Alt!Chicken: The sometimes dubious answer to people who love the taste of real chicken but for various reasons can’t or won’t eat it. Macrobiotics, for example, considers chicken to be too much on the yang side of the equation and therefore “concentrated, heavy and dense, creating stagnation” if over-consumed. Not that we ever over-consume anything.
As an inveterate chicken-eater (fried, baked or egg), one of the things I missed the most when switching to macrobiotics was the glorious taste of chicken. I grew up with it, I was subjected to mouth-watering advertising, I was a product of my environment. The craving for it can sometimes hit me like a ton of bricks.
So say your taste-buds want chicken but you shouldn’t have any and you’re being all pious about cheating. The trick is to find something that tastes exactly like it without compromising your values.
Chik’n, chick’n — whatever the abbreviation, those missing letters are more than just an apostrophized way of saying There Ain’t No Chicken Here. This is a deceptively simple way of saying you’re about to enter a wild taste-bud party where Madam Gluttony meets Mr. Innards and goes off to have a satisfying love-fest under a tree. You get the taste, tone, texture, protein, and a wicked feeling of having beaten the odds by finding something that thumbs its nose at the real thing. It’s rather astonishing how close they come to it.
So when I need a shot of something just-like-the-real-thing, I think of Boca. The ingredients stand up under scrutiny (to me at least) and even when I’m starving, I can wait the few minutes it takes to heat them up in the toaster oven.
And they’ve got Chik’n Nuggets too.