Sunday, April 17, 2011

Gluten Free Pan-fried Chicken

If you have been gluten free for any length of time, you know that finding the perfect breading to use for fried chicken, chicken nuggets, fish, or anything that has dredging as part of the cooking process isn't easy to come by. I'm sure many of you, as I did in the beginning, struggled with finding that perfect combination of gluten free flours that worked as a replacement for wheat flour and breadcrumbs. Most commercial companies use corn meal and it is a great substitution, if you're not allergic to corn. Since my oldest has a hard time with corn, that meant that I had to be creative and come up with my own solution.

Potato starch is something that the Japanese use in deep frying their tofu, so I decided to start with that. I played around with just taking chicken and using potato starch for dusting, much like flour is used for chicken picatta in Italy. It was OK, but something was missing. As I mentioned in the My Pantry article, I settled on ground toasted white sesame seeds to add to the potato starch. The toasted seeds give the coating a nutty flavor and sesame seeds are high in iron (which I needed a couple of years ago when I battled anemia). I also use this mix for breaded fish, chicken nuggets, and just about anything that calls for bread crumbs. This is also a good way to go if you can't use egg in your cooking, as the potato starch does a good job of sticking to pretty much everything and doesn't need the help of an egg. This is an easy recipe to alter if you need just a little or a lot.


Pictured above are two adult servings and several nuggets for the kids.


2 chicken breasts, butterflied (can be cut up into bite sized pieces for nuggets)

1 tsp/5 ml salt

¼ cup/60ml potato starch (by volume)

¼ cup/60ml toasted white sesame seeds (goma), milled in a coffee grinder

oil for frying, at least 1” deep in a heavy pan

Rinse the chicken breast and pat dry before butterflying it. Cutting it in half helps it to cook faster and more evenly. Salt all sides.

In a separate dish, such as a pie plate or low bowl, mix together the potato starch and sesame seeds with a fork or whisk. Coat all sides of the chicken with the potato starch/sesame seed mixture.

Make sure the oil is smoking hot, about 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place chicken gently in the oil, be careful as it is very hot and can splatter easily.

Cook the chicken for about 3-5 minutes until the breading is golden brown. Turn and repeat on the other side for about 3-5 more minutes. Remove from oil and drain. Serve warm.

Makes 4 main course servings.

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