Thursday, May 20, 2010 1 comments
(and it's gluten free, but I bet you couldn't tell!)

I have wanted to try making gluten free fried chicken for a while now. It seemed there were a few months that every time I turned on Food Network, someone was making fried chicken. At first I pouted - "but I can't have wheat!" And then it occurred to me that wheat flour is not the only option! So the wheels started turning...

I've tried making fried chicken before, and it never turned out the way I thought it should. The breading didn't stick, or it was soggy,and the chicken was dry. Well, all those Food Network cooking shows paid off. I got several tips from each show, and paid special close attention to the tips that more than one person mentioned.
  • oil temperature. The oil has to be at 375 degrees when you drop your food into it. It will initially drop the temperature, which you'd like to be at about 360 for cooking. So starting at 375 is perfect. All of the cooks stressed this point.
  • add salt immediately upon pulling out the fried food - while it's still hot, it pulls the salt in, creating a nice season - after the food cools it will tend to fall off.
  • Brine the chicken. Only one of the cooks suggested this, but he was from the south so officially he gets my vote of confidence. I did do this and the chicken was super juicy on the inside.
  • let the breaded chicken rest at room temperature for a few minutes before dropping in the fryer. Two different cooks brought this up. I forgot the details of the explanation, but it had something to do with helping the breading staying on the chicken. I guess cold chicken doesn't like it's breading as it goes into the hot oil.
  • double dip - egg wash, flour, egg wash, flour. I didn't do this because I didn't want to use that much flour/starch. And I thought I'd try it the other way first to see how it turned out. It was fine without it but eventually I'd like to try it and see how it fares. (It was a tip from the "South Guy" again)
  • use a deep, heavy pot as it will hold the temperature better, and of course prevent burns and messes from SPITTING GREASE!!! dun dun dun.

Here's what Cory and I had - Orange Chicken :) Yum. Recipe to follow. Here is the original recipe: "
Panda Express Orange Chicken"

Here is the recipe with my changes:

1 1/2 lbs chicken tenders, cut in 2 inch pieces
2 eggs
2 tsp salt
white pepper
Canola Oil (for frying) - I used about a quart
3/4 cup potato starch or corn starch
1/2 cup rice flour (can use wheat flour)
1 Tb ginger root, peeled and minced
1 Tb garlic, minced or pressed
1 pearl onion, with green top (This is what was in my garden, I'm sure just green onions would be fine)
2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups water
1 T thickener (I used Arrowroot, can use cornstarch)

-Orange Chicken Sauce-

1 1/2 T Braggs Liquid Aminos or soy sauce
1 1/2 T water
3 T agave nectar or 5 T sugar
5 T Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar or white distilled vinegar

Brine your chicken. Add it to a bowl of salt and water and let it sit for 1-2 days or, even just 30 minutes. Prepare flour mixture, mix well rice flour, potato starch, salt and pepper. Prepare Orange Chicken Sauce. I just put mine in a pickle jar and shook it up, so I could keep it in the fridge until I was ready to use it. (I prepared the flour mix and orange sauce earlier in the day)

When you're ready to cook... Heat your oil - make sure it reaches 375 degrees.
In a separate bowl, lightly beat eggs. Peel and mince ginger, press garlic, chop onion and carrots.
Dip your chicken in the egg, then into the flour. Only flour a few pieces at at time and try to keep the liquid from the egg with the chicken - don't overwhelm your flour or you'll have a gloppy mess in your flour bowl. As you bread the chicken pieces, let them sit on a plate to "rest" at room temperature for a few minutes.
When you're done breading the last of the chicken, you'll be ready to start frying the first pieces. Don't crowd the pot or you'll drop the temperature too low. I put 5-8 pieces in at a time. Set the timer for 5-6 minutes. Once the pieces come out, cut one to check for doneness - it should be white, and juices should run clear. Salt immediately before it cools. Add the next batch until the chicken is all cooked and get to working on the sauce.
In another pan, sauté the garlic and ginger in a Tb of hot oil until fragrant (2-3 min), then add the onion and carrots. Stir fry those for 2-4 min, then deglaze the pan with the Orange sauce. Bring to a boil. Add the cooked chicken, and stir, coating it all over.
In a separate bowl, mix 1 Tb arrowroot (or cornstarch) with 1 1/2 cups water until it's all dissolved, add to pan, stirring and heat until sauce thickens.

Serve over brown rice and enjoy :-) We sure did.
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Peanut Butter Rolo Cookies

Monday, May 17, 2010 0 comments
I got this recipe during my first year of college - and I love it. Not to mention it is ridiculously easy.


  • Peanut Butter Cookie Mix

  • Water, Oil, Egg (as directed on cookie mix)

  • A package of Rolos (you won't use them all)

  • Directions:

  • Preheat oven according to cookie package

  • Make Peanut Butter cookie dough according to directions

  • Once the dough is made, unwrap some Rolos. You'll be making anywhere from 30-36 cookies with this recipe. I usually unwrap a handful at a time, and then unwrap more as necessary. (And, if in the end you have found you have unwrapped too many - enjoy the extra snack!)

  • Take a small amount of dough, and roll it into a ball completely covering the Rolo.

  • The balls end up being about an inch to an inch-and-a-half in diameter. As long as the Rolo is covered, and you don't see little bits of it sticking out, you'll be fine. The more dough you use per cookie, the thicker the cookie part will be so you will have to cook them a little longer - you will also get fewer cookies. It's totally a preference.

  • Bake the cookies for anywhere from 9-11 minutes. This totally depends on your oven.

  • (This is only one batch, I had another in the oven)

    You'll know the cookies are ready when the bottom edges (closest to the cookie sheet) are just slightly brown. A few of the cookies may also start to brown a very little on the top in the center. Don't over-cook them because the caramel in the Rolo will harden quickly once they cool if they are over-done.

    Once you have pulled them out of the oven, allow them to cool for 2 minutes on the cookie sheet before transfering to a cooling rack. Also, I would suggest twisting the cookies on the sheet before you try to remove them with a spatula. Sometimes the bottom of the cookie will stick to the sheet causing the melted Rolo to stay on the sheet, leaving you with a hollow cookie. Allow to cool (or not, they are DELICIOUS when eaten warm), and enjoy! Store in an air-tight container (i.e. Tupperware) to keep the carmel center chewy.

    One of my favorite, and easiest cookies to make. I promise you'll be addicted once you've tried them. And no, I haven't already eaten 5 of the ones I just made this afternoon...........
    Family Update: Justin and I found out we will be having a baby boy in September, and we couldn't be more thrilled! The pregnancy is going very well, and we love looking at (and occasionally purchasing) cute things for our little man that will be joining us in just 4 months time.
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