Sunday, January 27, 2013

Gluten Free Chicken Tenders

this may sound awful, but you know one of the things i've missed most since going gluten free a little over a year ago? fried food. i can get reasonable bread g-free, so bread pudding, french toast, etc - no big deal. cake, pizza? totally doable. but here's the thing, most of that is stuff i make at home. aside from waffle fries at chick-fil-a, i don't eat fried food, because none of it is safe. (oh, and fries from red robin. yummm.) so when faced with my inner eight-year-old's fierce craving for chicken tenders and ketchup, what is a girl to do?
figure it out. so i took some frozen chicken tenders, dredged them up in my new favorite all purpose gluten free flour blend, and pan-fried them in heart healthy, high heating coconut oil. i love using coconut oil not only for its health benefits (of which it has many), beauty benefits (again, a lot). but also because i can heat it really hot in my cast iron and not worry about the smoke point. for example, while olive oil is very healthy (and butter is very delicious), they both have very low smoke points. this means when they get hot, they smoke a LOT, burn, and their micro-components break down into something not so good. in fact, heating olive oil to smoke point can bring out toxins. yikes, right? so...coconut oil it is! plus it smells really good in my kitchen.
here is the method!

what you need:
chicken tenders (10-12)
1-1.5 cups all purpose gluten free flour (i used trader joe's brand)
1 tbls garlic salt (or whatever seasonings you like, to taste)
1/2 tsp paprika
2 tsp hot sauce (i used frank's red hot)
one large egg
3/4 cup milk (non-dairy milk will work fine here too, 
just be sure it's unsweetened and unflavored)
special equipment: cast iron pan, or other heavy pan

mix egg, milk, and hot sauce in a bowl large enough to dip your chicken tenders. i used a smallish-medium mixing bowl from a nesting set i have. in a separate bowl, mix the flour, garlic salt, and paprika. put enough coconut oil in your cast iron pan to liberally coat the boat, and begin heating it over medium to medium-high heat. give it a few minutes to heat well. you'll know it's ready when you drop in just a tiny bit of oil and it immediately starts bubbling. 
prepare to get a little messy. start dredging your chicken. coat it in flour, then the egg and milk mixture, then back in the flour, then gently place it in the hot oil. it'll sizzle and start getting all fabulous. now don't touch it! just let it fry for a minute or two. when the edges start browning, go ahead and gently flip it over the brown the other side. once it's golden brown, remove the chicken tenders from the pan and drain on a plate covered with one or two paper towels. repeat in batches until all your chicken is done! you can probably do somewhere between four to six tenders at a time in your pan, depending on its size. 

i thought i wanted them with ketchup- and ended up eating most of them throughout the day drizzled with a little raw honey!

oh, and here is a picture of one of my cats. he watched me the entire time i cooked from the TOP of one of my cabinets. hi cat. (he is looking might smug, isn't he!)

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