Chicken and Winter Vegetable Stew with Pecan Biscuits

The next time you roast some winter vegetables, make a couple of extra cups to save for this stew. Combined with leftover chicken, you’ve got a delicious and quick meal in minutes.  I have used a combination of roasted carrots, parsnips, turnips, rutabagas, and sweet potato.

The pecan biscuits recipe is here.

3 tablespoons melted clarified butter
3 tablespoons sweet rice flour
2-3 cups chicken stock
2 cups roasted winter vegetables
about 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1/4 cup chopped scallion greens
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley (or your favorite herbs)
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the rice flour. Stir vigorously to combine.  Add the chicken stock and simmer until thickened.  Stir in the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Season to taste and serve with hot pecan biscuits.

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Roost’s Pecan Biscuits

The Roost blogger posted this recipe for biscuits.  When I made it, I never did achieve a stiff enough dough to roll it out and cut with a biscuit cutter.  Instead, I made it just stiff enough to make drop biscuits, which worked just fine.  The biscuits are very tender and do not keep well.  Make them the day you plan to eat them.

To make pecan meal, I ground up some pecans very finely in my food processor.

1 cup almond flour, plus a little extra if needed
1 1/2 cups pecan meal
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup melted clarified butter
2 eggs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to 350F. Place dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Place wet ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Combine wet and dry ingredients until a dough is formed. If the dough is very wet, add more almond flour, a tablespoon at a time, to form a stiff dough.  Drop 1/4 cup sized mounds onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 20 – 25 minutes.

Decadent Chocolate Custard

This was a perfect Valentine’s Day dessert, easy and chocolate.   I used some old fashioned 1/2 cup pyrex custard cups but oven-proof ramekins would work too. To be really cute, you could make this in 1/2 cup sized canning jars, the kind used for small pots of jam.  Then, should you have leftovers, you could put a screw cap on them and pack them in your lunch!

5 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips (not semi sweet)
7 tablespoons clarified butter

2 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1/8 cup sugar
pinch salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325F.  Put the chocolate and butter in a microwave safe bowl and heat at half power, stirring every 20-30 seconds, until the butter and chocolate are melted and thoroughly combined. Set aside to cool a bit.  Put the yolks, egg, sugar, and salt in a larger bowl and beat until pale yellow and thick.  Add the cooled chocolate mixture to the eggs and beat until combined, beat in the vanilla.  Divide the mixture evenly among 4 custard cups.  Place the filled cups in a baking pan and add hot water to the pan to come halfway up the sides of the custard cups.  Bake for about 20 minutes. Remove the cups from the water bath and let cool on a rack.

Pecan Crusted Chicken Fingers

My father in law just gave my husband a gallon bag of pecans that he had recently shelled from a crop at a friend’s pecan orchard.  Those are some fresh pecans! I had a couple of chicken breasts on hand that I purchased from our farmers’ market where they sell locally raised poultry.  I love it when I can make dinner from mostly local ingredients. Don’t skip the lemon zest in this; the combination of pecans and lemon is really terrific. This is a riff on a recipe for pecan crusted catfish that I saw at Serious Eats.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to an even thickness and cut into strips about 1 inch wide
1 cup DRY wheat-free breadcrumbs
2 cups chopped pecan pieces
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 large egg
1/2 cup wheat-free flour (I used sorghum)
1/4 cup melted clarified butter
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425. Combine the breadcrumbs and nuts in a food processor and pulse until the nuts are chopped very fine. Dump the nut mixture into a pie dish and combine with the zest of the lemon and add a significant amount of freshly ground black pepper. I think I used about a half tablespoon. In a separate pie dish, beat the egg together with the lemon juice.  Put the flour onto a plate and combine with about a teaspoon of salt.  Take a strip of chicken and dredge it through the flour, shaking off the excess.  Then coat it with the egg mixture, letting the excess drip back into the pie dish.  Finally, roll it in the pecan mixture and place it in a glass baking dish.  If the pecan mixture doesn’t stick well, it may be that you did not use dry breadcrumbs.  You can add a little of the flour to the nut mixture to help make it stick better.  Coat all of the chicken pieces in this manner.  Let them sit for about 15 minutes before proceeding. When ready to put them in the oven, drizzle a little melted butter over each piece of chicken. Bake in the hot oven for 10 – 15 minutes, until done.

A Low FODMAP Holiday – Mardi Gras King Cake

Most wheat-free baking isn’t worth my time or effort.  But when it comes to parties, I hate to be left out of all the fun.  I have some Jules Gluten Free flour in my pantry, so I used the recipe from her blog, slightly modified.  I have no idea how well this would work with other wheat-free flours.  I did use brown sugar in the filling, which does contain some fodmaps.  You could easily substitute regular granulated sugar.  I also added some King Arthur gluten free cake enhancer. It did seem to help keep the pastry moist.

Pastry Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup warm water (110 F)
  • 1 Tbs. granulated cane sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp. (1 packet) yeast
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter or non-dairy alternative (e.g. Earth Balance® Buttery Sticks)
  • 3 Tbs. granulated cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup lactose-free milk (dairy or non-dairy)
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 3 cups Jules Gluten Free™ All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 4 tbsp King Arthur Cake Enhancer (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsp. gluten-free baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbs. milk (dairy or non-dairy) for brushing on pastry before baking

Filling Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 4 Tbs. butter or non-dairy alternative, melted
  • 2Tbs. gluten free flour
  • grated zest of 1 orange

Icing Ingredients:

  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1-2 Tbs. freshly squeezed orange juice
  • colored sugar (purple, gold and green)

Combine the filling ingredients and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the warm water, 1 tablespoon sugar and yeast; stir and set aside to proof.

In a large mixing bowl, blend the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and butter until light and fluffy.  Add the milk and eggs and beat until well-integrated. Add only 2 cups of Jules Gluten Free™ All Purpose Flour, salt, baking powder, xanthan gum, cake enhancer, and nutmeg and mix well. Stir in the proofed yeast-sugar-water mixture, then add the remaining 1 cup Jules Gluten Free™ All Purpose Flour. Beat another 1-2 minutes, until the dough is clumping together and is not too sticky.

Turn the dough out onto a large sheet of baking parchment, dusted lightly with Jules Gluten Free™ All Purpose Flour (be sure to have enough counter space, at least 30 inches wide). Roll the dough out to an elongated rectangle 24-30 inches long by 9-10 inches wide. Sprinkle the topping mixture, spreading to the ends of the rectangle, but leaving 1/2-1 inch without toppings on each of the long sides of the rectangle.

Pick up one long edge of the parchment and use it to  gently roll up one of the long sides of the rectangle, rolling it as you would a jelly roll. Once the entire pastry is rolled upon itself until no pastry remains unrolled, a 24-30 inch long roll will remain. Gently pull the two ends of the roll together to form a circle or oval. Dabbing the ends of the pastry with water, join the ends together to close the circle. Transfer the parchment  with the pastry on it to a rimless baking sheet.

Brush the milk on top of the exposed pastry, then using a large sharp knife, make a cut in the top of the pastry every 2 inches to expose one layer of the roll. Spray a sheet of wax paper with cooking oil, then cover the cake and let rise in a warm spot for 20-30 minutes like a warming drawer or an oven heated to 200º F then turned off.

Preheat oven to 350º F (static) or 325º F (convection).

Remove the wax paper from the cake and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Allow the cake to cool completely before icing. Once cooled, insert a pecan or toy baby into the cake to hide it.

Combine 1 tablespoon orange juice with 1 cup confectioner’s sugar.  Dribble in more orange juice a little bit at a time until the icing can be drizzled, but is not so thin that it will just run off.   Drizzle the icing all over the cake then sprinkle the colored sugar on while the icing is still wet.  Allow icing to set before serving.