Natural Nutrition for your family
Our family recently moved to the South and also went gluten-free. Living in the land of biscuits, Chick Fil A and Waffle House can make being gluten-free a real bummer for my kids. So I try to make gluten-free versions of foods they love at home. Here’s a gluten-free dinner they love: Chicken and Waffles.
About going gluten-free: I have nothing scientific to share here. I can only tell you our family’s experience, which is purely anecdotal. Our youngest child was suffering from miserable eczema and stomach aches. The poor kid was 3 years old and would clutch his tummy with one hand, scratch his face with the other and moan. After trying several different things, we took gluten out of his diet and noticed a huge difference after only several days. It’s been about 9 months and he’s been eczema /tummy-ache free and a happy camper since. We didn’t have him tested for allergies or Celiac – he seems fine with cross-contamination and even small amounts of gluten that slip in on occasion. If you suspect you might have an allergy or medical condition, please discuss with your doctor.
I removed the skin from my drumsticks,because I don’t like the taste or texture of the skin. This step is purely optional and can be done ahead of time. 3 lbs of chicken was 12 organic drumsticks.
Brine the chicken: This makes the chicken full of flavor and juicy. Dissolve 3 Tbsp of salt in 1 qt of water. Soak chicken in this salt water mixture for 45 minutes. If your chicken pieces are smaller, cut the soaking time to 20-30 minutes. Soaking too long in brine will result in over-salty, mushy chicken.
While your chicken is brining, prepare the breading.
I used gluten free crackers by Glutino. Crush crackers into crumbs in a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, dump some crackers into a heavy ziploc bag and crush them with a rolling pin. You need about 1 cup of cracker crumbs.
Combine cracker crumbs thoroughly with almond meal, hemp hearts, garlic salt and pepper. Note: the crackers I used are not salty. If you use salty crackers, cut back on the amount of garlic salt.
When your chicken is done brining, remove from the brine and give chicken a quick rinse.
Heat oven to 350.
Generously oil a baking sheet.
In a separate bowl, beat one egg with 1 Tbsp of water.
Dip each piece of chicken in egg, coating well. Then dip into cracker crumb mixture, coating well. Place chicken on baking sheet, being careful to not let chicken pieces touch each other.
Bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Check to make sure chicken is cooked through. If your chicken pieces are large, cooking time may take longer. To get chicken extra crispy, broil for 3-5 minutes, or until tops are nicely browned. Watch carefully to make sure they don’t burn!
While the chicken was in the oven, I made the waffles and kept them in a warm oven until they were ready to serve.
Please don’t judge me for using a mix! I’ve spend the past 9 months experimenting with different flour mixtures (chick pea, coconut, rice, etc.), trying to find a homemade pancake/waffle recipe that I like. I’m still trying, but for a mid-week dinner, I went for convenience. Here’s what I used.
I tweaked the ingredients in their pancakes instructions to make better waffles. I increased oil to make them more crispy, cut back on the milk to make the batter thicker and added vanilla for extra flavor. To 1-1/2 cups of mix, I added 1 egg, 4 Tbsp oil, 1 cup milk and 1 tsp vanilla.
For dinner, we had our chicken and waffles with Irish butter, fresh seasonal fruit, real maple syrup and strawberry honey syrup. No leftovers!