Chicken Chilaquiles

I love leftovers, but sometimes figuring out how to repurpose them is a challenge. Especially when it comes to party leftovers, like, oh, tortilla chips. Oh sure, it’s easy enough eat them in their natural state (and believe me, I do!), but you can only have chips for dinner so often before people start to talk.

Chilaquiles, with or without chicken, are a perfect solution. All you need are gluten-free tortilla chips, salsa, some protein, and a bit of cheese. Or skip the protein. It’s your call. Seriously, this recipe can be modified, reconfigured, or reimagined to suit your every taste and whim.

If you do this right, you are hitting a leftover trifecta: chicken, tortilla chips, and salsa. That’s a win!

Easy Turkey Enchiladas

I started making turkey enchiladas many years ago as a way to use up turkey leftovers after Thanksgiving. They are amazingly fast to pull together, meaning you’ll impress family and friends with something that seems complicated but is super-easy (don’t tell!). And these enchiladas are naturally gluten-free.

If you don’t have turkey, substitute leftover chicken. Or make them vegetarian with grilled or roasted vegetables. While I like to do the traditional rolled-up version of enchiladas, sometimes, I substitute what I call an enchilada pie: I layer tortillas, sauce, meat or veggies, and a bit of cheese (sort of like a lasagna). When made like this, the end result reminds me of chilaquiles.

Be prepared to work assembly-line style by having all your ingredients lined up and ready to go before you get started.

A note about store-bought enchilada sauces: to my surprise, many of the sauces I see on market shelves are not gluten-free. In this recipe, I use tomatillo salsa with some green chiles in place of green enchilada sauce — I love how it adds tanginess to the dish. For enchiladas made with a red sauce, I start with my own Red Chile Sauce, adding flavors to suit my mood.

Chicken Adobo

This classic Filipino dish is also a classic chicken dish: chicken, vinegar, rice (and a few other things). A friend who detests vinegar makes an exception for chicken adobo — it reminds him of home.

Traditionally, this recipe is made with bone-in chicken, but I will confess that I’ve used boneless chicken breasts or thighs. This has the effect of making the sauce less rich — the effect of cutting the bone-in chicken into smaller pieces is the release of marrow, the stuff that makes this dish more delicious.

The large amount of vinegar in this recipe creates a tangy sauce. Adjust as necessary (remembering that it’s the vinegar that makes this adobo!) or substitute a mellower vinegar for the white vinegar. Cooking reduces the harsh edges of vinegar, just leaving the tanginess.

Everything Gumbo

For the gluten-free eater, gumbo is one of those foods we will likely never enjoy in a restaurant. At the heart of this dish is the classic New Orleans-style roux — a mix of flour and oil cooked until it is a rich, deep brown. Roux is synonymous with gumbo.

But I love gumbo, and knew I could make an excellent dish using gluten-free flour, specifically, in my case, Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose GF flour. I also borrowed a trick from Alton Brown, using my oven to build my roux. This allowed me to do all my prep work while the roux turned a gorgeous shade of chocolate brown.

You can make chicken gumbo, shrimp gumbo, vegetarian gumbo, gumbo with okra, without okra. It’s your gumbo. This recipe has everything but the okra (which I prefer served on the side, lightly fried rather than in the stew itself). As a bonus, gumbo served over steamed rice makes an impressive they’ll-never-guess-it’s-GF party dish!

Banh Mi Style Chicken Breasts

Banh Mi is a Vietnamese sandwich filled with fragrant spices, seasoned meat, and crisp veggies. Traditionally, it’s served on a crusty baguette. I’ve been known to substitute Udi’s Gluten-Free breads as they’re more readily available.

However, one afternoon, I was craving this combination of flavors and found myself breadless. Since I had the chicken and the rest of the ingredients, I improvised. This chicken was so tasty, I snuck it into my leftovers for several days!

It combines sweet, sour, spicy flavors in a way that makes me want to make it again as I type this recipe.

Chicken with Sour Cream Sauce

Yeah, I know. Another chicken and sauce recipe. What can I say? I love dressing up plain chicken to make it special. Particularly chicken breasts. Of course, this recipe can be made with any type of boneless, skinless cut of chicken. Which is great because the grocery stores of the world have just realized that customers adore chicken thighs!

40 Clove Garlic Chicken

Garlic is one of my favorite foods. I know it gets a bad rap from some quarters (who are those people?), but it adds great flavor to just about any dish. Including this delightful chicken stew. As the dish cooks, the garlic mellows, growing soft and buttery…perfect for spreading on breads or crackers or just eating whole.

So don’t let the amount of garlic worry you. Instead, enjoy the scent as the chicken roasts in the pan.