Lemon chicken alfredo

April 27, 2010

Some dishes are renown for the hard work that goes into making them delicious. But there are plenty of dishes that are famously delicious simply thanks to their ingredients. Like Alfredo. So, do not be dismayed if you are on a gluten-free diet that you cannot open a jar of Alfredo sauce from the shelf and dump it on your (brown rice) pasta. This is not hard, and it’s better.

Alfredo sauce might be elementary, but good chicken is another story. Making boneless chicken that isn’t dried out and rubbery always presents a challenge. I have, thus, become a big fan of brining my chicken whenever I get the chance and cooking it “quickly” at high temperatures. This is not hard, either, but it does require some forethought. And it’s really not absolutely necessary, but I believe this extraordinary sauce deserves a worthy accompaniment.

Alfredo Sauce

  • zest of 1 lemon and the juice of half the lemon (reserve juice of other half for chicken)
  • 3 T salted butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 T cornstarch
  • 2 C heavy cream
  • 1 C grated Parmesan (or more to taste)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg

Melt the butter in a saucepan with the cornstarch, the grated zest of 1 lemon and the minced garlic. Let the butter heat until foaming a bit, then add the cream. Simmer until the mixture has thickened, then stir in the Parmesan, sugar, nutmeg and juice of half a lemon. Take off the heat. Toss with brown rice pasta.

Chicken

  • 1 –  1 ½ lbs boneless chicken
  • ¼ C sugar
  • ¼ C salt
  • water to cover
  • olive oil
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • garlic powder
  • juice of half a lemon
  • Fresh minced herbs, such as parsley and chives

In a large plastic resealable bag or a container with a cover, dissolve 1/4 C table salt and 1/4 C sugar in a couple cups of water. When it has dissolved, add the 1 to 1 1/2 lbs of boneless chicken breast and add more cold water, enough to completely submerge the chicken. Brine the chicken in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Remove the chicken from the brine and rinse thoroughly under running water. Pat the chicken dry and place in an oven pan. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle generously with fresh ground black pepper and garlic powder. Place the chicken in an oven preheated to 500 degrees. Cook the chicken for around 20 minutes, (depending on the thickness) or until the chicken starts to brown a bit. After removing the chicken from the oven, squirt on the juice of half a lemon and let it rest, loosely tented with foil, 5 to 10 minutes. Cut the chicken into slices and serve over pasta tossed with Alfredo sauce, reserving a bit of the sauce to spoon over the chicken. Garnish with fresh herbs.


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One particularly difficult challenge for many people learning to eat and cook gluten-free for the first time is finding an alternative to the beloved can of cream-of-mushroom soup for sprucing up dinner. So this is for the cream-of-mushroom fans. It’s true that this will take a little longer to make than it would take to open the can, but it will be worth it. Spoon it over your roasted pork loin or add some peas and ground beef for a hamburger helper meal! You can dress it up or down. Add an extra tablespoon of cornstarch if you would like a very thick sauce.

  • 4 T butter
  • 8z sliced mushrooms
  • 2 diced shallots
  • 1 T cornstarch
  • 2 C white wine
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp herbs de provence
  • ½ tsp salt (or to taste)
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • ½ C crème fraîche or sour cream

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and shallots and saute until the mushrooms are soft and the liquid has evaporated from the pan (just before they start to brown). Sprinkle the cornstarch over the mushrooms and stir to combine well. Add the white wine and the Dijon mustard and turn up the heat to medium high, simmering until the sauce has reduced and thickened. When the sauce has reached your desired consistency, take it off the heat and add salt and pepper to taste, the herbs de provence and the crème fraiche or sour cream.

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Banana bread

April 2, 2010

Classic, and gluten-free! I based this recipe on the Joy of Baking recipe…and as many of you have probably already discovered, the Joy of Baking recipes are always delicious.

We made this bread last night for our Maundy Thursday observation with the boys. Jude repeated with wonder, “Jesus is the Bread of Life, broken for you and me” as we ate our first bite of banana bread. He retold the story of the Last Supper to himself as he finished his slice, repeating “Jesus broke the bread,” with each bite. It was a very special, wondrous time, and God spoke to our hearts as we shared this meal. We wish you a wonderful Holy Week.

  • 1 C sorghum flour, spooned into cup
  • ½ C tapioca starch, spooned into cup
  • ½ C cornstarch or potato starch, spooned into cup
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 3 large ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ C unsalted, melted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¾ C sugar
  • 1 C toasted, chopped walnuts or chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter a loaf pan. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients together. In another bowl, mash the bananas thoroughly. Beat in the eggs, then the melted butter, vanilla and sugar. Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Fold in the walnuts or chocolate chips if desired. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for approximately 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out of the middle clean. Let the bread cool most of the way in pan, then remove the loaf from the pan onto a wire rack. Slice and enjoy!