Szechuan Roast Chicken


Anyone who needs to eat gluten free will know that eating out in many Asian eateries can be a nightmare so I have started making more and more gluten free versions of meals that I remember from my gluten days.

Don’t be tempted to through out the bones and leftover pan juices! Boil them up to make the most flavoursome stock for any future Chinese style cooking.

Serves 8.

Ingredients

2 x 1.6kg whole chickens

3 teaspoons Szechaun peppercorns

6 garlic cloves

60mls gluten free soy sauce

250mls chicken stock

40g ginger, skin on, thinly sliced

Method

In a mortar and pestle, crush the Szechaun pepper and garlic. Tip into your roasting tin.

Add the soy sauce, chicken stock and ginger to the roasting tin.

Take a chicken and carefully seperate the skin from the flesh over the breast and legs, repeat with the second chicken.

Place the chicken into the roasting tin and carefully pour some of the marinade under the skin of each bird and massage well in. Place a few ginger slices into the cavity of each chicken. Marinade the chicken, turning occasionally, for 6-8 hours.

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Centigrade.

Turn the chicken, breast side up, cover with a piece of dampened baking parchment and then with foil, ensuring that it is really well sealed.

Bake for 90 minutes.

Turn the oven up to 210 degrees, uncover the chicken and baste with the pan juices.

Return to the oven and bake for 30 minutes, basting regularly until cooked through and dark golden.

Allow to rest for talents 20 minutes.

While the chicken rests, strain the pan juices into a small pan, add a little chicken stock or water if you don’t have much.

Slice the chicken with the skin on and pour over the warmed pan juices.

Sri Lankan Zucchini And Coconut Curry

This is one of those easy vegetarian curries that gives the impression that you have spent hours blending spices and cooking over a hot stove! 

Thanks to curry leaves and quick cooking zucchini/courgette you can have this on the table in around 20minutes. Just enough time to cook the rice.

Serves 4-6.

Ingredients

30-50mls oil or ghee

2 teaspoons cumin seeds

1 dry chilli

15 curry leaves

1 shallot, halved and finely sliced

1 pinch turmeric power

650g zucchini/courgette if large, quartered and then cut into even chunks, around 1.5-2cm

270mls coconut milk

50mls water

Method

In a large frying pan with a lid, heat the oil or ghee.

Once hot, add the cumin seeds, chilli and curry leaves.

As soon as the leave start spluttering, add the shallot, turn the heat down and slowly cook the shallot until soft, 5-7 minutes.

Now add the turmeric, zucchini, coconut milk and water to the pan. Stir well and cover.

Bring up to the boil and simmer for 7-10 minutes, stirring frequently as the sauce thickens.

Once the zucchini is cooked your curry is ready.

Almond And Raspberry Muffins

These little muffins are a delight, no one can guess that they are gluten free and they are definitely very moreish!

This recipe makes 48 muffins and I can guarantee they will all be eaten but if you have a few leftover they freeze well, I pop them into the school lunch boxes frozen and they are ready to eat by lunch.

Ingredients

150g ground almonds/almond meal

30g coconut flour

50g cornflour

40g buckwheat flour

1 tablespoon gluten free baking powder

100g butter, melted

140g Greek yogurt

1 egg, beaten

125mls milk

120g raspberry jam

Method

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees centigrade. Line two 24 mini muffin trays with cases.

In a large bowl, combine the ground almonds, coconut flour, corn flour, buckwheat flour and baking powder. Give these dry ingredients a whisk to get some air into the mix.

In a seperate bowl, whisk the melted butter and yogurt, add the egg and milk and whisk again.

Now, pour the wet ingredients into the dry and fold in gently, as it begins to combine, spoon in the jam and fold again to just incorporate the jam.

Using a dessert spoon, spoon the batter into the cases, around two thirds full, no more or they will come over.

Once you have filled all the cases, slide the trays into the oven and bake for 20 minutes until golden.

Allow to cool a little on a wire rack, they are delicious still warm from the oven.

Seedy Salmon

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This is a fab quick dinner that sneaks some healthy seeds and nuts into the kids without them even realizing.

I have used gluten free bread here, crusts and the heel of a loaf, it’s so expensive to buy I don’t like to waste any of it! Regular bread will work just as well.

Serves 6.

Ingredients

6 salmon fillets, around 150g each

75g gluten free bread

2 tablespoons sunflower seeds

1 tablespoon chai seeds

1 tablespoon nigella/koolanji seeds

2 tablespoons dukkah

salt and pepper

olive oil

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.

Check the fillets for bones and line up, skin down on the baking sheet.

In a food processor, blitz the gluten free bread to form crumbs.

Add the sunflower seeds and blitz again.

Pour the crumbs into a bowl and add the chai, nigella, dukkah, salt and pepper.

Spoon this crumb over each fillet and then drizzle each fillet with a little oil.

Pop the tray into the oven and bake for 15 – 20 minutes.

Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Chicken And Corn Burgers

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During the school holidays we have been trying out new burger recipes and this one has been very popular with my boys so I am now making these burgers in the canteen of our local primary school.

These burgers freeze brilliantly so double the recipe, bake them, cool them and freeze them for another night.

This recipe has a gluten free option in the ingredients list too. Makes 6-8 burgers.

Ingredients

500g chicken thighs, minced

100g sweet corn kernals

60g grated cheese

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

a pinch of chilli powder

20g fresh breadcrumbs or 2 tablespoons potato starch

salt and pepper

Method

Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl.

Preheat the oven to 210 degrees centigrade and line two baking sheets with baking parchment.

Fill a bowl with water, wet your hands and form the meat into six balls and the six patties, wetting your hands between each one.

Lay the patty onto the prepared baking sheet and using the palm of your hand flatten gently until 1cm thick. Repeat with the remaining patties and pop into the oven.

Bake for 15-20 miutes until cooked through and golden.

Zucchini Slice

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School has finally gone back in Western Australia for the start of the new school year. I am tempted to do a little happy dance!!!

As ever, I have been on the hunt for a gluten free savoury to go into the lunch boxes and this one has been voted by the boys as a winner!

For a vegetarian option, omit the bacon and add grated sweet potato or just increase the zucchini, carrot and capsicum.

You can serve this warm or cold and it easily cuts into 8-10 pieces.

Ingredients

420g zucchini/courgette grated

200g carrot, peeled and grated

6 large spring onions, finely sliced

20g chives, chopped

180g capsicum/ bell pepper, diced

300g sliced bacon, diced

180g cheese, Cheddar, grated

110g Parmesan, grated

150g chickpea flour, also called besan

2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder

4 eggs, beaten

125mls milk

salt and pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees centigrade. Line the base and sides of a small roasting tin, roughly 20cm x 32cm.

Whisk the egg and milk.

Combine the chickpea flour and baking powder in a large bowl, slowly whisk in the egg and milk mix.

Add the remaining ingredients and mix, season well with salt and pepper.

Spoon into the prepared tin, level out with the back of the spoon and bake for 40 minutes until golden.

Allow to cool a little before cutting.

 

Parmesan and Chive Waffles

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One of the boys was given a waffle iron for his Christmas so we have had fun trying to come up with gluten free waffles.

These were a real favourite and got them away from the maple syrup and nutella for one breakfast at least over the festive season!

Makes 6-8 waffles depending on your waffle iron size.

Ingredients

150g gluten free plain flour

2 and a 1/2 tablespoons gluten free baking powder

1 egg

290mls milk

70g finely grated Parmesan cheese

3 tablespoons fresh chopped chives

salt and pepper

Method

Preheat your waffle iron.

Using a stick blender, whizz up the flour, baking powder, egg and milk.

Stir in the cheese and chives, season with salt and pepper. Not too much salt as the cheese can be quite salty!

Pour your regular quantity of batter into the waffle iron and cook until golden brown.

Top with ham/bacon and an egg.