January 22, 2011 by Flora Dawn
After hearing the news that my husband needed to eat gluten free, I reacted the way I am sure many people do; I went out and bought a couple cookbooks, headed to the nearest health food aisle and bought some gluten free flours and gluten free mixes.
Almost immediately we realized that bean flours were not for us. It’s not that we dislike beans, in fact we have always ate a lot of beans; they are inexpensive, healthy, and filling. It’s just chocolate chip cookies with a hint of beans, um, no thank you. Or my favorite, or rather least favorite one, was the bean flavored pizza crust. WOW! That was a taste like no other.
So, when I suggest using a bean based baking mix in today’s post, you can rest assured that the final product doesn’t taste a bit like beans 🙂
Although I have had some success frying chicken in cornstarch, I really wanted a lighter textured coating, so I decided to use half Bob’s Red Mill Biscuit & Baking Mix and half cornstarch for the coating. The Biscuit & Baking mix already has baking powder and xanthan gum in it, so it gives it that extra leavening that it really needs. And by using half cornstarch you reduce any bean flavor that might otherwise be overwhelming to the food. The final result was delicious, crispy fried chicken nuggets. And no one detected a bean taste.
Although I think this idea would work in most battered, fried foods (like onion rings or other veggies) I have only used it for chicken so far. And if you have a favorite biscuit or baking mix you already use, I think it could work in place of the Bob’s Mix.
Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets
I like to season the “flour” with plenty of pepper and seasoning salt, but I know lots of people prefer garlic salt, paprika, or even chili powder.
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into strips or bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill Biscuit & Baking Mix
- seasoning salt and pepper to taste
- Oil for frying
- Place the cornstarch and baking mix in a resealable plastic bag, add the seasoning and close the bag and shake to thoroughly mix (kids especially like to help with this part).
- Dip the chicken in the buttermilk (I find placing the buttermilk in a shallow dish, like a pie plate works well). Place the chicken in the plastic bag, seal and shake to coat evenly. Remove chicken and place on a baking sheet or plate until ready to fry.
- I use an electric deep fryer, but you can also heat about 1 inch of oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat; you’ll know it’s hot enough when you drop a piece of coating in it and it really sizzles. Cook the chicken in batches (don’t crowd them or they won’t cook evenly) for 4-5 minutes per side, or until golden and no pink remains; I always take one out and test with a meat thermometer. Drain on a paper towel lined plate.