Vegan Chicken Drumsticks with Vegetable Couscous

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Vegan Chicken Drumsticks with Vegetable Couscous

Crispy on the outside, tender and aromatic on the inside – this is how these vegan chicken drumsticks come out of the oven! The preparation is not difficult at all. The inside is a mixture of seitan, jackfruit, onion and chickpeas. A cinnamon stick is used as the “bone” and the “skin” is imitated with rice paper. Admittedly, this recipe is a bit of work, but the scent alone, which wafts through the apartment, is worth it. It smells seductively of cinnamon, cumin and garlic.

Why do vegans have to recreate chicken drumsticks?

Why do vegans have to constantly copy meat when they don’t want to eat meat? I hear this statement quite often. The simple reason is that many vegetarians and vegans do like the taste of meat. But we don’t want to be responsible for the suffering caused by it. Why do without the delicious taste, if you can have it without animals suffering for it. I myself became vegan because of the animals and not because I did not like the taste anymore.

Vegan chicken drumsticks with vegetable couscous

In the past, when I didn’t know how meat was made, I really liked chicken drumsticks. Since then I missed the taste and I looked for a long time for a recipe to veganize them. On the blog of Daily Vegan I finally found it, even with “bones” made from cinnamon sticks! I tested the recipe extensively and changed it to my own taste. The vegan chicken drumsticks have a nice fibrous and juicy consistency, a crispy skin and a spicy taste. They taste best fresh from the oven.

Aromatic vegetable couscous

The vegan chicken drumsticks are served on aromatic Moroccan vegetable couscous. The variety of Moroccan spices smells fantastic and reminds me of the Orient. Chicken with vegetable couscous is a very typical dish of North African cuisine. It is infused with a variety of aromatic spices. After all, Morocco is the land of spices and you will find harissa in every Moroccan household. Harissa is a spice paste originating from the Maghreb. It is made from fresh chillies, cumin, coriander seeds, garlic, salt and olive oil. Our Moroccan vegetable couscous is prepared with Harissa and topped with fresh cilantro, roasted almond slivers and sweet dried figs. The taste will send your senses directly to the Orient.

Vegan chicken drumsticks with vegetable couscous

If you have a taste for the Orient, try our recipes for Moroccan bowl, crispy spicy Pastillas or Moroccan couscous with roasted sweet potatoes.

Vegan chicken drumsticks with vegetable couscous

Vegan Chicken Drumsticks with Vegetable Couscous

Crispy on the outside, tender and aromatic on the inside
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Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Moroccan
Keyword: Couscous, Jackfruit, Seitan
Schwierigkeitsgrad: Moderate
Cook Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4 Persons
Calories: 597kcal


For the vegan chicken drumsticks:

  • 1 can Jackfruit Young Green Jackfruit in Brine
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup chickpeas
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup Seitan-Fix wheat gluten
  • 2 tsp yeast flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika powder
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 16 sheets rice paper
  • 8 cinnamon sticks

For the marinade:

  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 5 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp paprika powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika powder Paprika de la Vera
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp Harissa
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt

For the vegetables:

  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 zucchini
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • olive oil
  • 1 tsp Harissa
  • salt and pepper

For the couscous:

  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1,5 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp Harissa
  • 1 handful almond slivers
  • 1 handful dried figs alternatively dates
  • ½ bunch fresh cilantro alternatively fresh mint or parsley
  • 1/2 salt lemon (optional)


For the vegan chicken drumsticks:

  • Drain the can of Jackfruit and tear the pieces of Jackfruit into fibers with clean hands. Either crush the hard tips with a fork or cut them into small pieces.
  • Fry the Jackfruit briefly in a pan and deglaze with vegetable stock. Simmer in the broth for about 5-10 minutes until the jackfruit fibres have absorbed the broth. Remove from the heat and let it cool down.
  • Peel and chop the onion and garlic into large pieces. Place in a blender or food processor together with the chickpeas and the spices and blend everything together.
  • Place all ingredients for the vegan chicken drumsticks (except rice paper and cinnamon sticks) in a large bowl and knead well with your hands for several minutes.
  • Fill a large bowl with water and take out a clean plate.
  • Cut an eighth out of the rice paper sheets with scissors (just like with a piece of cake). Then add one rice paper sheet each to the water and wait about 30 seconds until it is a little soft but not yet soggy. Take it out and spread it on the plate.
  • Place a tablespoon of the filling in the middle of the rice paper. Then press a cinnamon stick into the filling so that it looks out of the cut out eighth. Then add another tablespoon of the filling on top of the cinnamon stick.
  • Wrap the rice paper completely around the filling and press it firmly with your hands to form a club shape.
  • Let a second sheet of rice paper soak and wrap it around the leg as well. This makes the skin a little thicker and more resistant.
  • Shape the remaining drumsticks according to the same pattern.
  • Mix all ingredients for the marinade in a bowl. Brush the vegan chicken drumsticks generously with it.
  • Bake the drumsticks in the oven at 200° top and bottom heat for about 20-25 minutes. Alternatively you can put them into a hot air deep fryer at 200°C for 10 minutes, then they will be even crispier.

For the vegetable couscous:

  • Wash the vegetables and cut them into bite-sized pieces.
  • In a bowl, mix olive oil, harissa, salt and pepper. Add the vegetables and mix well.
  • Put the vegetables on a baking tray and put them in the oven next to the drumsticks for about 20 minutes. Turn the vegetables and the drumsticks once after 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, roast the almond slivers briefly in a pan without fat. Finely chop the cilantro and figs.
  • Mix the couscous with vegetable stock (powder) and harissa in a bowl and pour over 1.5 times the amount of boiling water. Cut the salted lemons into small pieces and add them to the couscous. Leave to stand for 10 minutes.
  • 5 minutes before the end of the baking time, take the chicken legs out of the oven briefly and brush them again with the marinade.
  • Mix the couscous with the vegetables, herbs, dates and almond slivers and season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve the vegan chicken drumsticks with the warm vegetable couscous.


Seitan-Fix is also called vital wheat gluten. You can find it as powder in every big supermarket.
Harissa can be found as a paste or as a spice powder in every well-assorted supermarket, sometimes in the oriental corner.
Rice paper are thin, almost transparent, round slices of rice and you can find them in some well-assorted supermarkets in the Asia Corner or in any Asian market.
Salt lemons are pickled in brine for several weeks and are an Arabic specialty. You can find them in Arabic delicatessens. You can also easily make them yourself, it only takes 3-4 weeks. If you can’t find any salt lemons, you can also just use some peel of an organic lemon, or leave it out altogether.


Calories: 597kcal (30%) | Carbohydrates: 102g (34%) | Protein: 20g (40%) | Fat: 13g (20%) | Saturated Fat: 1g (6%) | Cholesterol: 5mg (2%) | Sodium: 2097mg (91%) | Potassium: 730mg (21%) | Fiber: 13g (54%) | Sugar: 16g (18%) | Vitamin A: 7361IU (147%) | Vitamin C: 61mg (74%) | Calcium: 166mg (17%) | Iron: 5mg (28%)

If you liked this recipe for vegan Chicken Drumsticks with Moroccan Couscous you may also like one of these other Moroccan recipes:

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Vegan Chicken Drumsticks made of Jackfruit and Seitan with Morrocan Vegetable Couscous

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