Monday, February 23, 2009

The Unbread Breading Debacle

Oh crispy, crunchy fried chicken.  How you elude me and my GF ways of life. How I yearn to taste you again in all (or at least half) of your splendor.  You were good to me, and I you.  I was particularly fond of your marriage to waffles, but alas, we will meet no more.  

You get over losing favorite junk foods.  In the beginning, I'll admit to pathetically weeping when I heard I had to be GF.  Seriously?  Yeah, no, I cried. Food is sadly that important to me. And each time I thought of a new food I would never eat again, I crawled back into my pity hole, and felt really sorry for myself.  Until, I had to snap myself out of that s*?%!  Come on.  People are starving and you're going to cry over cake?  There is war and death and destruction and you're going to weep for baguettes? Newsflash Suz: You're not dying, you're just eliminating gluten.  And then I just got over it. 

Slowly, surely, and I yearn to fix GF substitutions for comfort favorites.  Like fried chicken. Some companies put out GF bread crumbs that are just rice or corn or actual GF bread crumbs. But "breading" without bread is a tricky animal, and in several instances the "breading" doesn't adhere to its master.

Before I was gluten free, people raved about cornflake oven-fried chicken or Ritz cracker chicken.  I was feeling especially craving-fun a while back and I decided, why not give this unbread a breading try?  And so I did.  It didn't adhere to the chicken as well as I would have liked, however it did a decent job. If I had used eggs, it would've probably worked better, but I wanted to make it egg free.  The crackers added some nice flavor and the chicken stayed moist and tender.  I fixed it up with some box mix risotto and called it a night.

Cracker Coated Oven Fried Chicken


4 large chicken breast cutlets, halved (to make 8 pieces)
15-20 GF crackers (I used Glutino's original crackers**)
1/4 tsp rosemary
1/4 tsp natural sea salt
1/2 tsp oregano
3/4 tsp crushed garlic
pepper to taste
8 ounces GF organic honey mustard (I like Annie's)

**note: Although Glutino brand does it's best to inform allergy sufferers of each product's contents, I occasionally get sick from some of their indulgences.  I rarely use their brand because of the high amount of soy in most of their products; however I found I do alright with these crackers.  Just make sure you are as careful in consuming products as you are in reading their labels.  Know their factory environment!


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a blender, pulse GF crackers until a decent meal is made.
Add all seasoning and pulse again to incorporate.
Pour mix into a large bowl, set aside.
Grease a large baking dish with olive oil (at least 9x13.)
Coat 1 chicken cutlet in honey mustard, roll around in cracker meal until covered and place in baking dish.  Repeat until all chicken has been coated.
Cover with foil and cook for 45 minutes.
Uncover and cook for 15 minutes more, careful not to burn coating.
Enjoy your unbreaded breaded cracker chicken.  I know I did :)
And for us low-oxalate eaters, this rice flour based cracker coating would be your day's starch.

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