL WORD MEANING FROM BARBADOS SO TAYMER IS A BAJAN or Barbadian same thing:)

I asked my parents how they feel about chicken and chips today and they said they saw it as something they ate when they did not want a “cooked” dish meaning a rice or pasta dish with gravy. They saw it as a” light” dish even if it was high in calories. They find  the  dish comforting and something they long to eat one day again and they thought my seitan looked very realistic and they are open to trying it when I go home for the holidays. I did an oven fried version of the other steaks I had and it looks very similar to the fried piece in the photo.

Vegan Chicken and Chips until we meet again….

I will always love you.

Vegan Chicken and Chips

That is it for this weeks  Vegan MOFO check me on Monday for more dishes and another controversial dish the Vegan Ham Cutter..I am just shaking in my robe thinking about how  foodgasmic biting into a vegan ham cutter would be for  me with that pepper sauce and a bit of local lettuce…You would learn about the culture of cutters and what a ham cutter meant to be as a child and how I feel about it now and if the vegan one I eat now really satisfies my craving. You will read about chow Mien and how the Asian community in the Caribbean made chow mein at home and how Caribbean cooks made their own recipe. You will read about my experiment with a berry ice cream and how I hate to love almond tuiles and much more. I am officially on break for the weekend. Thanks to those who made a comment this week and joined the Facebook fan page or those who have been reading all week. I wanted to do a round up of my favourite Mofo ers but 700 sites signed up and it is daunting to read even 100…so I do not know….I still did not get the books yet to host a giveaway but I hope to giveaway a signed copy of Caribbean Vegan.

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. November 5, 2010 12:11 pm

    That looks amazing! I try not to eat too much fried food too, but it’s definitely the kind of thing I’d make to share with my brother.

  2. November 5, 2010 12:17 pm

    Holy Schmoley that looks sooooooo so good. Any chance of the exact recipe sometime in the future?? That would be awesome.

    • Taymer permalink*
      November 5, 2010 12:23 pm

      ok i will make something like this again for the grill and I can promise at that time to out it up…was very ill when I made this so it was go in the kitchen and get out.

  3. November 5, 2010 2:02 pm

    Great seitan chicken nuggets. I know in America we do call fried potatos fries not chips like every other country.

    I do like baked potato wedges, they are just sliced in bigger pieces.

    Thanks for sharing your mom and dad story about your meal of nuggets and fries.

    • Taymer permalink*
      November 5, 2010 3:43 pm

      thanks they are not nuggets…could not stand those as a child or adult it is an entire steak of seitan it is just torn thats why it may look like 3 nuggets to you:O

  4. Bajangyal permalink
    November 5, 2010 5:40 pm

    Something ‘light’ on a Friday seems to be a Bajan tradition as Fridays were also a light day in my household. I rememebr having hotdogs and chips and I just loved it!!! Thought it was the most exciting meal ever…lol.

    Your chicken looks very tasty, lookign forward to your recipe, mayeb you can try baking it shake n bake style to make it less unhealthy.

    Feel better soon Tay.

  5. November 5, 2010 6:02 pm

    mercy that looks good. i hope you feel better soon so i can get my little mouth around such awesomeness! i feel all warm and fuzzy just looking at the picture.

  6. November 6, 2010 3:59 am

    I just saw this post. Holy smoke.

  7. November 6, 2010 3:24 pm

    Oh, wow, that looks amazing!

  8. November 7, 2010 10:11 am

    I like your “chicken” and chips – a very inviting plate!

  9. Sharon permalink
    November 7, 2010 1:24 pm

    When I was living in Barbados KFC and Chefette were special treats for maybe twice a year lol…maybe lol but then they only had them near the coast/hotel areas

    And chips were a special treat, we didn’t eat them that often.

    This meal looks delicious!

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