Thursday, June 14, 2012

gluten-free cooking challenge.

Last week, Rosemarie challenged me to create a gluten-free dish for her potluck, as one of the guests has dietary constraints. To be honest, I have never ever thought about gluten.. what is gluten anyway? (Ahem, gluten is a protein in wheats and grains that give them elasticity and make the final products chewy. The word gluten comes from the Latin word for "glue". If you read that in a british tv documentary voice, then you are spot on.)

Last week I posted a link to this site that can sort recipes by diet type. It was super helpful when it came to finding a gluten-free recipe to make. It was while browsing that site that I found a recipe similar to the chicken, kale and chickpea pasta dish I made two weeks ago. Turns out, if I replace the pasta with rice, this dish is gluten-free!

Since my family doesn't like chickpeas but love rice, this was the perfect recipe for both the potluck, and my family. That night I made a lot of food, enough to feed an army (well, I would estimate 12 servings in total? Some for my family, and some for the potluck).

I was in too much of a rush cooking that I forgot to take many pictures. I forgot to take a picture after cooking so I really only have a picture of leftovers for you. Whoops. I'm awful at this picture taking business.. I should really add "camera" to my list of materials/ingredients whenever I cook, and then I'd be sure to not forget it!!

12 chicken thighs
bunch of kale, torn from stems and chopped
pack of white mushrooms, chopped
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup white wine
2 cups rice
2/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Cut the chicken thighs in half or in thirds and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add the oil to the pan and in a few batches, fry the thighs on medium-high heat until golden and crispy. (Why I would ever eat chicken any other way after cooking them like this is beyond me.. delicious! You could finish right here and I bet everyone would be very happy.)

While the chicken is cooking, you can start preparing your vegetables and put the rice in the rice cooker (if you don't have a rice cooker, go get one now!!! Best investment you'll ever make). You don't want to flip the chicken too much, so keep an eye on the chicken but don't be tempted to flip it every 2 seconds like I am.. it takes a little longer than that to cook!

Set the chicken aside and using the same pan (with all the stuck-on chicken stuff), lower to medium heat and add the onion and garlic. Once softened, add the kale and mushrooms, and watch it all shrink!

I am so fascinated by how much kale shrinks, so I took a picture here. A little useless if I don't show you the after picture, to see how much it actually does shrink. But you can use your imagination because I did add more to the pan after this!!

Once the vegetables all fit in the pan and are soft, increase the heat a little and add the wine. Stir everything to get all the chicken stuff (what else can I call it?) off the bottom of the pan and let it sit so the alcohol can cook off (2-3 minutes).

Hopefully your rice is done cooking by now, so take that out and mix it in the pan with everything else. Add the cheese and mix together. Put the chicken back in the pan and cover to heat.

Dinner is served!

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