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The GFCF Recipe Experience: Cornmeal-Crusted Chicken with Skillet Pasta and Vegetables

Posted Sep 21 2009 10:30pm
I've mentioned on numerous occasions that we eat a lot of poultry at our house. Not only does it taste good, but it also seems to work out better economically as well. Most every week, it seems that one of the three grocery stores in Missoula has some form of poultry on sale, like Albertson's does this week with boneless-skinless chicken breasts for $1.88 per lb.

The problem becomes one of not wanting to make the same thing over and over again. I mean, my family loves it when I make oven-fried chicken or chicken fried rice  or pot pies, but every now and then we need to try something new. Plus, trying something new is always a good thing for the cook, that being me.

So, with this nice family pack of chicken breasts on hand, I took to my cookbooks to see what I could find. What resulted was a merger of a couple of recipes from a couple of different cookbooks that really worked well together.

A little aside here about cookbooks. I actually only own one GF cookbook, which is Carol Fenster's 1000 Gluten Free Recipes (given to me as a gift). Most of the rest of my cookbooks I've actually purchased from Barnes and Noble when they have one of their dot sales where you can get books for like $2.00, or from a yard sale. While a few are by notable chefs, many are not,but they all serve as great inspiration for creative GFCF experimentation in the kitchen.

The cornmeal-crusted chicken is based off a recipe found in the Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade 20-Minute Meals cookbook. I guess the funny part about that is that I pretty much used the homemade part of the recipe and not the pre-bought stuff Sandra uses so well.

The pasta and vegetables portion is based off a recipe for Chicken Skillet Stew from a cookbook called Heartfelt Cuisine, which touts itself as a "cardio-friendly cookbook for meat and potatoes folks," and is by Larry Schneider, Carman Brooks M.D., and Chef Eddie Matney.

The end result was a quick, easy, and flavorful supper that pleased all, even the vegetable-hating 3-year old!





Cornmeal-Crusted Chicken
Adapted from a recipe found in the Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade 20-minute Meals Cookbook


Ingredients

2 - 3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup cornmeal
2 tsp GF season salt
2 tsp paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
3 Tbsp canola oil


Preheat the oven to 200° and place a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil inside. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Place the cornmeal, season salt, and paprika in a gallon-size Ziploc bag. Seal and shake to combine.

Season the chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper. Add the chicken breasts to the Ziploc bag. Seal and shake to coat the chicken evenly with the cornmeal mixture.

Shake any excess cornmeal mixture off of each chicken breast and place them in the saucepan. Fry for 3 - 4 minutes on each side or until the cornmeal crust is golden brown. Add more oil as necessary for frying.

When the chicken is fried, remove to the baking sheet in the oven to keep warm. Drain any excess oil from the saucepan, and return the saucepan to the stove to prepare the pasta and vegetables.



Skillet Pasta and Vegetables
Adapted from a recipe found in the Heartfelt Cuisine cookbook


Ingredients

1/2 cup Chardonnay or other white wine
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup water (or an additional cup of chicken broth)
1 8oz. package GF pasta (I used DeBoles rice Penne)
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup diced celery
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup chopped broccoli (if using frozen, thaw first)
2 tsp garlic powder


After returning the saucepan to the stove over medium-high heat, add the Chardonnay and scrape the bottom of the pan with a spatula to loosen the browned bits from the chicken. Add the chicken broth and water, and bring the mixture to a boil.

Add the pasta, carrots, celery, broccoli, and garlic powder, and return to a boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until the pasta is tender, stirring often. Salt and pepper to taste, and serve with a piece of the cornmeal-crusted chicken.


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