Deliciou – Plant Based Chicken

Chicken or beef? More like chicken or MOCK chicken in today’s day and age! I’ve been gradually reducing the amount of meat in my diet for some time now and was absolutely stoked when asked to review Deliciou Plant Based Chicken.

Compared to its mock meat rivals on the market, this “clean & lean plant mix” is unique as it is stored in the pantry, rather than the fridge. The ‘chicken’ is dehydrated plant protein which requires the addition of 240ml of water & 1 tbsp of oil before being cooked, as seen on the box front which reads “Just add Water & Oil.” The instructions are more in-depth on the box’s rear, where even “Pro Tips” are offered, such as “After Step 1, let the mince rest for 20 minutes for an extra tender result.” My advice is to read the tips! Letting the mixture rest makes the world of a difference regarding both flavour and texture.

Before seeing the packaging, I must admit that I did have some doubts about just how well this product was going to emulate chicken mince. But I needn’t have worried. The delicious looking pictures of burritos, shashliks, larb on the box’s front promised an egg-cellent time, and they were right!

The designers of the plant-based chicken mix packaging have kindly written a compre-hen-sive list of possible foods that can be made on the back of the box. These include:

Pasta Sauces
‘Meat’balls
Kebabs
Salads
Tacos
Nachos
Wraps
Nuggets

While some people might just wing it when it comes to cooking, I did my research and found that Deliciou has a website which features tons of recipes, sorted into categories including “All Time Classics,” “Budget Friendly” and “Vegan.” After some considerable thought, I decided to cook traditional Italian spaghetti and meatballs, home-style burgers and some (rather unhealthy) chicken nuggets.

And my verdict… Darn delicious! Don’t worry, I’ll go into more detail below. For ease of reading, I sorted my evaluation of this truly promising product into sections.

Ingredients
Deliciou is very proud that their chicken substitute is made of all-natural ingredients, containing:
20g protein per serve
3g fibre per serve
No preservatives, added salt, added sugar, soy, GMO or cholesterol.
The protein is provided by Pea, Mung Bean and Wheat protein, hence offering heaps of healthy amino acids. Moreover, the product is vegan and rich in Vitamin B12 and iron. Woefully, as the plant-based chicken is predominantly made of Wheat Protein, it is not Gluten-Free. For anyone with celiac disease, perhaps this particular Deliciou product is not for you!

Ease of Preparation
As far as preparation goes, it’s a breeze! All you need to do is pour the packet into a bowl (although I was a little disappointed by the soft plastic bag inside the cardboard box), add 240ml (approximately a cup) of water, 1 tbsp of oil and mix it all together! I found that the longer the packet’s contents were able to rest, the softer and moister the end product.

The next step was to shape the ‘meat’ into whatever form you wanted, depending on the meal you were cooking. For me, this took three different forms.

  1. Meatballs
    I added salt, pepper and coriander before frying the meatballs in a dash of olive oil. Paired with a tomato-based sauce, they would have rivalled real meatballs any day! I do believe that adding parmesan to the mixture would elevate their flavour though.
  2. Nuggets
    After lightly seasoning the ‘chicken’ with salt, pepper and taco seasoning, I shaped the mince into small nuggets and fried them in my brand-new air fryer (Christmas present‼!). The seasoning and shaping took about 10 minutes while the cooking took only 7 minutes! They were delightfully crunchy but were a bit dry – perhaps the true culprit was the air fryer though as no oil was required! Nevertheless, they were the perfect addition to my Mexican inspired salad-bowl.
  3. Burgers/Wraps
    Salt, pepper, onion, garlic, chilli powder and coriander were all added to the mix before I shaped them into palm-size patties and fried them in olive oil. Like the meatballs, the mince went deliciously golden and crispy on the outside while staying moist inside.

Versatility of Use
Overall, I found that the Deliciou Plant-Based Chicken was extremely versatile! Once mixed, the sachet contents and added moisture create a mince which – like regular chicken mince – can be made in many different meals. Thus, dinner doesn’t revolve around the protein, but rather the other elements such as what’s left in the fridge! Moreover, unlike most meat substitutes, it’s a dry product meaning it has no preservatives and has a shelf life of 12 months! Hence, Deliciou plant-based chicken could become your next fail-safe meal, there to save the day when to the grocery shopping is neglected!

Tastiness and Texture
I taste-tested my chicken meatballs at a family dinner and they were loved by (almost) everyone! Sous-chef number 1 said that he loved “the distinctly chicken flavour” while sous-chef number 2 appreciated the “crunchy exterior and moist interior.” Nevertheless, a couple of my guests were disappointed with the “tuna-like texture” of the meat. Perhaps this is something Deliciou could work on improving in the future?

I also (unexpectedly) loved the reheated meatballs and burger patties the next day! They were particularly moist!

Cost and Availability
For anyone eager to try this Deliciou Plant-Based Chicken, it’s available at au.deliciou.com along with other plant-based products, including Bacon Seasoning (yum‼!). A single box of Deliciou Plant-Based Chicken currently costs $9.99 online and has free shipping if you spend over $25. Perhaps it’s worth buying a few packets (or trying a variety of products) in case you mislay a box or two.

Final Verdict
Overall, I loved experimenting with Delicou Plant Based Chicken. Before launching Deliciou, founder Kjetil Hansen found that “people think plant-based cooking is difficult, expensive and time-consuming.” It was his goal “to dispel this myth by making it as easy and healthy as possible to make the change.” In my opinion, he’s succeeded!

Perhaps you will be the next person to make the change to a plant-based diet! Deliciou are certainly making it sound appealing. Now I’m scrambling for a final egg joke, but just can’t seem to whip one up. Guess I’m fried!

Words by EG Mills from E-cup Gastronomy

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