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Bird Recipe from Zacchary Bird's The Vegan Butcher

Named after Zacchary Bird, esteemed author of this sentence, this bird roast isn’t quite meant to be a chicken and it’s definitely not a turkey. It’s me! A plant-based alternative to roasting your favourite vegan cookbook writer at Sunday lunch. I might taste a bit like chicken, but apparently who doesn’t? Tuck into my succulent rump this holiday season, or fight over a piece of my breast. Just be sure to serve me with gravy and a bit of roast veg.



300g (2 cups) vital wheat gluten 
2 tablespoon torula yeast or mushroom seasoning
300g firm tofu
350ml aquafaba from tofu or tinned cannellini beans or chickpeas (or water)
1 tablespoon white vinegar
200g vegan stuffing mix
2 tablespoon dairy-free butter
4 large wet yuba skins (refrigerated soft bean curd sheets)
vegetable oil, for brushing


Chicken-style flavour

2 tablespoons white miso paste
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons chicken-style stock powder

1 tablespoon soy sauce 1 TBSP
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
½ teaspoon ground white pepper


Combine the vital wheat gluten and torula yeast or mushroom seasoning in a bowl. Add your choice of chicken or turkey-style flavourings. 


Place the tofu, aquafaba or water and vinegar in a blender and blend until smooth, then transfer to a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the vital wheat gluten mixture, then knead on medium speed for 3 minutes to bring the dough together and form gluten strands. Remove from the bowl and use your hands to smooth the seitan dough into a 24 cm x 18 cm (91/2 in x 7 in) rectangle. If the gluten resists, let the dough rest for 10 minutes to convince it to cooperate. The edges of the rectangle will remain thicker, so tear them off (about one-quarter of the total volume) and mould these into two drumsticks (1). 

Fold a piece of foil in half so it is a little wider than the dough and lay the dough on top (do not wrap). Transfer to a steamer and place the drumsticks on top. Cover and steam for 30 minutes, then set aside to cool. Feel free to forget what you were doing until tomorrow or proceed below! 

While the dough is steaming, prepare the stuffing mix as per the packet instructions. Incorporate the butter, then form the stuffing into a log and set aside for a few minutes to firm up. Lay the seitan dough over the stuffing log (2). 

Use a sheet of plastic wrap to forcefully wrap the seitan around the stuffing, shaping the sides and stretching it as needed. Wrap a second sheet of plastic wrap from top to bottom of the roast and use it to tuck the ends under, making a rounded shape (3). Add a third sheet of plastic wrap, further shaping the roast as desired. Firmly place your hand down on one end of the roast, and allow the other end to balloon out, mimicking the shape of a poultry roast.

The Vegan Butcher

Eating vegan doesn’t mean missing out on the flavour, texture and diversity of food that meat eaters love. Armed with this book, you’ll discover how to create the perfect plant-based meats – sure to sate the most dedicated carnivore.

From soybeans to seitan, konjaku to mushrooms, there is little that can’t be achieved using plant-based ingredients, and the Vegan Butcher – aka Zacchary Bird – is here to show you how. Learn how to create meaty textures through the power of freezing tofu, transform a bag of flour into chewy seitan that will trick even the most diehard chicken fans or play mad scientist with methylcellulose to make the perfect plant-based burgers.

With step-by-step visual guides and more than 130 killer recipes, The Vegan Butcher will completely change the way you think about vegan food. Join the revolution!