Your Gluten-Free Pantry: Basic Chicken Stock

A few years ago, I realized I was wasting a lot of money buying chicken stock. I go through so much of it when cooking, and spending a couple of dollars per container (on the high, I’m going to go organic and all that, end) was insane, especially since making good stock is so easy. I throw everything into the stock pot and let it simmer while I’m doing my other Sunday chores.

It’s good, it’s rich, and not too salty. Plus, I always have stock on hand — no more coming home, starting a meal, and discovering I forgot to buy stock.

Depending on what I’m doing, I make fresh stock every three to four weeks.
What makes this easier for me is assiduous collecting of bones and vegetable scraps throughout the month. I’m a big consumer of rotisserie chicken (nothing makes for faster on-the-go meals), so I freeze the bones after I pull off all the meat. I also toss leftover onions, carrots, and celery into my freezer bag for added flavor.

Roasted chicken bones tend to produce a richer flavor, so I prefer this route over cooking a whole hen…mostly because the resulting meat is so bland, it’s hard to imagine using it in any recipe. Plus stock from a boiled chicken doesn’t have the right golden color. It is pale and insipid, especially when compared to a stock made from roasted bones.

It probably should go without saying, but this process also works incredibly well for making turkey stock.

Quesadillas: Gluten-Free

I admit it: when I went gluten-free, I crossed quesadillas off my list of “love to eats”. I had never, ever seen a quesadilla that didn’t have a wheat flour tortilla involved. Somehow, the whole package — tortillas, cheese, seasonings — seemed like a match made in heaven.

Then I caught myself staring at a package of corn tortillas I had left over from another meal. And I wondered about using corn tortillas in quesadillas. I wondered some more. I plotted my course, and did a little research. Which confirmed what I suspected: corn quesadillas are easy and so tasty.

(Think about it: corn tortillas are generally more flavorful than wheat tortillas, so, of course, they’d make a more delicious quesadilla).

The only trick you need to remember for making these quesadillas is to lightly brush or spray oil onto the quesadilla to help it cook up crisp.

Fast and Easy Teriyaki Sauce

While soy is a lovely gluten-free food, many items made with soy, including the salty soy sauce, are off-limits to those of us on a GF diet. But this doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy these foods — or even make them better than pre-made or restaurant versions.

Take, for example, this quick and easy teriyaki sauce. It require a few ingredients, fifteen or so minutes on the stove. It’s that simple. Best of all, the sauce keeps for a month in the refrigerator, allowing you to try it out on lots of dishes.

My version, adapted from countless magazine recipes, includes sake, a Japanese rice wine. If you don’t have sake available to you, or prefer an alcohol-free version, it can be omitted without ruining the recipe. I find it adds another layer of flavor. Likewise, you can play with proportions to make this recipe your own.