Chicken with Preserved Lemons and Green Olives

There are, by my count, a zillion ways to make this dish, but all are essentially braised chicken with preserved lemons and green olives…and a fantastic sauce to be soaked up by gluten-free pasta or rice. Modify the flavors as your mood strikes, adjusting spices to evoke dishes from Morocco to Spain.

Party Leftovers = Gluten-Free Ingredients

When it comes to feeding people at parties, my philosophy is along the lines of “too much isn’t nearly enough”. No matter how often I swear I won’t overdo it on the food, I still find myself making too much, buying too much, and wondering what to do with the leftovers.

When it comes to meats and vegetables, I try to get them packaged up and refrigerated as quickly as possible so they’ll be available for meals later in the week. Likewise for salads that can be served again — I don’t saved dressed green salads as they get mushy. Heck, I rarely serve green salads at parties for that very reason.

Also, between you and me, it turns out most of my guests opt for the less healthy options over the healthy options. I don’t blame them. I go straight for the chips, too! Continue reading “Party Leftovers = Gluten-Free Ingredients”

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!

Cooking with Vinegar

Via a link in my Twitter feed, I read a blog post that indicated rice vinegar is not gluten-free. This statement gave me pause because, by definition, rice vinegar is absolutely gluten-free. The author of the post was trying to figure out why her son became sick after eating sushi, and she used bad research to determine rice vinegar has gluten.

The culprit was almost certainly not the rice vinegar in the sushi rice (it was more likely the wheat in the fake crab meat). As I researched this issue — thinking maybe I was crazy — I saw there was a lot of confusion about vinegar. This makes me sad as vinegar is a fantastic ingredient to add to your gluten-free kitchen. Continue reading “Cooking with Vinegar”

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.

Chicken Fried Rice

Fried rice is one of my favorite go-to dishes during the week because I always have leftover rice in the refrigerator — I make a big batch every week because it’s great for lunches and dinners. Taking a few minutes to mix up a sauce, shred some chicken, pull out some veggies, and, if I have one handy, crack an egg makes ordinary rice more interesting.

The recipe below assumes you’re working with pre-cooked chicken and frozen vegetables. If you choose to cook your chicken, make sure it’s cut into very small bite-sized pieces. Saute the chicken until nearly cooked through and set aside. Do the same for the vegetables.

Fish sauce is a key ingredient here. It adds flavor that soy sauce alone can’t create. Also, this is a lightly sauced fried rice because the fish sauce adds to much flavor. If you like more sauce, add at the end to make sure your flavors are balanced.

Chicken, Sausage, and Spinach Lasagna

It should be obvious by now that I love meals that result in lots of yummy leftovers. Lasagna fits that need perfectly. It’s such a flexible dish — there are so many ways to make it, it can be made ahead of time and popped in the oven later, and it’s a great dish for those nights when it’s your turn to host your book club.

Because my local grocery stores don’t carry gluten-free lasagna noodles, I bought a case from Amazon.com. The price was fantastic, and knowing I have the noodles handy opens up a wide range of of possibilities…including lasagna roll-ups and cupcakes! Once you have your favorite base recipe, it’s easy to try different serving ideas.

I know that most people think of red meat sauce and loads of cheese when they think lasagna (I know I do), but this recipe takes the dish in a whole different direction. You can continue with the Italian flavor profile, mix in a little Mexican or Southwest American, or go wild with Caribbean spices. Whatever tickles your palate.