Oh-So-Easy Chicken Fried Chicken in 30 Minutes

I came up with this recipe on accident when making another recipe. The fried chicken tasted so good I made it its own meal. It tastes so amazing, and the chicken is so tender that you can cut it with the side of your fork. And I can make this a whole meal in a half hour.

The gravy recipe is a modified version of the gravy recipe from 1000 Gluten Free Recipes by Carol Fenster. If you end up using almond milk like I did, you may need to add more seasoning, so you can modify this recipe to taste. The almond milk adds a touch of sweetness to the gravy. Regular milk would work as well, though. You may want to double the gravy recipe if you love gravy or want to make enough to pour over mashed potatoes. This will make just enough to pour over both pieces of chicken.

Oh yeah, and this recipe is gluten, corn, soy, and dairy free. And Candida Diet kosher.

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These pictures are from the last two times I made this. For the picture on the left, I let the gravy thicken too much. For the picture on the right, I am ashamed by the lack of vegetables. I apparently can’t master the art cooking two sides AND a main dish.

Ingredients:

For the Chicken:

2 tablespoons Olive Oil, or 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter

2 chicken breasts, fresh or thawed

1 egg

½ cup brown rice flour

½ teaspoon lemon pepper (or more, to taste)

½ teaspoon salt (or more, to taste)

½ teaspoon pepper (or more, to taste)

For the gravy:

1 tablespoon chicken drippings

1 cup of almond milk, divided into ¾ cup and ¼ cup ( I use the unsweetened coconut and almond milk blend)

2+ teaspoons brown rice flour

¼ teaspoon pepper

¼ teaspoon salt

Sprinkle of garlic powder

Directions:

If chicken is frozen, thaw it out thoroughly. It has to be thawed enough to pound out. Place one piece of chicken in a Ziploc bag and pound out until the meat is only ½ inch thick. Try not to break it into separate pieces. I don’t have a meat tenderizer, so I use the muddler from our bar set. It works perfectly!

Add the olive oil and butter to a large skillet and heat over medium high to high heat. If the oil starts to pop before you are ready, turn heat to low, but you need the oil to be very hot. Mix together the brown rice flour, lemon pepper, salt, and pepper in a pie plate. Beat the egg in a separate pie plate.

Dip the pounded-out chicken in the flour mix, than in   the egg, then back in the flour. Set aside. Repeat with other piece. You can continue re-dipping the chicken until all the egg or flour is used up.

By now the oil should be hot, so add the chicken to the skillet. Fry for 5 minutes, then turn over and fry for another 5 minutes. You may need to add more oil when turning if the skillet looks dry. The time may vary, depending on your stove and how hot the oil is, so watch the chicken and turn when each side is cooked to a nice dark brown. Mine works perfectly at 5 minutes a side though.

Remove chicken. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of drippings from the skillet. Add in ¾ cup of milk. Add and let it bubble on high while you mix the rest of the ingredients together – the 2 teaspoons flour, ¼ teaspoons salt and pepper, and garlic powder to remaining ¼ cup of milk. Mix until smooth, then pour into skillet. Cook gravy, stirring constantly, until thickened. If mixture is not thickening fast enough, add another teaspoon of flour. Taste the gravy to see if it needs more seasoning. Once thickened, turn off burner. Pour gravy over chicken and serve.

A Candida Diet Recipe Worthy of Thanksgiving

I love Thanksgiving. Mostly because I love pumpkin pie and savory foods like cranberry relish, although I’ve never much cared for turkey. One of the absolute BEST parts of Thanksgiving has always been my Granny’s cornbread dressing. It is so flavorful, so moist…ah. None of that dry crumbly stuff Northerners call stuffing. This is honest-to-goodness delicious dressing.

Unfortunately, I have not come here with a gluten-free and corn-free version of said recipe. I was really going to give it shot using the rice version of cornbread from the cookbook You Won’t Believe It’s Gluten Free. But with my taking to the candida diet, and my finding the new awesome recipe below, I decided adventures can wait another year. Perhaps I’ll post the recipe anyway because even with the corn bread it is an amazing gluten-free dish. I have to call and ask my mom first, though. After all, it’s her family recipe, not mine.

What I have come to share is Walnut Sage Smothered Quinoa Pilaf from Food52.com. It may not sound so terrific to you, but one whiff of it and one taste and you will throw out any stuffing you had planned on making and will turn to this recipe instead. SO amazing. It actually even has a bit of that stuffing texture from the processed walnuts. My family modified the recipe to be candida diet friendly, so I’ll repost the ingredients and directions here, crossing out what we didn’t use.

Walnut Sage Smothered Quinoa (Image via Food52.com)

To add a plug on just how great this recipe is, let me tell you that I have every intention of eating whatever I want for Thanksgiving dinner. Pie, sweet potatoes, cranberry relish, you name, it will be on my plate. I will probably even have a roll. HOWEVER this quinoa recipe is SO good, I have decided to make it instead of Granny’s dressing. So this is a taste choice, not a I-have-to-because-I’m-on-the-weirdest-diet-ever choice. Not that I like this more than Granny’s dressing. It’s just that I like it an awful lot, so why not make it instead?

Since we didn’t use lentils (who ever has lentils on hand, anyway?), we might’ve modified the liquid at the beginning. Just cook it how you know to: ½ cup quinoa to ¾ cup liquid. Boil the liquid, add the quinoa, simmer covered for about 15 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.

Another word of the wise: hold off on adding all the lemon juice. Ours turned out a little too lemony, so next time we would slowly add to taste instead of dumping it all in.

P.S. I call it stuffing because it is dry like stuffing, if that’s what you like. Not in a bad way, it just is. So I can’t bring myself to call it dressing. That name belongs to my Granny’s recipe.

Finally. Here it is: Walnut and Sage Smothered Quinoa

  • 2 cups ¾ cups water
  • 1/2 cup organic white Quinoa
  • 1/2 cup Beluga lentils
  • 1 cup Walnuts, toasted
  • ~20-22 Sage leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup Crumbled Feta Cheese
  • 1-1 1/2 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1-2 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon About 1 tablespoon of lemon juice (Don’t add all at once! Add a little at a time, to taste)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. In a large saucepan, combine the water & salt & bring to a boil. Add the beluga lentils, cover & cook for 5 minutes. Add the Quinoa and lower the heat to medium. cover & allow to cook till all the water is absorbed (~ 15 minutes). once cooked, fluff the lentil quinoa mix with a fork.
  2. Combine 1/2 a cup of toasted walnuts and about 15 torn sage leaves & coarsely mince in a food processor till they resemble coarse bread crumbs (albeit with a tantalizing aroma)
  3. Add 1 tablespoon of butter in a small skillet and add the minced walnut/sage mixture. Saute till the bits of sage begin to wilt.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining walnuts (broken into small bits), Lemon juice & orange zest. Add the feta cheese, quinoa/lentil mix, the sauteed walnut/sage blend and fold to combine all the ingredients. Drizzle with the EVOO, taste and adjust for seasonings as per your preference.
  5. Heat the remaining butter and add the remaining sage to it, sautee till the leaves crisp up and add the mix to the lentil quinoa pilaf as a garnish.

Homemade Green Salsa, From-Scratch Taco Seasoning, and Mexican Stuffed Peppers

This is a 3-in-1 recipe blog centering on the delights of spicy Mexican food. All recipes are easy to remember and fairly easy to prepare – only a lot of dicing with the salsa, but that isn’t a problem if you’ve got a Pampered Chef chopper (or the knock-off Bed Bath & Beyond version) like I have. And all recipes are Candida Diet friendly, as long as you can handle spicy foods (which I hear is off limits to some people). So here goes:

Taco Seasoning:

One batch of taco seasoning

This recipe is from Allrecipes.com. I use it exactly as written, but I’ve copied it here to make it easier. One recipe equals 3 Tablespoons. I make a double batch or bigger and store it in an extra container so I don’t have to mix it up very often.

Mix Together:

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (I use a little less – perhaps ½ teaspoon)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

Add to 1 lb cooked ground beef with a little water over medium heat until evenly coated and water has absorbed.

Green Salsa:

I found a tomato-free salsa recipe on the website Gluten Free / Dairy Free NJ. I modified it significantly so I am putting my version here.

Finely chop:

2 green peppers, 3 jalapenos, 1/2 bunch cilantro, 1 onion, 1 tbsp lime juice

  • 2 green peppers
  • 3 jalapeno peppers
  • 1 small onion
  • Half of one bunch of Cilantro

Mix all this together and add:

  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice

You can make this spicier by choosing very wrinkled jalapenos or by adding jalapeno seeds. And it is absolutely delicious! I brought it to a party so that I could have some salsa, and everybody ate it before I even got seconds. Seriously. Go make this. The nice thing with the recipe below is that it only calls for half a batch of salsa, meaning you have about two cups of salsa leftover to eat with chips, serve with burritos or otherwise use and enjoy. It lasts a long time in the fridge, too.

And now for the grand prize recipe….

Mexican Stuffed Peppers

This is a very easy recipe to modify for your tastes. Want it less spicy? Add less taco seasoning. Need it to stretch? Cook an extra half cup of rice.

By cooking 1 cup rice AND 1/2 cup quinoa and using all the salsa, I made two pans of pepper–one for me, and one for Luke (because I like quinoa more)

Ingredients:

-1 cup uncooked rice or ½ cup quinoa
-1 lb ground beef
-1 batch (3 Tablespoons) taco seasoning
-½ batch (about 2 cups) green salsa
-3-4 green peppers
-1 Tablespoon butter
-Shredded cheese (optional)
-Sour cream or plain yogurt (optional)
-Guacamole (optional)

Cook the rice or quinoa as directed. I use brown rice. You can make more or less stuffed peppers by adjusting how much rice or quinoa you use. Cook the ground beef and add the taco seasoning. Make the green salsa. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put a skillet over medium-high heat, add the butter. Slice the peppers in half top to bottom, cleaning out the seeds. Rub the cut sides in the butter in the pan and let sear, about 3 minutes. Once brown to black, flip over and sear the opposite side. You may need to do two batches of this to sear all the peppers

Mix the ground beef, rice, and salsa together. Fill peppers with mixture, and top with cheese. If you have extra mixture, just place it around the peppers. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, or until cheese melts. Serve alone, or with sour cream and guacamole. Makes 6-8 peppers, or feeds 3-4 people.

You can see how easy it is to double this recipe. Use 1 lb of meat and a whole batch of the seasoning and salsa, and you have 12 stuffed peppers, perhaps more. Once you make this recipe, you can modify it to your taste, adding more meat, rice or seasoning.

Dinner Cheat Sheet for Gluten Free Cooking Newbies

I’ve already given a gluten-free cheat sheet for baked goods  and breads. This is a very long dinner guide. I know it can feel overwhelming when faced with changing how you eat! Hopefully this will ease the transition and show you that gluten-free cooking can be a walk in the park. If you have any questions or want a full recipe, let me know in the comments!

Italian/Pasta

These are the easiest recipes to transform into gluten free because there are so many great gluten-free pasta options. I like Tinkyada brown rice noodles (elbow pasta, fettuccine, lasagna noodles, shells, and other noodles available), but I also liked the consistency of corn-based noodles. Here are some favorites:

Chicken alfredo with broiled broccoli – Mix the broccoli with the sauce and noodles and it tastes great! I also have a great simple alfredo sauce recipe I’ll share eventually.

Lasagna – Make it and freeze individual pieces for easy dinners.

Photo Via Flickr by Sea Turtle

Spaghetti – So fast and filling!

Mostaccioli– This is a great lasagna-like recipe. It rocks. And it’s easy.

Stuffed peppers – Ground beef cooked with onion and garlic, mixed with two cups of rice and about two cups of canned tomato sauce. Put into sliced-open and seared or boiled green bell peppers, sprinkle with cheese, bake for 15-20 minutes. A pretty fast and easy recipe, especially if you already have leftover rice. I’m pretty sure this recipe originally came from Betty Crocker.

Pizza – For a night when you have a little more time. Check out my Carbohydrate Cheat Sheet for good pizza recipes.

Mexican

With my recent discovery of how much I love avocado and cilantro, I make a burrito bowl or stuffed peppers probably once a week. Look online for salsa chicken or easy enchiladas!

Burrito Bowl – Love how you can make your own bowl at Chipotle? Replicate it at home with a little cilantro and lime in the rice, salsa chicken or beef in the crockpot, or just plain old taco meat (awesome for last minute dinners that need to be fast).

Mexican Stuffed Peppers – Love love love this recipe. I posted about it here. And the green salsa (that’s candida diet friendly) that it calls for is AMAZING. you’ll love it, I promise, so make a triple batch 🙂

Baked Enchiladas – Any enchilada recipe will do with gluten-free replacements like corn or rice tortillas. This is a great recipe for rice tortillas, which tend to be stiff, because this keeps them moist and yummy. Hardly distinguishable from gluten versions.

Crockpot salsa chicken or beef – There are several versions of this:

  1. Take a can of salsa, a sliced onion, and a sliced pepper, and dump it over a few frozen chicken breasts.
  2. For a beef or venison roast, pour a can of chipotle peppers in adobe sauce over the roast (but watch out because this can be spicy! Also, a venison roast will need to cook for a solid 9 hours to get tender enough.
  3. For either chicken or beef, use a small can of chopped green peppers, a packet of taco seasoning, and some broth.

Whichever version you choose, cook on low for 7-9 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. All options are great with a burrito bowl or on sandwiches.

Beans and rice – Cook the beans in the crockpot, cook rice, and serve with salsa, sour cream, and avocado. Surprisingly filling.

Baked Chicken

I love making baked chicken dishes because they generally include few ingredients and can cook really fast. I like to cut deep slits in each chicken breast to help it absorb the flavor better and help it cook faster. For the lemon pepper chicken, I sear the meat on a pan first because I think it adds some extra flavor.

Lemon pepper chicken – Dash of lemon juice and lots of lemon pepper. Sear first, then bake at 350 for about a half hour.

Incredible chicken – This is from a Ravinia Festival cookbook. It calls for butter, garlic salt, and brown sugar. I don’t really measure anymore and it always tastes amazing.

Heroin chicken – A quick Google search will turn up several versions of this recipe.

Stir Fry

Another fast meal that can be ready in a half hour—especially if you slice up chicken and freeze it for easy cooking.

Cilantro lime chicken – An amazing recipe that I plan on sharing with you soon!

Asian lettuce wrapsI use this recipe from Allrecipes.com. I added a half head of cabbage instead of some of the other veggies and made my own hoisin sauce replacement. I loved it. Hubby liked it, too, but it wasn’t his favorite. Just make sure you use gluten-free soy sauce!

Other Favorites

The grill will become your best friend. There are so many great recipes out there! I also love my crockpot if only for how easy it makes pulled pork.

Pulled pork – A splash of apple cider vinegar and salt is all it takes, and then choose your favorite BBQ sauce for it (make sure it is gluten free!). 4-5 hours on high, or 7-9 hours on low, or until it pulls apart easily with a fork.

Hamburgers and brats – Sauté some onions with this and eat with mustard. It tastes so good I don’t even miss the bun! Although you could use lettuce or GF bread. If you toast your pamela’s bread, it just starts to warm up and curl over on itself, perfect for holding a hotdog or brat.

Kielbasa and cabbage – This is another super easy meal. Quarter a head of cabbage, and put it in a big pan with one or two packages of sausage. Let simmer until a little brown on the bottom, or until cabbage is cooked through. The sausage will give its flavor to the cabbage.

Poppy seed chicken – Yet another recipe coming soon! You can look up versions on the internet, though.

Baked or grilled salmon – Try it with a little white wine, mayo, and herbs and it tastes amazing. Also great with tons of butter, lemon juice, and some other herbs. I also just made salmon fish sticks that were awesome.

BBQ chicken – Pretty easy. Just continually add your favorite sauce as they grill.

Oven-fried chicken tenders or fried chicken – So good. The tenders cook super fast. Can be a bit messy but oh so good. This skillet fried chicken recipe is easy and pretty fast, too.

Breakfasts

I love breakfast foods. Particularly biscuits and gravy—one of my favorite dinners! Other options:

  • Waffles
  • Omelets
  • Eggs and toast
  • Baked GF oatmeal
  • Rice cereal or grits

So if you are going gluten free and wondering what in the world you will make for dinner, here are a ton of recipes that I use or that my family uses on a regular basis.

What about you? Do you have an awesome go-to dinner? I’d love to hear it!

Carbohydrate Cheat Sheet for Gluten-Free Cooking Newbies

Every once and a while, someone will come to me or my family and ask us for recipes or ideas, as they have figured out they are allergic to gluten. While just avoiding all carbs is probably a good health move, sometimes you just really need that carbohydrate kick. So here are the basics of what you can do to make tasty gluten-free breads, pastas, and desserts.

Oh, and all suggestions below are corn free and soy free (with the exception of Pamela’s—the xanthan gum (corn) in it bothered me)

Part of my collection of gluten free flours.

Good Gluten-Free Mixes

I think most gluten-free mixes are up to par these days, so that leaves much of this to personal preference. I will mention national brands, but be sure to try out your local or regional mixes (that are run by companies too small to go nation-wide) as they can be just as good!

Pamela’s. I love Pamela’s. The baking mix is our family’s go-to for almost every recipe, including pancakes, crepes, muffins, coffee cake, and a fabulous carrot cake. The texture is impeccable. The flavor is good. And my dad swears that this carrot cake is the best he’s ever had, gluten or not. Note: the xanthum gum in Pamela’s bothered my corn allergy, so I started using more Namaste mixes and began to make more things from scratch, thanks to the 1000 Gluten Free Recipes book listed below)

Namaste: These mixes tend to make bigger batches than the others I’ve seen, and they are also corn free, soy free, and dairy free. I LOVE the brownie and blondie mixes. The cakes are pretty good, too.

Honorable Mentions: Gluten Free Pantry, Betty Crocker, and others all make delicious gluten-free mixes (but note that many Betty Crocker mixes contain soy in the chocolate). Honestly, there are plenty of great mixes out there, and many of them are only distributed locally. So support your local or regional economy and try them out! Then let me know what you think 🙂

Where to buy gluten-free mixes: Even Wal-Mart has started carrying gluten-free mixes (I’ve seen Betty Crocker’s gluten free cookies and cake mixes a lot, and I can vouch for their good price and great taste). But if you have extra pantry space or use one mix as a staple, consider buying in bulk on Amazon for a GREAT price.

Recommended Cookbooks and Recipe Sources

Pamela’s Products Website: This is yet another reason to love Pamela’s. Their website contains tons of great recipes for different cakes, breads, desserts, and other dishes. This is where we got that awesome carrot cake recipe, and also where I look to find the recipe for crepes and their banana bread.

The Cake Doctor Goes Gluten Free by Ann Byrn: We’ve made several recipes from this book, and they are all awesome. We actually had the strawberry cake as our wedding cake—seriously AMAZING!

You Won’t Believe it’s Gluten Free by Roben Ryberg: This book defies the idea that good from-scratch gluten-free treats have to involve two, three, or even four different flour replacements. This book is also a gem if you have multiple allergens, as she gives several versions of the same recipe. For example, she gives a rice flour version and a corn flour version (and I think a potato starch version) of doughnut holes. I’ve tried the rice flour doughnut holes, coffee cake, and biscuits and they all tasted good.

1000 Gluten Free Recipes by Carol Fenster: If you want to make gluten-free baked good from scratch, this is your best bet. It has recipes for phenomenal garlic bread sticks, pizza, French bread, buttermilk biscuits, and more. Seriously, the biscuits taste like regular biscuits, buttermilk flavor and all! This book generally breaks my no-complications rule, as it uses its own flour blend of sorghum flour, rice flour, and tapioca starch. However, I usually make a big batch of this flour blend and that simplifies things.

This book also has incredible instructions, tips, and tricks for gluten-free baking. After reading this book, I am no longer afraid to make yeast-based recipes from scratch. She also includes an awesome replacement guide for different flours and starches, depending on what you are trying to make. Seriously, this books rocks.

If you are living corn and soy free as well as gluten free, you need to buy this book.

Gluten-Free Bread Replacements

Now that you know the recipe sources and mixes, here is what we usually make for our gluten-free bread replacements:

Sandwich Bread: Pamela’s Bread Mix. Hands down the best gluten-free bread, and it is incredibly easy to make. I have friends who make it in the oven, but my family LOVES the breadmaker. Simply put in the ingredients and walk away for three hours. Also since this mix does not require a gluten-free setting, you can use any breadmaker and it will always turn out fine. Don’t think you can afford a breadmaker? My family has found three breadmakers for $5-$15 a piece at various garage sales. They all make this bread perfectly. Did I mention the mix comes with the yeast so all you have to do is dump the ingredients in?

If you want to buy bread, I’ve heard great things about Udi’s. I tried it myself and thought it was delicious! It does contain either corn or soy, though.

Pizza: Pamela’s Bread Mix OR 1000 Gluten Free Recipes’ Pizza. This is a toss-up. I love both these crusts. The 1000 Gluten Free Recipes one is faster, but you can toss the Pamela’s into the breadmaker on the dough setting for less mess (It will take longer either way as it takes time to rise). Your choice, really.

Pasta: Tinkyada Brown Rice Pasta. You can’t go wrong with this brand. It can handle overcooking, it’s cheap, and it’s easy to find. I buy mine at Wal-Mart. It also doesn’t taste that different. Corn-based pastas are also really good and have a better texture (I just can’t have it).

Breading or Flour for Fried Foods:  Bob’s Red Mill. I make oven fried chicken or chicken tenders, oven fried fish sticks, and fried avocado, and Bob’s Red Mill all-purpose flour works just fine. In fact every gluten-free flour I’ve tested has turned out fine, including brown rice flour or bean flour used on its own.  I also use Quinoa Flakes in place of bread crumbs, but you can also make your own breadcrumbs by grating and toasting an old gluten-free loaf (this will freeze well).

Phew! That’s about all I have to say on gluten-free baked goods. Also, with these amazing alternatives, my family makes fantastic coffee cake, money bread, and other favorites. We’re still on the lookout for a simple and perfect cinnamon roll, so let us know if you find a recipe!

Did I miss any of your favorite recipes or mixes? Wondering how to make a specific thing? Let me know in the comments!

Tried and True – Coconut Flour Bagels

I have lived gluten- corn- and soy-free for over three years, but the no-sugar no-carb diet of the Candida Diet has been new for me. After all, what do you do without fruit, caffeine, and starchy vegetables? I’ve had surprising luck with it, however, and the four weeks I’ve been on the diet haven’t seemed very long or tedious. One thing I’ve been wanting to try is a coconut flour-based bread, since coconut flour is supposedly the best thing ever, especially for the candida diet.

This is a recipe I’ve just tried, which I found as a decent replacement for bread—plus it’s a BAGEL! When was the last time you had a decent gluten and corn free bagel?

This bread holds together very well and is very moist. It has a distinct garlic taste (and I even cut down the garlic it called for by about half), but it also has a sweet coconut taste. Side note – I can’t taste the garlic as well when my nose is stuffy (I’ve had a cold) but the better I get, the more I taste the garlic. I also tried adding a chopped green onion to the mix second time around and it was delicious!

Also, the batter was much like cake batter for me and had to be spread out with a rubber spatula onto the parchment paper. In the original, I believe she said the dough would be more crumbly. I believe the difference is from the type of coconut flour used—I used Let’s Do Organic (and added a handful more flour than the recipe called for) and she used Bob’s Red Mill (I think). That didn’t seem to faze the final product, though. It was still delicious.

Overall, it was a great carrier for sandwiches, eggs, and peanut butter. Or alone with butter, like Foodie Fiasco recommends. Not to mention much healthier than the brown rice bread I’d been using.

Image via Foodie Fiasco

I ate all mine before I got a picture, so this is one of the most delicious pictures from Foodie Fiasco. Be sure to go and check out the recipe!