I experiment in the kitchen often, so even though I don’t subscribe to any particular “diet”, I like to walk in the shoes of clients who do have restrictions and get good at cooking things that taste good in spite of the restriction. It’s like my version of Top Chef: Allergy Edition.
Last night’s winner: the breaded chicken tender sans wheat or grain. I had just bought another bag of Tapioca flour (it’s a root), so I had it on hand and decided to “bread my tenders” in it.
Many people, including children, find that wheat does not agree with their systems. The most extreme restrictions are for people with Celiac and similar problems, and my personal opinion is that most people will benefit from rotating various grains if they choose to eat them at all. Allergy to wheat proteins (one is gluten) has been implicated in everything from asthma and nausea to panic attacks and anxiety. I had one client tell me wheat makes him feel paranoid. Here’s a link to the mayo clinic information about wheat allergy for the curious.
One additional note on this recipe…if you are GAPS, tapioca is NOT OK for you. You will need to substitute almond flour or whatever your nutritionist recommends to follow this recipe.
Here’s what you need:
2 bone in or boneless chicken breasts
1 cup of tapioca starch
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp garlic powder (I kept this simple but you could easily add paprika, cajun spice or anything else you like to jazz this up).
Your favorite fat (I used lard, but you could use coconut oil if you are using an Asian dressing or a mixture of oils. EVOO is not great at higher temps, so I tend to avoid it and just use enough lard to coat my cast iron skillet)
What to do: Carve up your chicken into strips or nuggets. Mix up your flour and seasonings blend. Dredge your chicken pieces twice and brown them in a skillet until cooked through. Mine took about 7 minutes to get brown and for me to be satisfied they were “done.” You could also cook these in the oven on a stone, broiling them on each side until brown and flipping them over and cooking until done.
Viola! Chicken tenders at home in no time at all without a single unpronounceable ingredient. We ate ours over salad with homemade herb salad dressing.
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