Tag Archives: Gardein

Hawaiian Un-Chicken

26 Dec

My grandmother passed when I was around 12 years old.  Most of my best memories surrounding her are those when I would help her make dinner when my brother and I would be visiting her.  My grandmother was a fantastic cook, and I still feel like she’s with us every time I make one of her recipes.

Her Hawaiian Chicken was a mainstay in my family.  Everyone loves it.  When I started working for my family’s business around 6 years ago, I made the dish for our annual Christmas Eve “linner” (lunch/dinner) and it was a huge hit, especially with my family who still works for the company.  Soon after that everyone expected me to then make it.  One year I remember I made a chili instead and I never heard the end of it.

This year was my first year as a vegan, and therefore a dilemma.  I don’t want to even touch meat anymore… gross.  So I decided to play the biggest practical joke ever by figuring out how to veganize my grandmother’s Hawaiian Chicken recipe and not telling anyone it was vegan.  Best… test… ever!

Long story short, the dish looked so convincing that when I piled my plate full of it the day of the linner, everyone started running around the office announcing I was a bad vegan and “cheating” by eating chicken.  As they ate the dish, there were lots of  “Yum!  I look forward to this every year Corrie, delicious!” comments.  I laughed inside.  After everyone had eaten almost all of the tray I announced to the group it was vegan, to which my father in particular announced it was not possible, that it had to be chicken!  It tasted like chicken and therefore had to be!

That, my friends is a successful recipe veganization!

Here’s the recipe in case you want to test it out on your non-vegan friends.  I must warn you its not healthy but damn it’s delicious.  It works great as a potluck recipe and serves around 6 meal size servings or 8-10 small “potluck” size portions.

Hawaiian Un-Chicken

  • 3 pounds of vegan unbreaded chicken tenders/nuggets.  I used Gardein buffalo strips minus the sauce.  Be sure they are defrosted otherwise the breading won’t stick.
  • Italian Breadcrumbs (weird, but works.  It’s gotta be Italian Herb.  Some aren’t vegan, so be sure to check the package.  In the event you can’t find any, use plain and add your own dried italian herbs along with some soy parmesan)
  • Canola/Vegetable Oil to Fry
  • 2 jars Saucy Susan brand Duck Sauce (it HAS to be Saucy Susan, so said my Grandma)
  • 2 large cans pineapple junks in juice
  1. In a large, deep sided frying pan bring several cups of frying oil to temperature.  While that’s warming to temperature, work on breading the chicken.
  2. Cut each mock chicken tender into two pieces so you have little “chunks” of chicken.  Place into a large bowl.
  3. Open one of the Saucy Susan jars and spoon several tablespoons over the chicken chunks.  Mix well to coat.
  4. In a large ziplock bag, pour a good amount of breadcrumbs.  Then in batches dump your chicken chunks into the breadcrumbs, close the bag, toss to coat, and fry until golden and crispy.  Remove from oil and drain on paper towels.  Repeat until all the chicken chunks are fried and drained.  Then arrange all the fried chicken chunks in a large baking dish. 
  5. Strain the pineapple juice into a large bowl, reserving the chunks of pineapple.  Then add to the bowl both jars of Saucy Susan, and whisk to mix.
  6. Combine the pineapple chunks in the baking dish with the fried chicken pieces.  Pour the pineapple sauce mixture over the top, and toss to coat.
  7. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes until heated through and the saucy is thick and bubbly.
  8. Plate the Hawaiian Un-Chicken with some rice and prepare to fake out your non-veg friends.