September is National Chicken Month, brought to you by the National Chicken Council and the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association. The purpose of this annual campaign is to get the public to eat, yes, more chicken. This is the 18th year the campaign has run, and it seems to be pretty effective: Last year, brace yourselves, more than 9 billion chickens were slaughtered for consumption in the United States. And you can bet your sweet bippy that the majority of those chickens weren’t raised in the comfiest of conditions.
On the other side of the fence, so to speak, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is countering National Chicken Month with a campaign of their own: Give a Cluck: Chuck the Chicken! You can visit the PETA site to see a whole panoply of frightening factory farm chicken facts that will have you clucking like a mad hen.
So, as you can probably guess, I’m thinking National Chicken Month should best be celebrated in one of two ways. If you are an omnivore, celebrate happy chickens that were raised humanely without the use of antibiotics. Better yet, celebrate National Chicken Month by paying some respect to these “feathered lap dogs” and try some vegan alternatives. On that note, allow me to share this recipe for meatless nuggets.
In this recipe I freeze and then thaw the tofu to beef up (chicken up?) the texture.
1 14-ounce block firm or extra-firm tofu, frozen, thawed, and pressed of excess water
1/2 cup soy milk
2 tablespoons mustard
1 clove garlic, minced very finely
1 teaspoon fresh herb of your choice, minced very finely
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast (optional)
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1 tablespoon olive oil
1. Stir together soy milk, mustard, nutritional yeast in a medium bowl. Stir spices into bread crumbs in another bowl.
2. Slice tofu into 1-inch cubes and dip in wet mix first, then coat with breadcrumbs.
3. Lightly oil a baking pan and bake tofu cubes for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown and crisp.