Friday, April 22, 2011

Chick-faux-la Nuggets

My son is all about the look-alike foods and Chick-fil-a is one of the only fast-food we'll still occasionally pick up in the drive-through on a busy day, so he needed his own version too!

Chicken Nuggets

  • 1 to 1 1/2 lbs fresh chicken breasts (2-3 breasts), cut into 1 1/2" chunks
  • rice milk to submerge cut chicken (or safe milk substitute)
  • a few drops of apple cider vinegar (or safe vinegar or lemon juice)
  • 1 1/2 cups safe flour (I use a mix of oat and barley flours)
  • Kosher salt 
  • Black pepper
  • canola oil (or safe oil/fat)

The chicken I buy comes in a plastic container that I use also use as my preparation dish. The less I have to touch raw chicken/meat, the better. Cut into chunks, about 1 1/2" across. The more uniform the pieces, the more evenly they will cook.

Once all the pieces are cut, pour rice milk to nearly submerge all the chicken. Add a few drops of apple cider vinegar. (This mimics buttermilk.) Mix in a bit and let sit for about 5 minutes while you do the next steps.

Pour canola oil in shallow pan to achieve a depth of about 1/2". Turn on heat to medium.

Now mix up your flour. I mix equal amounts of oat and barley flours, about 1 1/2 cups total. Season with Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, I use about a teaspoon of each.

Bread each piece of chicken in the flour mixture by completely covering then shaking off excess. Place into the hot oil. Place your chicken in an orderly fashion so you can keep track of which ones need flipping! Continue on until your pan is full.

When the first-placed nuggets start turning golden on the bottom, flip them over! Watch carefully and flip the rest of the nuggets as they are ready.

Watch for the 2nd side to turn golden brown, and when each nugget appears ready, remove it from the pan. I usually cut a few of the large nuggets in half to check that they truely are cooked through. Odd-shaped nuggets may need a 3rd cooking round on their side if the top and bottom cooking wasn't sufficient.

Repeat process until all the chicken is cooked!

These freeze really well! I usually just keep them in the refrigerator since my son eats them up so quickly, though. To reheat, place in a 375F oven until oil begins to glisten at the surface (about 5 minutes for refrigerated, 8-9 for frozen).

I shared this recipe in Cybele Pascal's Allergy Friendly Friday 4/22/11 post!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Coconut Cupcakes Update: Gum-free

My little guy seems to have developed a guar gum allergy in the last few months, in addition soy, so that means some of my older recipes were due for makeovers. Today, I'll share the makeover of my coconut cake recipe! Since I was testing I just did a half-batch, but that was perfect for one pan of cupcakes! They may have been slightly more delicate than the original recipe that include guar gum, but I think they turned out great! Most importantly, they were a hit with my son. :) I'd planned a chocolate frosting for them, but they didn't last long enough for me to mix up a frosting!

Coconut Cupcakes

1/4 cup palm shortening (I used Spectrum)
1/4 cup coconut oil (room temperature)
1 cup granulated sugar
6 Tbls unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp unflavored gelatin + 1 Tbls hot water (mix and set aside)
1/2 cup + 2 Tbls rice flour (=10 Tbls)
5 Tbls tapioca starch (flour)
5 Tbls arrowroot starch
6 Tbls coconut flour
2 teaspoons safe baking powder (see sidebar)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups rice milk, hot

Preheat oven to 350F.

Beat sugar, coconut oil and shortening. Blend in applesauce and gelatin mixture. In a separate bowl, mix together flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Slowly mix in half the flour mixture, then half the milk, until blended. Slowly mix in remaining flour and milk.

Bake in lined cupcake pans for about 20 minutes. Bake cake layer in greased or parchment lined pan for about 30 minutes. Let sit in pan until cooled.

Yields 12 standard-sized cupcakes or single 8" round cake layer.

I shared this recipe on Cybele Pascal's Allergy Friendly Friday! Check out all the other great allergy friendly recipes shared this week!