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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