Gluten Free Oven Fried Chicken

Fried chicken

My gluten free husband hasn’t had real fried chicken in AGES. I’ve made breaded chicken but using almond meal instead of breadcrumbs. It’s surprisingly good, but it’s not fried chicken. And flavoring just the breaking doesn’t do the trick because then your meat isn’t flavorful.

Enter this recipe which is a take off Ina Garten’s. I’ve made some changes with flavoring and measurements. And you’ll notice I use only dark meat. They cook up juicer and is much more forgiving in terms of cooking time. If you choose to use white meat, don’t use boneless meat and remove from the oven about 5-10 minutes sooner.

Its crispy, crunchy, juicy, flavorful fried chicken goodness. Whether you’re gluten free or not, this is the best oven fried chicken recipe I’ve ever made. This recipe is definitely a keeper!

6 chicken legs, separated thighs and legs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup brown mustard

2 cups gluten free breadcrumbs
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Herbs de Provence
1 1/2 tsp. Garlic powder

Preheat oven to 385F degrees on convection roast, or 400F.

Mix buttermilk and mustard together in a large bowl and submerge all the chicken pieces, including under the skin. Marinade at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

Mix all remaining dry ingredients in a shallow dish or loaf pan. Dip chicken pieces in the dry mixture and place on a parchment lined sheet pan. Bake 25 mins, then flip the pan and bake another 20 mins.

Remove from oven and let cool 10-15 mins. Serve. Makes enough for 5-6 people.

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Slow Cooker Lentil Tomato Stew

This Lentil Tomato Stew doesn't photograph so pretty, but it's damn tasty!

This Lentil Tomato Stew doesn’t photograph so pretty, but it’s damn tasty!

It’s been WAY too long since I last wrote on this blog. But my impetus for this entry is, of course, food. This time is a ridiculously simple but hearty stew that’s naturally vegetarian/vegan (if you use veggie stock or broth), gluten and dairy free, high in protein and fiber, and low in fat . And if it tasted too healthy and bland I wouldn’t be writing about it, so trust me on this.

I’ve been making lentil soup for years and frankly, the idea of making another pot of the stuff bored me. But I remembered a pot of lentil stew that one of my former roommates during my college years made without the usual mirepoix of carrots and celery. Could I throw a bag of lentils, some diced tomatoes, and some spices into a slow cooker, have it be done by the time I get home from work, AND actually taste like something I’d look forward to eating?

YES! This stew is awesome! It goes great with rice or with a nice crusty piece of bread. Easy, delish, good for you = the trifecta. Voila!

Slow Cooker Lentil Tomato Stew
16 oz. green lentils, uncooked
One 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3.5 cups of chicken or vegetable broth

*Place all the ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours. This should make a good amount of stew (around 6-8 servings). Serve alone, with rice, or with some nice crusty bread. 

Chili Rubbed Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

imageSometimes, I still manage to surprise myself. Take for instance this dinner I made recently. I’ve made this flank steak recipe before from Martha Stewart Living, but I did a couple of things differently this time.

I took the meat out of the fridge and placed the rub onto the meat. Then, I let it sit there both to marinade and to let the meat come up to room temperature. This will help the meat cook more evenly. I also made sure I let it rest for a good 10-15 minutes after I took it out of the oven, before slicing.

For the chimichurri sauce, I made it ahead of time and refrigerated it at least a few hours before using it. It needs it because those flavors need to meld and mellow out a bit before you use it. I was never into chimichurri sauce until I had it recently on a steak salad. The tang from the vinegar, the herby freshness of the parsley and oregano, and the punch of the garlic really made an impression on me. So much so that I was compelled to make this meal. And it blew me away at how well it turned out and how awesome it tasted. I’d pay good money for a meal like this at a restaurant. Fortunately with this recipe, I didn’t have to.

None of it is tough to make, so don’t be intimidated. Just make your sauce the day before and you’re good to go. You’ll have dinner on the table in 30 minutes, flat. If you don’t have time to marinade the meat, it’s not a deal breaker. It’ll still be delicious. Serve it with rice, or tortillas to make into tacos. Leftovers are great for salads and sandwiches, too.

Chili Rubbed Flank Steak (from Martha Stewart Living)

1.5 – 2 lbs. flank steak or flap meat
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

Combine the sugar, chili powder, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside. Remove the meat from the fridge and place on a foil lined cookie sheet or jelly roll pan.

Coat 1 tablespoon oil on each side of the meat. Sprinkle generously the dry rub mixture onto each side of the meat. Make sure you rub it in well and coat all areas. Set the meat aside and let it marinade and come up to room temperature for about an hour.

Turn your oven’s broiler on and place the meat under the broiler, about 4 inches away from the broiler, for about 12 minutes for medium rare. Do not flip the meat.

Remove from the broiler and let rest for 15 minutes. Slice against the grain and serve with the following sauce on the side.

Chimichurri Sauce

2 cups fresh flat leaf/Italian parsley, most of the stems cut off
3/4 cup olive oil
3 tsp. dried oregano
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup red wine vinegar

Place the parsley, garlic, oregano, salt, and vinegar in a blender or food processor and blend for about a minute until everything is well chopped and incorporated. You may have to scrape down the sides and blend again for a few seconds.

Then, add the oil in a steady stream while blending. Place the sauce in an airtight container And refrigerate for at least an hour, preferably overnight, to let the flavors meld together. This sauce should keep for 1-2 weeks in the fridge.

Sunday Dinner: Taco Bake

IMAG1014My husband used to wax nostalgic about something he’d have at school for lunch that had taco meat and crushed Frito corn chips in it. Don’t worry, that’s not what I made for dinner here.

So when I saw a version of this recipe somewhere, I decided to make it my own. The original recipe has refried beans and extra salsa, which I took out. I think the salsa is a bit unnecessary since there’s fresh tomatoes in it, and the beans I omitted because the beef adds enough protein. The refried beans can be full of fat. You can certainly add a can of black beans, though, if you miss that flavor.

It wasn’t my husband’s original elementary school lunch recipe, and thank goodness! We think it’s better :).

Taco Crunch Bake

1 lbs. ground beef
1 package low sodium taco seasoning
1 cup of corn kernels (canned is fine)
2 cups broken tortilla chips
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup sliced olives
1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed (optional)
1 cup shredded cheddar
3 green onions, chopped
Plain Greek yogurt
1 sliced avocado
Shredded lettuce (optional)

Prepare ground beef with seasoning as directed. Drain well.

Line bottom of 9×11 pan with the chips. Layer the beef on top in on even layer. Follow with the corn, tomatoes, olives, then cheese. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes.

Serve with the yogurt and fresh avocado slices. Add shredded lettuce to make into a taco salad, if desired.

It’s What’s For Dinner: Cheesy Chicken Noodles

I recently found an easy recipe for some cheesy egg noodles that couldn’t be simpler and satisfied my craving for a macaroni and cheese alternative. I was happy enough with the result, but I wanted to make some alterations to fit the family’s tastes (less dairy, just as creamy, more chicken flavor).

The result is this. It’s so creamy and good without being overly rich.

Cheesy Chicken Noodles
8 oz. package egg noodles
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup chicken broth, warmed or at room temperature
1 10 oz. can of Cream of Chicken soup
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1 cup leftover rotisserie or roasted chicken, chopped (or a can of chicken breast, drained)
1/2 tsp. salt (optional)

Cook the noodles as directed. During the last 3 minutes of cooking, add the peas to the boiling water with the noodles to warm. Drain, then return to the warm pot. Add the broth and turn the heat back on low. Add the soup and the cheese mix until the cheese is melted and everything is blended. Add the salt if desired. Mix in the cooked chicken.

Serve immediately. Serves 4.

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Off to the Lobster Shack

I’d had one too many days of Thanksgiving ham, potatoes, and creamed corn (no bird this year) and wanted something totally different.

How about seafood?

I’ve been wanting to try the Old Port Lobster Shack in Redwood City, anyway. And a couple of friends originally from New England had mentioned it wasn’t bad for this part of the country. So we loaded up the kid and headed over.

It’s an ‘order at the counter’ kinda joint, so it’s a good takeout option if that’s what you’re looking for. We ordered ourselves a side salad, a bowl of New England clam chowder, steamed littleneck clams, and the sauteed shrimp plate.

My chowder was good. Very creamy. Almost a little TOO much cream. It seemed to almost override the seafood flavor. Just a tad less would’ve done the chowder a lot of good.

Then I had my steamed clams. The flavor of the white wine, garlic, fennel seed, parsley and other seasonings were strong. The clams, themselves, were impressive. Meaty, big, juicy and delish. But again, they were a little heavy handed with the seasonings and salt. I would’ve loved a little more allowance to let the clams’ natural flavors come through.

My husband says his shrimp dish was clean and flavored well. The shrimp were fresh and plump. But the blueberry cole slaw was just plain weird. It was obvious they were trying too hard and it didn’t work. His salad, however, was pretty standard and the elements were all very fresh and melded together well.

I was impressed with the service and the quality and freshness of food. Big plus for being a family friendly joint that doesn’t compromise on food quality.

However, they really need to tone down the extras and let the seafood’s natural flavors shine through. A place like this needs to stick to the basics and do them well. Good quality seafood is already so flavorful that they do a big disservice to themselves by adding things it doesn’t need.

Old Port Lobster Shack on Urbanspoon