You will not believe how delicious this gluten-free, vegan chicken and rice comfort food is! It’s made with soy curls, which while generally amazing, are taken to a whole new level and absolutely incredible when cooked with the sous vide method! And because you cook the rice sous vide as well, simultaneously with the vegan chicken, both dishes are done at the same time, providing you with a lovely, warm, comforting, ready-to-eat meal! You will find yourself spooning warm, perfectly cooked rice into a dish, and then topping it with warm, moist, tender, perfectly cooked ‘chicken’!
Now, if you are new to sous vide cooking, or have heard about it but aren’t sure what exactly it entails, or maybe haven’t even heard the term before, sous vide cooking is basically vacuum sealing the food that you are going to cook, and then submerging the vacuum sealed container in a hot (very hot) water bath, which is kept at a constant temperature by a device called a ‘circulator’. It is slow cooking during which no moisture is lost (because the food is vacuum sealed), and the flavor is sealed in. Typically sous vide (pronounced “sue vee” – it’s French for “under vacuum”) is touted for how great it is for cooking meat, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t also great for vegan cooking. And in fact, the very thing that makes sous vide cooking so great for meat (it retains the juices in which it slow cooks the meat, rendering nearly any cut and type of meat moist and tender) is exactly what makes it so great for these soy curls! (This is the sous vide device that we use; because it can be clipped onto the side of any large pot you can have an entire sous vide setup for less than $100!)
In addition to a sous vide circulator you will need a vacuum sealer (such as a FoodSaver) with vacuum sealer bags (or a canning jar with a canning jar adapter for your vacuum sealer). Some people use ZipLoc bags instead, sucking out as much air as they can with a straw; we personally don’t like this method because a) you can’t get all of the air out, like you can with a vacuum sealer, and b) zipper bags aren’t made to be submerged in scalding hot water, let alone to be submerged in scalding hot water for long periods of time.
We also have two cool sous vide tips, along with another great sous vide recipe, here.
Finally, if you are not familiar with Butler soy curls, you are really missing out. Butler soy curls are made from non-GMO soybeans grown without chemical pesticides (although they are not certified organic). They are dried pieces that rehydrate into vegan chicken chunks (or large shreds, if you will). They are available on Amazon here.
Gluten-Free Vegan Sous Vide Soy Curl Chicken and Rice
1 cup dry (not rehydrated) Butler soy curls (available here)
Vegetable stock to cover the soy curls or 1 vegan chicken bullion cube plus water
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Other seasoning to taste (optional)
1 recipe Perfect sous vide rice
Put the dry soy curls in your vacuum sealer bag and pour in enough stock to completely – but only just – cover them, or put a bullion cube on top of the dry soy curls and then pour in enough water to completely – but only just – cover them.
Vacuum seal the bag (see our tips for using gravity when sealing the bag, and for using magnets to keep the bag from floating, here).
Prepare a vacuum sealed bag of rice according to our recipe here.
Put both sealed bags into your sous vide, and cook for 30 minutes at 200° (35 minutes if using brown rice).
Once the time is up, remove both bags from the water, and either let the rice bag cool until you can touch it, or put on a pair of oven mitts, and gently knead the rice, through the bag, before opening it. Open the rice and pour it into your serving bowls or onto plates.
Open the soy curl bag, spoon out the soy curls onto the rice, and then top with the juices from the soy curls, and enjoy your wonderful warm comfort food!
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Tender, Juicy Vegan Chicken and Rice!
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