Sage and ‘Onion’ Chicken with Polenta Chips (serves 2)

Sage and ‘Onion’ Chicken by The Fat Foodie

My Mum makes a cracking dinner in which she coats chicken breasts in beaten egg and then dips them in Paxo sage and onion stuffing mix and bakes them in the oven. They’re absolutely delicious, but as anyone who follows the low FODMAP diet will tell you, onion can be a massive trigger for a lot of people, me included, so I needed to adapt Mum’s recipe to make a FODMAP friendly version.

The dried sage is perfectly FODMAP friendly and the breadcrumb component of the sage and ‘onion’ chicken was easy enough to substitute with some stale low FODMAP gluten-free bread, but the ‘onion’ flavour that’s so characteristic of stuffing mix can be difficult to replicate. However, I’ve written before about the fantastic spice that is asafoetida powder, a powerful spice that’s derived from a variety of giant fennel and is wonderful for using in recipes as an onion substitute. Its flavour truly mimics the depth of onion and it even has a hint of garlic notes to it too, so it’s the ideal low FODMAP solution to add to your recipes.

I’d been looking for something to serve alongside the sage and ‘onion’ chicken and although I love chips and homemade potato wedges, I fancied something a bit more exciting to go with it, so when I noticed the pack of ready made polenta in the cupboard I decided to have a go at making my own polenta chips.

I’ve tried making my own polenta from scratch before and I’ve never been that impressed with it, but I absolutely adore Jamie Oliver’s polenta chips that he serves in his Italian restaurants, so when I was shopping a while ago I thought I’d buy a pack of ready made polenta and try to have a bash at making polenta chips at home.

I’ll be honest with you, although these polenta chips are very tasty, it was difficult to get the same results as those you can have at a Jamie Oliver’s Italian because I think you’d need to deep-fry the polenta chips to get the same level of crispiness that his have. Also, I’d think I’d prefer to have a chip that’s made from potato instead of polenta because at least that way I’d be eating the abundance of vitamins and nutrients which are naturally found in potatoes rather than the pretty much pure carbohydrate that is polenta.

I really enjoyed this dinner of sage and ‘onion’ chicken with polenta chips. The crispy, but tender and juicy, baked sage and ‘onion’ chicken tasted just as good as the Paxo coated version my Mum makes, with the asafoetida powder providing the right oniony flavour it requires, and the parmesan coated polenta chips were a tasty accompaniment to go with it. All it needed was a good dollop of Heinz ketchup on the side. I’m classy like that…

Polenta Chips by The Fat Foodie

Polenta Chips by The Fat Foodie

Ingredients for the sage and ‘onion’ chicken breasts:

2 chicken breasts

50g gluten-free breadcrumbs

2 tsps dried sage

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1/4 tsp asafoetida powder

1 beaten egg

 

Ingredients for the polenta chips:

500g block of ready made polenta (cut into chip-sized slices)

2 tbsps vegetable oil

2 tbsps ground polenta (aka cornmeal)

1 tbsp dried rosemary

Parmesan (to serve)

Method:

Preheat your oven to 200C/180C Fan/400F/Gas Mark 6.

To make the chicken: mix your sage, salt and pepper and asafoetida powder into the breadcrumbs.

Dip each chicken breast in the beaten egg and then the breadcrumb mixture and lay them on a baking tray.

Coat your polenta slices in ground polenta, place on a baking tray, coat with oil and scatter the dried rosemary over the chips.

Bake both dishes in the oven for 25-30 mins or until the chicken is fully cooked and your polenta chips are crispy.

Sprinkle the polenta chips generously with parmesan and serve with the chicken breasts and a fresh salad.

Sage and ‘Onion’ Chicken by The Fat Foodie

Polenta Chips by The Fat Foodie

 

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Feta Stuffed Chicken Breasts (Serves 4)

Feta Stuffed Chicken Breasts by The Fat Foodie

At the start of the year I completely gave up dairy, but after ten months I have to say that I’m not noticing a massive difference when I introduce small portions of dairy cheese into my diet or drink small amounts of milk. That said, certain dairy products are still an absolute no-go for me, such as cream or really fatty cheeses like brie. However, one cheese which I can easily tolerate is feta and thankfully, along with being very tasty, feta is also a low FODMAP cheese, so it’s a win-win all round for me!

I normally have a block of feta cheese in my fridge because it comes vacuum packed and therefore has a very long shelf life. It’s also fairly cheap, so I tend to keep it on standby for adding into stuffed roasted peppers or butternut squash recipes. When I saw that I had a pack of chicken breasts to use up for dinner the other night I had the usual curry/pasta ideas, but when my eye spied a bag of fresh baby new potatoes and a head of broccoli in the fridge I knew it’d be a shame not to make a roast with the chicken.

Sometimes you don’t need to use countless ingredients to make something tasty, as this 4-5 ingredient recipe for feta stuffed chicken breasts attests. The naturally strong flavour of the roast chicken breasts marries well with the tangy feta cheese they’re stuffed with and is enhanced further by the smoked bacon the chicken parcels are wrapped in.

I cooked my feta stuffed chicken breasts on a bed of green leek tops (only the green tips are safely low FODMAP, not the white part of the leek) and when the chicken was almost fully cooked I added double cream to it to make a sauce. (I didn’t eat any of the cream-based sauce, but my family enjoyed it a great deal.) It’s just a really tasty recipe for a weekday dinner.

Ingredients:

4 chicken breasts

140g feta cheese

8 rashers of smoked bacon

The green tips of two leeks

150ml low FODMAP non-dairy cream (or lactose-free normal cream)

Method:

Preheat your oven to 180°C/170°C Fan/350°F/Gas Mark 4 and have a baking tin or casserole dish at hand.

Finely slice your green leek tips and place them in the baking tin/casserole dish.

Cut the side of each chicken breast to create a pocket and stuff it with feta cheese before wrapping each chicken breast in two slices of smoked bacon.

Place the chicken parcels on top of the leeks and cook for 25 to 30 mins or until the chicken is no longer pink when cut in half.

While the chicken is cooking cook your vegetables. About 5 mins before you serve the chicken add the cream to the leeks and let it heat up in the oven.

Once everything is cooked, serve.

Feta Stuffed Chicken Breasts by The Fat Foodie

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Cornflake Chicken Tenders (serves 4)

Cornflake Chicken Tenders by The Fat Foodie

A while ago I made gluten-free southern fried chicken and it was really tasty and very popular with my family, to the extent that I wanted to try something new, but along the same lines. Another chicken recipe which seems to be very popular within gluten-free recipe circles is for chicken fillets which are coated with crushed cornflakes, a naturally gluten-free product. I was a bit sceptical as to how chicken pieces would taste wrapped in cornflakes, a product I would normally associate with breakfast, but thankfully it turned out to be really delicious.

A lot of recipes for cornflake chicken tenders ask you to marinade the chicken pieces for a while before you coat them in the cornflakes, but I’ve tried making it both ways and I can’t really tell the difference so I’ve just went ahead and written up the recipe without doing it. However, feel free to experiment yourself.

I’ve kept my seasonings quite tame, omitting the dried chilli and ground cumin that so many recipes call for because I wanted a gently seasoned piece of chicken that let the flavour of the chicken thighs shine through, but I did add dulse seaweed flakes to my mixture to add a depth of flavour that can rarely be found elsewhere.

Dulse seaweed is seriously nutritious stuff, incorporating deep umami flavour while also being chock full of nutritional benefits such as iodine, potassium, magnesium, iron, protein and fibre. In fact, seaweed contains more minerals than any other vegetable. We’re really lucky in Scotland to have a brilliant company called Mara Seaweed which makes and sells seaweed to use as seasonings, so it’s theirs I tend to use in my cooking. I’d really recommend giving dulse seaweed a go because it’s a great seasoning alternative to using salt in your cooking, but you don’t need it to make this recipe for chicken tenders.

This recipe for cornflake chicken tenders creates soft, tender and juicy pieces of chicken thigh meat which are encased in a crispy, well-seasoned coating of crushed cornflakes. They’re delicious either on their own with a dollop of ketchup, served alongside a fresh salad, or placed in a floury bun and topped with good quality mayonnaise. However you serve them they’re finger-licking good!

Ingredients:

500g chicken thighs (cut into thick strips)

100ml rice milk

1/2 tsp sweet paprika

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground pepper

1/4 tsp asafoetida powder

1/2 tsp dulse seaweed flakes (optional)

200g gluten-free cornflakes (crushed)

1/2 tsp sugar

2 tbsps vegetable oil

Method:

Preheat your oven to to 180°C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 and prepare a non-stick baking tray.

Place the chicken strips in a bowl and coat them in the rice milk.

Crush the cornflakes, but don’t crush them so far that they become flour!

In a separate bowl, add the crushed cornflakes and the seasonings and mix together before drizzling the oil over the top and tossing it through the mixture.

Dip each of the chicken strips in the cornflake mixture, ensuring they are fully coated, before placing them on the baking tray.

Bake in the oven for 15-20 mins until they are fully cooked through and serve.

Cornflake Chicken Tenders by The Fat Foodie

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Chicken Satay (serves 4)

Chicken Satay by The Fat Foodie

I had a bowl of chicken satay a long time ago in a restaurant and it was really delicious, but when I looked into making it myself I saw that the ingredient list was as long as my arm and was heavily based on fried onion and garlic. Not FODMAP friendly ingredients! However, I was sure that similar results could be attained by using fewer ingredients and after some tweaking I decided I was happy to write this version up for the website. I make this chicken satay all the time because it’s a great standby meal to have on-hand and requires so few ingredients. It also helps that most of the ingredients are long-lasting, so I always have them in my kitchen cupboards and fridge.

Traditionally, chicken satay is made with sweet chilli sauce, but every single one I’ve checked has contained garlic in one form or another, so that’s not going to work on a low FODMAP diet. However, a fellow fodmapper recommended Lingham’s Sweet Chilli Sauce to me because it doesn’t contain garlic and it works wonderfully. (It can be found in Tesco. Thanks, Jane!)

Chicken satay tends to be quite a sweet dish because the sauce is made with peanut butter, but the lime juice helps cut through the sweetness and adds a fresh dimension to the meal. It’s also nice to serve the chicken satay with a green vegetable on the side because it makes the sweetness less overpowering and adds variety and texture to the dish. I sometimes serve this chicken satay with either green beans or sesame broccoli (made by sauteing small florets of broccoli in 1 tbsp of hot sesame oil and adding 2 tbsps of sesame seeds before serving), but it’s delicious just as a substantial bowlful of chunky pieces of tender chicken that are encased in a rich, thick peanut satay sauce and served resting on a bed of fluffy white rice. Delicious!

Ingredients:

600g of skinless & boneless chicken thighs (cut into small pieces)

1 tbsp sesame oil

2 tbsps sesame seeds

300g long grain rice

 

For the satay sauce:

170g crunchy peanut butter

100ml Lingham’s Sweet Chilli Sauce

4 tbsps lime juice (add more to taste)

Method:

Place a large saucepan over a medium heat and add the sesame oil, chicken pieces and sesame seeds. Cook until the chicken is done.

At the same time, cook your rice in salted water.

Add the sauce ingredients to the pan and stir until hot.

Drain your rice, portion into bowls, top with the chicken satay and serve.

Chicken Satay by The Fat Foodie

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Chicken Enchiladas (Serves 4)

Chicken Enchiladas by The Fat Foodie

I love Mexican food, but I must admit that I do tend to stick to making the same meals all the time simply because they’re so tasty. I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing though because it means that you can perfect your own version until the seasoning mix is just right. That’s the case with these chicken enchiladas.

I didn’t realise until I started reading into Mexican food that the word ‘enchilada’ simply means ‘to season with chilli’ and that, traditionally, enchiladas are quite simple  snacks, involving little more than a fried tortilla that’s wrapped around a plain, spiceless filling of meat, beans or vegetables (or a combination of the three).

According to Mexican food expert Diana Kennedy’s quintessential book on the subject of Mexican cookery The Essential Cuisines of Mexico, traditional enchiladas served on the streets of Mexico tend to see their tortillas fried in oil before being stuffed, but I don’t really think that’s necessary when you’re cooking at home. I don’t really like oily food so I’m quite happy to skip that step towards authenticity. Plus you’ve got a grated cheese topping that’s going to add oil to the enchiladas anyway.

Although a traditional enchilada doesn’t contain any spices other than freshly chopped chilli, I like to flavour mine with cumin, oregano and smoked paprika because it makes the whole dish much tastier. As a result, this chicken enchilada recipe yields a large casserole dish filled to the brim with soft tortillas that are stuffed full of delicately spiced tender chicken strips and slices of sweet bell peppers and is topped with a tangy tomato sauce and encrusted with golden grilled cheese. It’s simply the perfect Mexican meal.

Ingredients for the enchilada filling:

8 corn tortillas (use gluten-free if necessary)

1 tbsp of vegetable oil

1/2 a tin of chopped tomatoes

4 chicken breasts (cut into thin slices)

1 green pepper (cut into thin slices)

1 red pepper (cut into thin slices)

2 tsps ground cumin

2 tsps dried oregano

2 tsps smoked paprika

1 tsp asafoetida powder

Ingredients for the enchilada topping:

1/2 a tin of chopped tomatoes

1 tsp asafoetida powder

1 tsp dried oregano

150g grated cheese (or non-dairy alternative)

Method:

Preheat your oven to 200C/180C Fan/400F/Gas mark 6.

Get a large rectangular casserole dish out to cook the enchiladas in and keep it to one side.

Place a saucepan over a medium heat and add the oil, sliced chicken breasts and spices. Fry until the chicken is almost cooked.

Add the sliced peppers and continue to cook until the chicken is fully cooked.

Add a tin of chopped tomatoes and cook until hot.

Pour the other tin of chopped tomatoes into a jug and add the sauce spices and stir.

Lay a tortilla out on a chopping board and place some enchilada filling inside it before wrapping it up and laying it in a large rectangular casserole dish. (Bear in mind you’ve got 8 tortillas to fill so try to distribute the filling evenly between them.)

Chicken Enchiladas Being Filled by The Fat Foodie

Chicken Enchiladas Awaiting Their Topping

Once you’ve filled all the tortillas and they’re in the casserole dish, pour the enchilada sauce over them and top with the grated cheese.

Chicken Enchiladas by The Fat Foodie About to be Baked

Bake in the oven for about 30-40 mins or until the cheese is crisp and golden brown.

Serve with a fresh green salad.

Chicken Enchiladas by The Fat Foodie

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