Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Gluten-Free Crispy Chicken Strips

Crispy chicken tenders, a grown-up version of a chicken nugget treat. I have to say that I was never the kid to order chicken nugget meals. I would much rather have a cheeseburger and a milk shake. But now that I am more conscious of what is going in my body, I don't eat out much at fast food restaurants anymore. Sometimes late night commercials of up-close burgers, chicken sandwiches they are trying to sell people for a fourth meal of the day... I have to confess sometimes they get me and bring me back to being a kid and get me thinking how good that could be. Looks are deceiving. Well, let me say this recipe did not come out of a late night craving while I was watching the 11 o'clock news, but it does reflect a comfort go-to-food that I might have had more commonly as a kid.

I made up this gluten-free dairy-free recipe on a busy week-night and it was quick and easy and kinda fun too, so don't think you will have to take any extra time for this ensemble. I will continue to make this meal because of how easy it was, but it was also very fulfilling and easy to add any kind of vegetable or salad with. So you can have a very healthy way of making an old-fashioned crispy chicken without the extra calories and not skimping on any great flavors.

Dry mix breading:
1 1/2 cup of ground almonds
1 1/2 cup of organic corn meal
2 ts. of sea salt or a tad more depending on your taste
2 ts. cracked pepper
1 ts. cayenne pepper
2 ts. paprika
2 ts. dried basil
2 ts. dried rosemary

Liquid mixture to dip:
3/4 cup of almond milk
juice of one lemon

1 and a half pounds (or so) of organic chicken breast or local chicken without hormones or additives
*You want to get out a big piece of parchment paper and lay out the chicken breasts. Cut them in half or thirds and then lay over the rest of the parchment paper. Then with a meat pounder or tenderizer you are going to want to pound the chicken until it is it is flattened.
*Then you will dip the chicken pieces into the milk/lemon mixture and then dip into the breading. Lay all of the strips in a Pyrex baking pan, I used a 9x13 and also an 8x8 to fit all the pieces. I drizzled olive oil on the pans before laying the strips and I also drizzle some olive oil on top of the strips before I put them in the oven. Not too much, just a little drizzling to keep it crunchy too.
*Bake at 35o degrees for 30-40 minutes depending on how big and thick your chicken pieces are. Mainly just check to see if the chicken is cooked and no longer pink. Once done, let cool for a few minutes, but it is ready to serve up. It smells so good and its hard not to nibble on some of the pieces...
*I had some honey mustard dressing on hand so I made a greens salad to eat with the chicken strips so it almost was a chicken salad. The dressing was great with the strips, or even a little organic ketchup is tasty as well. I love having sauces or dressing so I like to have a little mustard, ketchup and even some homemade bbq. hmmmm, be creative!

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