Gluten Free Hoisin Chicken Thighs

Chicken thighs are an easy and economical main course.  They are a favorite for family dinners, as you can adjust the quantity to feed one, two or a crowd.  They make great leftovers too!  Chicken thighs are so versatile, and can be adapted to many cuisines, from this simple Chicken Thighs with Andouille Sausage, to my Tex-Mex Chicken Thighs.  In today’s recipe, I’m giving them a fun Asian twist with just a brush of Hoisin Sauce and a side of fried rice.

4 Servings

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Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic granules
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger powder
  • cooking spray
  • 4 tbsp. gluten free Hoisin sauce
  • toasted sesame seeds for garnish, optional
  • chopped fresh chives for garnish, optional
  • Fried Rice for serving (get the recipe here!)

Preparation:

If you haven’t made fried rice before, check out my easy, basic recipe here.  You can pair it with seafood, pork, poultry or jazz it up with bean sprouts or more veggies.

Rinse the chicken thighs and pat dry.  Trim excess fat and sprinkle the thighs with garlic and ginger powder.  Mist a cast iron braising pan or Dutch oven with cooking spray.  Arrange the thighs in the pan, cover and bake for 75 minutes at 350º.

Liberally brush the thighs with hoisin sauce and cook uncovered for an additional 15 minutes.

While the chicken was cooking, I made my fried rice.  You can get the basic recipe here.  I plated the chicken over the rice for a nice presentation.

For an extra garnish, you can sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and chopped fresh chives.

For more recipes with fried rice, check out my Shrimp Fried Rice, Hoisin Pork Fried Rice, or Hibachi Chicken with Fried Rice!

Notes ♪♫ Hoisin sauce is a staple in Asian cooking.  Not all brands are gluten free, so be sure to check the label.  I used Sunluck Hoisin Sauce in this recipe, available in the Asian aisle at your grocer or you can get it online.

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Gluten Free Chicken Broccoli Casserole

The thought of preparing gluten free meals from scratch can be overwhelming.  It took a while for me to realize that there were meals I had been making for years that were naturally gluten free.  From there, I started looking at other favorite recipes that only required a swap of one or two ingredients to be gluten free.  My repertoire began to grow and now I have added many of my old favorites back to the dinner rotation.

My Chicken Broccoli Casserole is a good example.  Here’s how to make it!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast
  • Rice flour for dusting
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil
  • White wine, divided use
  • ½ large sweet onion, diced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 large broccoli crown, chopped
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • ½ tsp. basil
  • ½ tsp. Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 oz. gluten free penne
  • Cooking spray
  • gluten free seasoned breadcrumbs
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh Italian parsley for garnish

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350º.  Set up a pan of salted water for the pasta, and bring to a boil.

Cut the chicken breast into 1-1/2″ chunks.  Dust with rice flour and season with salt and pepper.  Begin browning the chicken in a little olive oil, about 3 minutes per side.  Don’t crowd the pan, use a large skillet or do it in 2 batches.

When the chicken has browned on all sides, add a splash (1/4 cup) of white wine to the pan and toss until the liquid evaporates.  Remove from the pan and set aside.

Wipe the skillet clean.  Add a little more olive oil and begin browning the onions.

When they have a little color, add the broccoli, garlic and diced tomatoes.  Add another splash of white wine, then season with salt and pepper, basil and Italian seasoning.  Cover and cook 10 minutes, until the broccoli is crisp tender.

While the vegetables are cooking, add the pasta to the boiling water.  Use your favorite (Jovial Brown Rice Penne is one of mine) and be sure to cook for 2 minutes less than the package instructions.  Drain and add to the skillet, along with the reserved chicken.  Toss well.

Mist a casserole dish with cooking spray and transfer contents from the skillet in an even layer.  Drizzle with olive oil, then top it off with breadcrumbs and grated cheese.  Bake for 30 minutes.

I like to finish it off under the broiler for a few minutes to crisp up the topping.  Remove from the oven, garnish with fresh parsley and serve.

This is a real family favorite.  I hadn’t made it in a very long time, but now with just a couple of adaptations we can all enjoy this comfort food meal again.

Notes ♪♫ Always check prepared ingredients for hidden gluten.  In this recipe, pasta and breadcrumbs must of course be gluten free.  Less obvious but important, use rice flour for coating and thickening, make sure canned tomatoes and seasoning mixes are gluten free.  I always grate my own cheese, but if you are using a pre-grated cheese always check for additives that may contain gluten.

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Spaghetti Squash Chicken Lo Mein

This Asian inspired meal checks so many of my boxes!  Healthy fresh ingredients, color, flavor, texture and of course it’s gluten free!  A nice change of pace from my usual stir fries that are made with noodles or rice, this grain free dish won’t leave you feeling stuffed!

We have spaghetti squash quite often, but usually I make an Italian dish like this  Twice Baked Spaghetti Squash.  Who knew this humble veggie could also stand in for Chinese noodles!

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ingredients:

“Lo Mein” Squash Noodles:

  • 1 small spaghetti squash
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • cooking spray

For the stir fry:

  • 12 oz. chicken breast, cubed
  • olive oil spray
  • toasted sesame oil
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 cup snow peas
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1/2 cup carrots, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms (white button or baby bella), thin sliced
  • 1/4 cup scallions, divided use

For the Sauce:

Preparation:

This is a basic preparation for spaghetti squash that you can use as a starting point for so many recipes.  First, cut the squash in half and use a spoon to scrape out the seeds.  Brush each side with 1 tbsp. of olive oil.  I am not salting the squash at this point, because this recipe is already heavy on sodium.  You can certainly season it if you like!

Line a baking sheet with foil and mist with cooking spray.  Place the squash cut side down and roast for 1 hour at 400º.

Use tongs to carefully turn the squash over, and let it cool for a few minutes.

Use 2 forks to shred the spaghetti squash.  Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Now that we have our lo mein “noodles” we can move on with the rest of the recipe.

Mise En Place

Organization is the key to stir fry recipes!  Before you cook, be sure to have all the ingredients prepped and ready to go – “everything in its place”.  That means chopping the veggies, dicing the chicken and stirring the sauce ingredients together.

Coat a large nonstick skillet with olive oil spray and add 1 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tsp. sesame oil.  Begin browning the chicken, do it in batches if needed so you don’t crowd the pan.  You want to get a little color on the outside of the chicken at this point, but it does not have to be cooked through.  We’ll finish it at the end of the recipe.

When all sides have been browned set the chicken aside in a bowl.  Add the carrots, peppers and snow peas to the skillet with 1 tsp. sesame oil.  Stir fry for several minutes until crisp tender.  Next add the mushrooms, garlic and 1/2 of the scallions along with another tsp. of sesame oil.  Cook 1 minute longer.

Now add back the chicken and toss well with the veggies.  Using tongs, add the spaghetti squash to the skillet in 1/4 cup portions so that it is well distributed.  Whisk the sauce and pour it over everything, and stir-fry one minute longer to thicken and meld the flavors.

Transfer to a serving bowl and top with the remaining scallions.

Can you guess how it tasted?  It was delicious!  And I will definitely be experimenting with spaghetti squash in more of my Asian inspired recipes!

Notes ♪♫  I am a big fan of using Coconut Aminos in place of gluten free Soy Sauce.  That’s because it has significantly less sodium, which is important in our household.  If you are not limiting salt in your diet, try using Tamari for a rich, umami flavor.

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Gluten Free Chicken Tenders Saltimbocca

Saltimbocca is one of those restaurant classics that I have had on my recipe bucket list.  It can be made with chicken or veal; I’ve even had it as an appetizer with jumbo shrimp!  Today though, I’m going with something a bit humbler.  I’m using chicken tenders, easy on the pocketbook and easy on the prep!  Each tender is wrapped in prosciutto with a beautiful fresh sage leaf tucked in.  The bundles are then simmered in a simple sauce made with shallots, chicken broth, lemon and wine.

The inspiration for this post was a beautiful pot of sage from my herb garden.  I’m really proud that I grew it from seed!

When my husband tasted this, he said what is that sweet flavor?  It’s the fresh sage, really different than dried!  If you don’t have an herb garden look for it at the market.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. chicken tenders, 5-6 pieces
  • fresh ground pepper
  • fresh sage leaves, whole plus 2 tbsp. minced
  • 6 slices of prosciutto, or 1 per tender
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 shallot, chopped fine
  • 1 tsp. corn starch
  • 1/2 cup gluten free, lower sodium chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup white wine (I used pinot grigio)
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • remaining half lemon, cut into wedges for serving

Preparation:

Line your counter with wax paper and lay out the prosciutto slices.  Place one whole sage leaf on the lower half of each slice.

Place one chicken tender on each sage leaf.  Sprinkle with the minced sage and fresh ground pepper.

Roll each into a bundle.

Heat a large nonstick skillet with 1 tbsp. each of butter and olive oil.  Place the bundles seam side down in the skillet and cook for about 8 minutes, turning halfway through.  See how searing the prosciutto has sealed the bundles, no toothpicks or twine needed!

Transfer the tenders to a platter while you make the sauce.

Add 1 tbsp. of olive oil to the skillet and stir in the shallots.  Cook for 1 minute.  Whisk in the corn starch for about 30 seconds.  Stream in the broth and the wine.  Bring to a simmer, then finish with the butter, lemon juice and parsley.  When the butter has melted, return the chicken to the skillet.  Toss with the sauce, then cover and cook several minutes longer to heat through.

Transfer to a serving dish and spoon sauce over the top.  Garnish with fresh sage and lemon wedges.

I served it with roasted potato slices and sugar snap peas.  So simple and delicious, as good as any restaurant!  Isn’t it great that we can still enjoy this traditional Italian favorite on the gluten free diet?

Notes ♪♫ In addition to being gluten free, we are a low sodium household.  Since the prosciutto in this recipe has plenty of salt, I did not add more to the recipe. 

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Gluten Free Italian Chicken Pasta

Can you make an Italian Sunday Dinner in under 30 minutes?  When you don’t have the time or the inclination to make an elaborate meal, this recipe comes together in a flash with common pantry ingredients.  I used chicken tenders to keep prep to a minimum.  A simple sauce made with fire roasted tomatoes and a red wine vinaigrette is rich with flavor.  I finished it off with grated cheese and a sprinkle of fresh herbs from my garden.

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4 Servings

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Boil water for the pasta, add 1/2 tsp. of salt and 1/2 tsp. olive oil.  Cook the fettuccine according to package directions.  Whisk together 2-1/2 tbsp. olive oil, the red wine vinegar and the seasonings.

While the pasta is cooking, heat a large nonstick skillet with 1 tbsp. olive oil.  Add the chicken tenders, turning to brown all sides until cooked through, about 8 minutes.

When the chicken is close to being done, push it to the side of the pan and add the tomato paste in center.

Let it toast for 1 minute then add the diced tomatoes and the vinaigrette.  Lower the heat and simmer for 2 minutes.

Before draining the pasta, reserve a ladle of the pasta water and add it to the skillet.  Add the fettuccine to the sauce and toss well.

Cook for another minute then sprinkle with half the cheese and fresh herbs.

Transfer to a serving platter, sprinkle with the remaining cheese, basil and parsley.

Notes ♪♫  Conventional kitchen wisdom tells us to never add oil to your pasta water, and for regular wheat pasta I would agree.  Gluten free pasta, on the other hand is notorious for sticking together, especially our much loved spaghetti, linguine and fettucine.  I find that adding just a drop of oil to the cooking liquid helps keep the strands separate as they cook.

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Air Fryer Rotisserie Cornish Hen

Cornish Hens are a welcome change from the usual chicken dinner.  I have made them a few times this past year, we even had them for a holiday!

Ever since I got my air fryer last Christmas, I’ve been trying out some of my favorite oven recipes.  I especially love using the rotisserie!  Cook time in the air fryer is less than in a traditional oven, so a recipe that would normally be relegated to a Sunday afternoon is now possible any day of the week!

But really, in the end it’s all about taste.  Both Mr. Cucina and I agreed, this Air Fryer Cornish Hen was juicier and tastier than the oven version!

A possible drawback of most air fryers, you will only be able to cook one hen at a time.  But for our household of two, this was not a problem.  We each had half and it was more than enough for our small appetites.

2 servings, dinner for 2

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Ingredients:

  • 1 Cornish Hen (mine weighed 2.3 lbs.)
  • 2 tbsp. butter, softened
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. gluten free seasoning (I used Grill Mates Montreal Chicken)
  • paprika

Preparation:

Soften (don’t melt) the butter by leaving it at room temperature or carefully microwaving 10-20 seconds.  Combine it with the olive oil and seasoning.

Remove the neck and giblets from the hen and discard.  Rinse and pat dry.

Next rub the butter mixture all over the hen, be sure to get under the legs and wings.

Insert the rotisserie spit and secure the ends with clips, then tie the legs and wings with twine.  Sprinkle all over with paprika.

Place the hen in the air fryer for 45 minutes at 375º.

When finished, check with a meat thermometer.  The internal temperature should be between 165º-170º.

Remove to a plate and let it rest a few minutes, then carefully remove the twine and rotisserie spit.

Use a sharp knife and/or kitchen scissors to cut through the backbone and divide the hen into 2 portions.

Notes ♪♫ Every air fryer is different, if yours doesn’t have a rotisserie then you will need to turn the hen every so often for even browning.  Cook time for this recipe was based on a single Cornish hen weighing 2.3 lbs.  Use this as a guide, but always check the internal temperature with a thermometer.

 

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Hasselback Chicken Breast

How many times a week do you cook chicken?  If you’re like me, it’s at least once every few days.  In fact, I have some 30 recipes and counting on the blog that are made with chicken!  Fried, baked, broiled, grilled.  Chicken soup, chicken pasta, chicken pizza.  And this.

The inspiration for today’s recipe was of course the Hasselback potato.  With bacon and colorful veggies tucked into the fanned out chicken cutlets, it makes quite the fun and impressive presentation!

Dinner for 2 (we found them quite filling and saved half for lunch the next day!)

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Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts, 8 oz. each
  • 1/4 sweet onion, sliced thin
  • 4 mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 1/4 red bell pepper, sliced thin
  • 2 slices of bacon, cut into 1″ pieces
  • olive oil
  • gluten free Italian seasoning
  • grated Parmesan cheese
  • cooking spray
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 400º.  Line a baking sheet with foil and mist with cooking spray.  Cut the veggies into uniform thin slices or ribbons.

Arrange the chicken breasts on the prepared baking sheet and cut horizontal slits about 3/4 inch apart, be careful not to cut all the way through.  Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with Italian seasoning.

Into each pocket, place one slice of onion, 1 slice of mushroom, 1 piece of bacon and 1 slice of bell pepper.  Press down gently to secure them in place.

Drizzle with a bit more olive oil and sprinkle liberally with Parmesan cheese.

And that’s it!  Now just bake for 25 minutes at 400º.

Come closer, take a look!  Can you smell it?  It was absolutely delicious!

Notes ♪♫  I tried this recipe a couple of ways.  On my first attempt I cooked the veggies before stuffing the chicken.  It turned out ok, but I found the chicken was far more tender and juicy when the veggies and bacon were not cooked in advance.

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Gluten Free Chicken Parmesan

At the beginning of my gluten free journey, one of my first successful home cooked meals was a personal favorite of mine, Chicken Parmesan.  I am Italian so this was a big deal!  In this post, I’ll show you how with just 2 ingredient swaps I made a gluten free adaptation of this classic comfort food that tastes just like the one you remember!

Serving size, 1-2 cutlets per person

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Ingredients:

  • thin sliced boneless chicken breast, 6 oz. per serving
  • white rice flour
  • 1 egg + 1 tbsp. water
  • Tuscan seasoning
  • gluten free seasoned Italian breadcrumbs (I recommend Aleia’s)
  • olive oil
  • marinara sauce, jar or homemade
  • shredded cheese (mozzarella, parmesan, fontina, gruyere)
  • Italian parsley for garnish

Preparation:

To save time, I bought thin sliced chicken breast.  For thicker cuts, you will need to place the chicken between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound to 1/2″ thickness with a meat mallet.  Cut into 6 oz. serving portions.

Before you get started with the chicken, preheat the oven to 350º.  Stir together a small batch of marinara sauce.  I used a 29 oz. can of tomatoes, 3/4 cup diced onion, 1 minced garlic clove, 1 tsp. brown sugar, 2 tsp. basil and 1 tsp. oregano.  You can of course just warm up some jar sauce (I won’t tell 😉 ).

Set up 3 breading trays, one with rice flour, one with the beaten egg + water, and one with gluten free breadcrumbs.  Sprinkle the rice flour and egg with seasoning.

Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a large non-stick skillet.  Pat each piece of chicken in the seasoned flour.  Next, dip the floured chicken in the egg, shaking off the excess.  Finally, roll in the breadcrumbs, turning to coat both sides.

Cook the chicken 3 minutes per side, until nicely browned.

Don’t crowd the chicken in the pan, if necessary, cook it in 2 batches.

The chicken does not need to be cooked through at this point, it will finish in the oven.  Transfer the browned cutlets to a baking sheet.

Top each piece with a ladle (~1/4 cup) of marinara and shredded cheese.  While mozzarella is traditionally used in this recipe, you can use any cheese you prefer.  I love gruyere or fontina cheese, for their mild flavor and superior melting characteristics.

Finish in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Garnish with parsley and serve with your favorite gluten free pasta.

I made Jovial Caserecce brown rice pasta, and it was delicious!  Confession, all the while I was cooking, I had my eye on the biggest piece of chicken, and I finished every bite!

When I made this for company, no one knew it was gluten free.  Mum’s the word!

Notes ♪♫ Plain white rice flour works better than gluten free all purpose flour in this recipe.  Don’t use a flour blend that contains gum, as the breading may turn out soggy.  Also, some prepared sauces, seasoning mixes and even grated cheese may contain hidden gluten, always check the ingredient labels!

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Oven Roasted Chicken Leg Quarters

You are going to love this easy roast chicken dinner.  Leg quarters are an inexpensive option and provide a hefty portion for big appetites (we ate half for dinner and saved the rest for lunch the next day).  For this preparation, I sear the leg quarters in olive oil then finish in the oven using a roasting pan with rack.  The result, moist juicy meat with a crispy skin!

Tip  **Place onion slices under chicken to keep it from sticking to a roasting rack, this works on the grill as well**

Dinner for 2

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Ingredients:

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 325º.  Cut the onion into 4 thick slices.  Heat a stainless steel skillet with olive oil and place the leg quarters skin side down for several minutes to get some color.  Don’t crowd the pan, brown the leg quarters one at a time if needed.

Set up a roasting pan with rack.  Mist the rack with cooking spray and arrange the onion slices, 2 on each side.  Lay chicken over the onion slices and sprinkle generously with seasoning of choice, then paprika.

Insert a meat thermometer into the chicken.  Bake for 1-1/2 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 170º.

I served it with oven fries and green beans.  An excellent meal!

Notes: ♪♫  The roasting pan you see in this post belonged to my mother.  Never used, it passed down to me and decades later it became a part of my kitchen collection.  Although I could not locate this exact model, here is a similar style pan that you can purchase.

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Gluten Free Chicken Cordon Bleu

Classic Chicken Cordon Bleu.  Years ago this dish was a restaurant standard, and it has long been on my culinary bucket list to make a gluten free version at home!  Swapping out the flour and breadcrumbs for gluten free was all that was needed.

This is a great dish for a dinner party, or a romantic dinner for two.  When planning your meal, allow about 6 oz. chicken cutlet and 2 slices prosciutto per serving.  For our dinner I had one very large chicken breast that I cut into 3 slices.  You can save a step by purchasing thin sliced chicken breast cutlets.

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Ingredients:

  • boneless chicken breast cutlets, 6 oz. per serving
  • thin sliced prosciutto, 2 slices per serving
  • grated gruyere cheese, 2-3 tbsp. per serving
  • 1 egg or 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 1/4 cup white rice flour seasoned with paprika
  • 1/2 cup gluten free seasoned breadcrumbs
  • cooking spray

Preparation:

Using a sharp paring knife, slice horizontally through the center of the breast making 1/2″ slices about 6 oz. each.  Cover with plastic wrap and use the flat side of a meat mallet to pound each slice to an even thickness.

Continue with each slice, stacking between layers of plastic wrap.

When you are ready to assemble, layer each piece of chicken with 2 slices of prosciutto.

Sprinkle evenly with Gruyere cheese and roll up into a bundle.

If you have the time, roll up the chicken in plastic wrap, twisting the ends like a sausage casing.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.  This is a great trick for to help the bundles stay together without using twine or toothpicks!

Pressed for time and don’t have that extra hour?  Don’t worry!  Just secure the bundles with a toothpick, like this.

Set up breading trays with the flour, egg and breadcrumbs.

Gently roll the bundles in the flour, then dip in the egg, and finally roll in the breadcrumbs.

Set the bundles seam side down on a baking sheet lined with foil and coated with cooking spray.

Bake for 40 minutes at 350º and rest 5 minutes before serving.

And that’s it friends.  A beautiful plate!

I hope you enjoyed this post and have been inspired to give the recipe a try! Be sure to check out some of my other restaurant classics that you can make at home, gluten free.

Notes: ♪♫ Ingredients make the difference!  I used Aleia’s gluten free Italian breadcrumbs in this recipe.  They are simply the best!

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