Ever since I saw the movie Julie and Julia I’ve been reading through Julia Child’s cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. There are so many wonderful classic master recipes that are delicious but, many contain gluten and dairy. Julia loves butter. There are also many recipes that are time and labor intensive and they taste amazing. These days I spend a lot of time driving and cheering on my son at soccer games. I however still want to eat a delicious meal that tastes like I spent hours making it, but it has to fit into my schedule.
In cooking these dishes I had time earlier in the day to prepare. I knew we would want to eat almost as soon as we got home. I also knew that it would be late and I’d be tired. With this schedule I prepared the chicken and cooked it in my crockpot during the day. I also cooked the Noodles with Mushrooms right then, covered it and placed it into the refrigerator. All I would need to do when it was time to eat was reheat in the microwave.
Let me tell you the depth of flavor in this dish was amazing. I never missed all of the butter the original recipe called for or the gluten filled flour. I did change a few other things around for this dish too. The original recipe had onions and mushrooms with the chicken and a suggestion of rice or buttered noodles as the side. I just moved the mushrooms to hang out with the noodles. Julia also suggests for an additional vegetable try buttered peas or asparagus tips. Both sound good to me.
This recipe made 5-6 servings so you know what I did. I put the leftovers immediately into the freezer. This time however I placed it into containers as a meal with both the Chicken Fricassee and Noodles with Mushrooms together, topped with the sauce. Now all I have to do is pull it out, reheat and I’ll have an amazing dinner in 6 minutes. How cool is that!
Oh and by the way, this meal was super cheap to make. Chicken leg quarters are usually below $1 per pound and go on sale a lot. Next time they do, grab a large package and put it into the freezer until you’re ready to use them. Or better yet try this recipe right away and freezer the leftovers. You can also make this dish with a roasting chicken but Julia suggests never using a younger chicken such as a broiler. The flesh is so soft and tender that it will dry out and get stringy. I love her tips!
UPDATE: This was submitted to Slightly Indulgent Mondays at Simply Sugar & Gluten Free.
5-6 Chicken Leg Quarters
2 organic onions, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
4 cups chicken stock, heated
1 cup white wine
1-2 tsp thyme
1-2 tsp parsley
1-2 bay leaves
Sea Salt & Pepper
Arrowroot Slurry – large tsp of arrowroot mixed with cold water, 2-1 ratio
For the Noodles with Mushrooms
8.8 ounce bag of Tagliatelle Noodles by Glutano or your favorite
12 Cremini Mushrooms
Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Start off by prepping your vegetables. Slice your onions, peel and slice the carrots and wipe off the mushrooms with a damp cloth and slice them. Before you can put everything into the crockpot you need to brown the meat and saute the vegetables. My crockpot insert is a non-stick pan but if yours is enamel you need to use another pan. You also should make your flour mixture on a plate to have ready for your chicken. I used a ratio of 4 to 1 of sorghum flour to corn starch. Mix in your salt and pepper too.
Heat your pan and oil on medium high, add in the onions. When they start to brown take 1/3 out and reserve for the chicken dish. Add in the mushrooms to the pan and let them brown. These mushrooms and onions will be paired with the noodles. After the mushrooms brown salt and pepper to taste and add 1/2 tsp each of parsley and thyme. If you salt your mushrooms when you first put them into the pan they will release their liquid and not brown.
Remove the onions and mushrooms to the reheating/serving dish for your noodles. Next saute your carrots, then remove and add to the onions that will go into the crockpot with your chicken.
Now it’s time to brown the skin of the chicken. Make sure you have oil in your pan and that your chicken is dry. If it’s wet you will steam it instead of browning it. Brown the chicken on all sides. I did mine in batches. As each piece was done, and this took approximately 3-5 minutes per side, I pulled them out and placed them on a plate of the flour mixture. You will want to dust each side of the chicken with this mixture.
After you have done that with each piece of chicken you need to put the chicken back into that pan and cook the flour on the chicken for just a few minutes. At this point you can place your chicken into the crockpot. Add in the reserved onion, carrots and the wine.
Pour some of your heated chicken stock into the pan where you were browning the chicken and cooking the vegetables. You will want to get all of that flavor off of the pan to go into the crockpot with your chicken. Now pour that chicken stock into the crockpot along with the remaining stock. You want the liquid to cover 3/4 of the chicken. Sprinkle the chicken with 1 tsp each thyme and parsley and add a bay leaf to the stock.
Cover the crockpot and cook on low for 4-6 hours.
After that was set I quickly boiled the noodles in filtered water, drained them, tossed them with a little Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread and the mushroom and onions. Since I was not eating this until dinner it went right into the refrigerator.
When your chicken is done, the hardest part I found was getting it out of the crockpot with the leg still attached to the thigh. It was so tender and juicy that some separated. I put the chicken onto a platter and covered it with foil until I was done with the sauce.
Left behind in your crockpot is the most amazing sauce. All you need to do is strain it over a sauce pot, bring it up to a boil and add in your arrowroot slurry. You can thicken it as much or as little as you like. With coating the chicken with flour and cornstarch to begin with, the stock that you strain out with not be thin, but have a little body to it. It can also have clumps of flour that probably won’t taste as good, so straining it does make a difference.
I heated the Noodles with Mushrooms in the microwave and served both that, and the Chicken Fricassee, with sauce on top. It was a wonderful meal.
For more ideas on What Can I Eat That’s Gluten Free, check out The Gluten Free Homemaker.