Balsamic Rosemary Chicken Risotto – Low FODMAP, Fructose Friendly and Gluten Free

Balsamic Rosemary Chicken Risotto - low FODMAP, fructose friendly, gluten free and lactose free

As always, my predictable stomach began to crave warm, hearty meals right about the time the weather started to cool down. Instead of light salads, it seems to be nagging for all the proteins and fats and carbs. Thanks stomach, I wasn’t planning on going up a size this winter but you seem to have other ideas. Of course, you shouldn’t always give in to cravings but occasionally it’s alright – say, for instance, after you had been sick for a week and could finally stay out of the bathroom for long enough to cook a meal (this gluten challenge is almost over, my immune system can see the light!).

After said week, I couldn’t stomach much but I could manage chicken and rice… but how appetising (or nutritious, really) is boiled chicken and rice? This risotto is pretty basic, so it’s easy on the stomach; you don’t need much to fill you up and it packs in more nutrients than its plain cousin thanks to the homemade stock and vegetables it contains. Oh and it’s pure comfort food. Ready. Set. Nom.

FODMAP Notes

  1. Balsamic vinegar is low FODMAP in 1 tbsp. servings. The 1/3 cup in this recipe will give 3/4 tbsp. per serving if divided between six people, less if shared among eight. Make sure you have real Balsamic vinegar, as the cheaper imitations might not all be FODMAP friendly – check the labels and use what you can tolerate.
  2. Rosemary is a low FODMAP herb.
  3. Chicken is of course low FODMAP – just be careful you don’t buy pre-seasoned chicken, which might have high FODMAP spices added.
  4. Zucchini is a FODMAP friendly vegetable.
  5. Mushrooms contain large amounts of the polyol mannitol in 1 cup servings. The 6 crimini mushrooms called for in this recipe would be just under 1/4 cup in size each, so you would be ingesting at most 1/4 cup of mushrooms if you divided this recipe among six people, less among eight. Of course, if you are sensitive to mannitol in any amount, substitute it with more zucchini, or even some cherry tomatoes.
  6. One serving of a dry white wine is considered low FODMAP.
  7. Arborio rice is a low FODMAP and gluten free grain.
  8. Butter is low in lactose, as FODMAPs are water soluble and butter is mostly fat. However, if you cannot tolerate any butter, either add in your favourite butter replacement or simply omit. For a less creamy version (i.e. when you’re recovering from a stomach bug and can’t tolerate rich foods) omit the butter. It’s what I did for my recovering stomach but any other time I would add it in.

Balsamic Rosemary Chicken Risotto

Serves 6-8

  • 5 cups/1.25 L of fructose friendly chicken stock
  • 700 g chicken, diced into 2 cm chunks
  • 1/6 cup Balsamic vinegar
  • Olive oil to seal pan
  • 2 cloves of garlic – to be removed before cooking the rice
  • 1 cup diced green leek tips
  • 1 large zucchini, diced
  • 6 medium crimini mushrooms, diced (see FODMAP notes)
  • 300 g arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup/125 ml dry white wine
  • 1/6 cup Balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh minced rosemary
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper (or to taste)
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter (optional, see FODMAP notes)

Prepare the chicken and vegetables, wash the rice and set everything aside. If you have time/thought ahead, marinate the chicken in the 1/6 cup of Balsamic vinegar overnight, otherwise, just add them together while cooking. Obviously, in this case you would prep the chicken the day before all the other ingredients.

In a small saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a simmer and reduce to low. Put the lid on and leave until required.

Fry the chicken pieces in a large fry/saute pan and add the Balsamic vinegar (if it wasn’t added earlier for marination – time constraints and all that). Cook over a high heat until the chicken pieces are all fully sealed and then remove the meat and juices from the pan into a clean bowl.

Next, add in a little more olive oil and add in the leek tips and garlic cloves. Fry over a medium/high heat until the garlic becomes fragrant, then remove and discard the garlic cloves. Add the diced zucchini and mushrooms and cook over a medium heat until the vegetables are mostly cooked.

Push the vegetables to the side and tip in the rice; fry the rice to coat it in the oil/pan juices and then pour in the white wine and last 1/6 cup of Balsamic vinegar. Cook over a medium heat until most of the liquid has evaporated and then begin adding the warmed chicken stock, one ladle at a time.

Reduce the heat to a low/medium setting and stir occasionally, letting the stock gradually absorb into the rice. Add a fresh ladle of stock when the previous batch has almost dried out and keep going until the rice is fully cooked (soft) or the stock runs out. The chicken and its juices should be added back into the pan when the pot of stock is about half-used, so it can finish cooking with the rice. Season with the rosemary, salt and pepper when you add in the chicken and then tinker with a little more if required at the end. Finally, add in the optional butter and stir through, for a rich and creamy dish. For pictures of not-quite-cooked vs. cooked risotto, see here.

Serving suggestions: freshly grated Parmesan cheese, minced chives (green parts only) or a sprig of rosemary or parsley. Don’t forget the wine.

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BBQ Smoked Rosemary Chicken – FODMAP/Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

BBQ Smoked Rosemary Chicken

If you’re after a recipe for juicy chicken that feeds 10-12 adults (per two chooks) and frees up space in the oven for other dishes, then look no further!

This method of cooking chicken requires some advanced planning but it consistently delivers moist meat that is still tasty the next day. I love leftovers and this recipe always gets a work out every summer, as it’s perfect for barbeques. You can’t beat that!

BBQ Smoked Rosemary Chicken

Serves 5-6 adults, as part of a main.

  • 1 chicken, approx. 2.5-3.0 kg (5.5-6.0 lbs)
  • 1 batch of a basic brine
  • 1 handful of rosemary sprigs
  • 1 large handful of wood chips of your choice for smoking – we use hickory
  • 1.0 litre water
  • Other equipment – BBQ, coals, disposable baking tray, meat thermometer

Step 1: Brine the Chook

Clean and remove the skin from the chicken before spatchcocking it and cutting shallow slits in the flesh. Then, follow these instructions to make enough brine for your chicken; a typical chicken will need one batch of the brine, extrapolate how much you’ll need from there.

Submerge the chicken in the brine and refrigerate it (or use an Eski/cooler with ice) for 3-4 hours. The temperature needs to stay at or below 3 C/38 F.

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Step 2: Prepare the Chook and BBQ

About 30 minutes before you remove the chicken from the brine, get your BBQ started and put the wood chips in water to soak (this prevents them from drying out and burning too quickly later on). I say 30 minutes, because that is how long it takes our coals to light properly. Once the coals have been lit, push them to one side and place the disposable baking dish on the other side and fill it with the 1.0 L of water.

When the chook is ready to come out, thoroughly rinse the brine off the chicken, lightly rub it with some melted butter or olive oil and then place the rosemary in the slits you cut earlier.

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Step 3: BBQ the Chook

Sprinkle the soaked hickory wood chips over the coals (give them a shake, first, to get rid of excess water that would extinguish the coals) and then place the grill on top. Arrange the chickens so that they are on top of the water bath, being indirectly heated by the coals. Put the lid on and half open the vents at the bottom and top of your BBQ (if you have them, as out kettle style BBQ does), to allow air flow to keep the coals burning. You will probably need to add some more coals halfway through, which will light on their own, to maintain the temperature inside the BBQ at 105 C/220 F.

Keep an eye on it but it should take about two and a half hours until it’s done, more (around four hours) if you haven’t spatchcocked it. The hallmarks of a “done” chook include an internal temperature of 85 C/185 F, juices running clear and a nicely browned surface. It’s best to make sure it has all of these.

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Step 4: Serving the Chook

Divide the chook into four parts – two each of the maryland and breast/wing segments, or eight parts – two each of the breast, wing, thigh and drumstick.

Serve with dipping sauces of your choice (I like this capsicum dip or a little BBQ sauce) and the rest of your BBQ spread. Yum!

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Basic Brine for Poultry

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A brine is a fool proof (famous last words?) way to ensure you get moist, juicy chicken or turkey every time. It actually doesn’t have to be poultry, that’s just what we use it for the most. Any dry meat is fair game. Simply soak the bird in the brine (time depends on the size of the meat), rinse thoroughly and then use in the recipe of your choice.

Bringing works in a couple of ways:

  1. Moisture enters the flesh, so the meat is juicier before cooking, thus the typical fluid loss during cooking does not dry it out to the same level as non-brined meats. This happens in two parts – firstly, the water leaves the chicken’s cells to create an isotonic solution with the brine; once equilibrium has been reached, the water flows in and out of the meat, carrying with it the dissolved salt and flavourings that you added, trapping them within the flesh.
  2. The dissolved salt also acts directly on the proteins, causing the peptides to swell and then unwind. Water then flows within the protein and is trapped there when heat denatures them and causes the protein chains to bind together once more.

Brine

Enough for one 2.5-3.0 kg (5.5-6.0 lb) chook/other bird.

  • 2.5 litres of water
  • 0.5 litres of FF stock (or water)
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup ground black pepper
  • Aromatic vegetables – such as celery, green leek tips and carrots (optional, performs the same role as the FF stock, if you have none)

Place all the ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Watch it closely, as it will boil very quickly with all the salt in there. Let it gently boil for 5 minutes, then take it off the heat and allow it to come to room temperature. Do not strain it.

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Once the brine is at room temperature, submerge the (cleaned) bird and weight it down, if necessary, to ensure that the entire bird gets the brine treatment. Leave a chicken in the brine for 3-4 hours and a turkey for at least 6 hours. Place the saucepan with the brine and chook inside in the fridge to keep cool while the process takes place. If your pot won’t fit in the fridge, put the lid on and submerge it in icy water. The ice will need to be replaced regularly to maintain a cold temperature, so you’ll need to stick around to keep an eye on it. An Eski (cooler) also works to keep the temperature at or below 38 F/3 C.

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Once the brine is complete, remove the bird just before cooking and rinse thoroughly to get rid of excess salt etc. Use it in the recipe of your choice, such as this spatchcocked turkey for Thanksgiving or BBQ smoked rosemary chicken.

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Butter Chicken – FODMAP/Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

Butter Chicken - Low FODMAP, Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

When Ev’s little brother was staying with us over his summer school holidays (our winter), both he and Ev became a tad obsessed with butter chicken. They even had a song for it. I can understand why, it is delicious but unfortunately it does take a little planning to get this meal made as the chicken has to marinate overnight and the sauce is better if made ahead of time, as well.

Back in my pre-FM days, a jar of Pataks would have satisfied my butter chicken, or any Indian food cravings but the simmer sauces you buy at the supermarket – as always – are chock full of onion and thus unsuitable for most with FM. As if that wasn’t enough reason to make your own sauce, the pre-made sauces are really quite bland compared to a homemade sauce; not so here, I can only describe this dish as “vibrant.”

The original recipe is from a great YouTube channel called Eat East Indian. I highly recommend it if you are comfortable tinkering with recipes to FODMAP-ify them, as they have some delicious creations. I have made their recipe FODMAP friendly for all of you to try, with some other alterations as well – but of course I credit them with the amazing original recipe.

Just a note – I made a double batch below, so that’s why the amounts look so much bigger.

Notes:

  1. Garam masala can contain onion or garlic powder – it’s only a fraction of the 1/2 tsp. called for in this recipe so it might be tolerated by some. Use your own judgement and omit it if necessary.
  2. An onion is called for in the original recipe. I have replaced this with a pinch of asafoetida powder and 1/2 a cup of green chives but you could go back to the original version if you can tolerate onion.
  3. I included carrot and celery in this recipe for some added nutrition. Evgeny, if you’re reading this, don’t complain because you had no clue. 😛
  4. Make sure your asafoetida powder is cut with rice flour and not wheat (to prevent clumping) if you’re very sensitive to fructans or a coeliac.
  5. Butter isn’t high in lactose, as lactose is water soluble and most of it goes into buttermilk instead of the butter – however you could replace some or all of it with coconut butter.
  6. The cream and plain yoghurt can be replaced with lactose free versions if required.

Butter Chicken

Serves 4.

Part 1

  • 500 g chicken, diced into 2 cm cubes
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander seed
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. ground fenugreek seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup plain yoghurt – optional

Combine the spices with the plain yoghurt (lactose free or normal) and then mix through the chicken pieces. Place everything in an airtight container in the fridge for at least 1 hour – overnight is best. If you want the spice flavours to come through more strongly at the end, or if you cannot get LF yoghurt, omit the yoghurt.

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Part 2

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 pinch asafoetida powder
  • 1 celery stick, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic – to infuse butter
  • 1 tbsp. ginger, minced
  • 250 g /8.8 oz diced tomatoes – fresh or tinned

Prepare all your ingredients for part 2 beforehand; this makes the actual cooking process as simple as possible.

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Gently melt the butter over a low heat and add in the cumin seeds and asafoetida powder; simmer until fragrant, then add the diced carrots, celery, garlic and ginger and simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on. The carrots need to soften before they are blended. If you chose to include a diced onion, add it in with the carrots etc.

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Next, add in the tomatoes and cook for a further 3 minutes. Pick out the garlic cloves and spoon the contents of your pot into a blender (or use your immersion blender and then set the paste aside in a bowl – but there’s no way I’m doing that in my Le Creuset!) and puree the vegetables. The paste will be used as the sauce later on. This step can be done on the same day as part 3 but the flavours can really mingle if you make it ahead of time, such as the night before when you start your chicken marinating.

Part 3

  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar or dextrose
  • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup diced green chives
  • 1/3 cup double cream – LF variety or normal
  • 1/2 tsp. fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala – if tolerated
  • Coriander leaves (cilantro) to garnish

Seal your pot and fry the bay leaves and ground cloves until fragrant. Take your chicken pieces that have been marinating – the longer, the better – and add them in; sear until fully sealed. Remove the bay leaves and pour in the paste. Mix well, then add in the salt, turmeric, paprika, brown sugar, cinnamon and chives and simmer for 30 minutes.

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Pour in the double cream and cook over a medium heat for 5 more minutes before adding in the fenugreek seeds, black pepper and garam masala; simmer for 10 minutes and it’s finished. Some recipes might call for a drop or two of red food colouring but really, I think it’s bright enough as it is and why add in something that is completely unnecessary if it’s only going to make it a little brighter?

If you are not serving it straight away, keep it on a low heat until it’s required.

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Serve with white rice and a garnish of coriander leaves (cilantro). You can serve the sauce and rice in separate dishes or create individual bowls – separately is more traditional but you can do whatever you’d like.

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It makes a delicious lunch if you store it in individual dishes that you can either refrigerate or freeze and take to work/school/wherever for the week.

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FODMAP Friendly Thanksgiving & Christmas Recipe – Cornbread Stuffing

Fructose Friendly Christmas Recipe - Corn Bread Stuffing

Like – I assume – most kids, the bit I liked best about the roasted chooks that Mum would occasionally buy was the deliciousness that was stuffed inside. If I had been allowed to, I would have completely ignored the chicken and just gorged myself on the herbed, bready stuffing from within. It helped that I thought it was hilarious that it was technically arse bread.

For some reason, Mum stopped buying them – explanation please, Heather? – and stuffing became a thing of legend. Last year we had a Thanksgiving feast at an Aussie friend’s house (no Americans present but we did our best) and one of the guests brought two pans of stuffing – none of which I could eat, of course, as they had wheat bread in them but they smelt ah-mazing. I was drooling and it took all of my strength to resist. The room I spared in my stomach for dessert was the main factor behind my determination; look at the bright side, right?

This year, Ev and I held a belated Thanksgiving dinner after his brother arrived from Australia and there was no question about it, we both wanted stuffing on the menu. After browsing some recipes, it seemed simple enough. Bread as a base, saute some veggies and add in stock and herbs. Then bake. It really was that easy! Hooray! It can even be made ahead of time and then baked before it’s required.

FODMAP Notes

  1. I added in a little garlic and onion to this, as I can tolerate them. If you can’t, then either omit them or add in the green parts of chives and a pinch of asafoetida powder.
  2. Asafoetida powder is an Indian spice that replicates the flavours of onion and garlic.
  3. The green parts of chives and leeks are lower FODMAP than the white, and easier to tolerate fructans-wise.
  4. Mushrooms contain mannitol, so beware if you are sensitive. The half cup split between eight portions should help to soften the FODMAP load.
  5. This is an egg-free stuffing, if you choose to use a bread that doesn’t contain eggs – my corn bread does but some commercial GF breads, or 100% rye breads, do not.

Corn Bread Stuffing

Serves 6-8 as a side dish, works well in a 12″ skillet.

  • 1/2 a loaf of my cast iron cornbread recipe, or a small loaf of your favourite GF bread
  • 1 tbsp. garlic infused olive oil.
  • 3 cups of finely diced vegetables that you can tolerate – I used 1/2 cup green leek tips, 1/2 cup diced mushrooms, zucchini, celery, grated carrots
  • 2 cups of fructose friendly stock – you can make it fresh from the neck and giblets of the bird you are roasting
  • 1/8 cup fresh minced rosemary
  • 1/8 cup fresh minced thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cut the bread into 2 cm cubes (or there-about) and leave it out overnight to harden. The drier the bread, the more liquid – and thus flavour – it will soak up when the stuffing is baking. If you forgot, or don’t have the time to let it dry out naturally, bake it in the oven at 180 C/350 F for 20 to 30 minutes, checking it periodically.

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Seal your pan with the garlic infused olive oil and saute the finely diced veggies and fresh herbs for 20 minutes or so – you want them to reduce by at least 50%, 75% is ideal. It doesn’t matter if the bottom of the pan browns a little – this is called a fond and is like a flavour bomb, as long as you don’t let it burn and become bitter. It will “deglaze” itself when you add in the liquid stock later on.

Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F.

Once the veggies have reduced, add in the bread chunks and mix them around. The bread will crumble – this is okay. Next, add in 1 cup of the stock and stir it through. Add in more stock and stir through if required. You may not need the entire 2 cups of stock, depending on how dry the bread was or how much liquid was left in the veggies; just play it by ear. The stuffing shouldn’t look soupy but it should definitely be moist before it is baked, like a dough. Add in salt and pepper to taste.

Bake it for 30 to 40 minutes, until the top has browned a little and formed a slight crust. It should still be moist but much of the squishiness it had pre-baking should be gone.

Serve it in the skillet on the table, along with the turkey (or chook) and accompanying dishes. Simple, tasty and low FODMAP! Can’t beat that.

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FODMAP Friendly Thanksgiving & Christmas Recipe – Cranberry Sauce

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Cranberry sauce is the easiest jam you will ever make. I promise.

Cranberries are high in pectin – well, their skins are – so that they will thicken up quite nicely without any help from you. All you need to do is add sugar to your taste and some water and you have a very basic jam that tastes great but a few adjustments can make it taste even better.

Notes:

  1. Cranberries are considered low FODMAP, however, like any fruit, don’t go overboard because it is the fructose (or FODMAP) load of the entire meal that counts.
  2. Fruit juices, even those from safe fruits, should be consumed in very limited amounts. Freshly squeezed juices aren’t nearly as bad as the concentrated fruit juices you get form the supermarket, though, as they have no added sugars and are not concentrated down into a thicker, sweeter juice. Still, moderation is key.
  3. Adding dextrose (a disaccharide that is 100% glucose) can aid with co-transport of any free excess fructose of not just the jam but the entire meal – to a point. It’s always best to err on the side of caution when huge meals are eaten and you may or may not be tempted by goodies that have an unfavourable fructose-glucose ratio… like mangoes. Yum.

Cranberry Sauce

Makes 5 x 1/2 pint jars.

  • 2 x 12 oz packets of fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup dextrose (more or less to adjust flavour to tart or sweet)
  • Juice of 1 orange and water to make 1 cup
  • Zest of 1 orange

Place all the ingredients in a pot and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes to let the cranberries burst – you can either leave the sauce as is or use an immersion blender (you know, the hand-held ones) to whiz it into a smooth sauce. Next, fill jars of your choice. Alternatively, you can preserve these jars to last for 6 months by following these instructions for immersion canning acidic foods, which is what I did. They make great little gifts at this time of the year. 🙂

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Done! Let the jars cool properly – for at least 12 hours – before testing the seals with a magnet. If any do not pass, then either reprocess or freeze them, or refrigerate them for use within a week or two. If you are gifting them, tie a piece of rough twine around the rim with a label attached, then place them in a brown paper bag for a rustic look.

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Chicken Enchiladas with Corn Tortillas – Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

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Sometimes nothing that is quick or easy sounds good enough for dinner. Sometimes, you just have a craving for cheesy, baked goodness. Well, these chicken enchiladas ticked both of those boxes – time consuming in preparation (though not hard, just repetitive) and deliciously cheesy. Make no mistake, this is not a health food but sometimes a splurge is necessary.

We are lucky enough in Seattle to have easy access to 100% corn tortillas at a decent price but I know in Australia it is hard to come by tortillas that don’t have wheat in them. If that is the case, and you can find instant masa corn flour, then you can make your own corn tortillas quite easily – masa flour and water are the only two ingredients, mixed to form a dough, flattened into a tortilla shape and dry-fried until cooked. This video gives a clear explanation of the process, if you decide that this is what you are doing. We have a tortilla press, which makes it a quicker process than her plate/rolling pin method but if you don’t have a press then that is how you do it.

FODMAP Notes

  1. This recipe is quite tomato based, so if you are sensitive to tomatoes then it might not be suitable for you. To reduce the tomato content, remove it from the enchilada filling as a first resort (replace it with 2 cups of FF chicken stock), because the enchilada sauce is necessary for cooking.
  2. Be careful with chili powder, it can sometimes contain onion and garlic powders. Just check the ingredients. If you are sensitive to spices, feel free to reduce the amounts listed.
  3. Cooking onion/garlic in the dish and then removing it later on reduces the fructans present but they are still there, so it may cause a reaction in some. They are optional, you can leave them out completely.
  4. You can put as much or as little cheese on these as you like. We used a fair bit of cheese on these because the friends we had over to dinner once referred – jokingly, of course – to our mac and cheese as “Mac and Cheese sans cheese.” We have come to realise that our taste buds are very different to those used to Southern cooking!
  5. Make this vegetarian by swapping out the roasted chicken for diced firm tofu, which is low FODMAP in 1 cup servings.
  6. Chipotle chilies are smoked jalapenos.

Chicken Enchiladas with Corn Tortillas

Serves 8-10 adults.

Enchilada Sauce

  • 3 tbsp. olive oil to seal pan
  • 1 tbsp. GF plain flour
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 2 x 425 g/15 oz pureed tomato
  • 4 tbsp. tomato paste – optional, only use if tolerated
  • 2 cups FF chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp. minced oregano
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt

Seal the pan and reduce heat to medium; add GF flour and stir until smooth. Pour in chili powder and cook until fragrant – approx. 30 seconds.

Add in the pureed tomatoes, optional paste, chicken stock, oregano, and salt and stir until combined. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a low heat and simmer for approx. 20-30 minutes, until it has thickened.

Chicken Filling

  • The meat from 1 roasted chook – or equivalent – shredded
  • 1 onion – optional: quartered to infuse olive oil with flavours, or diced and left in if tolerated
  • 2 cloves garlic – optional: quartered to infuse olive oil with flavours, or diced and left in if tolerated
  • 2 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp. ground paprika
  • 4 chipotle chilies, minced
  • 1 x 425 g/15 oz can of sweet corn – if tolerated
  • 3 x 425 g/15 oz can of diced tomatoes

Seal your pan and fry the onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes to infuse their flavours into the olive oil; after this, you can either remove them or leave them in – in which case, they should have been diced – if you can tolerate them.

Next, on a medium heat add in the ground cayenne and paprika and let them sizzle for a minute. Follow with the cooked shredded chicken and sizzle for another minute before adding the chipotle chilies, corn and diced tomatoes.

Let the mixture simmer on a low heat for 30 minutes to really allow the flavours to combine.

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Assembly

  • 30 corn tortillas, 15 cm diameter
  • Enchilada sauce – above
  • Chicken filling – above
  • 1 1/2 cups grated cheese of your choice

Preheat oven to 180 C/350 F.

Just before the 30 minutes is up, prepare your tortillas. To soften them – so that they roll without splitting – you can either microwave them in a sealed container with a dampened paper towel for 2 minutes or steam them on the stove til soft.

Choose your baking dish – we needed two – and spread a thin layer of the enchilada sauce over the base. Next, place a 5 mm thick layer on a dinner plate; this is to dip both sides of each tortilla in before filling and wrapping.

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Place approx. 2 dessert spoons full of the chicken filling in a log across the centre of the tortilla – this amount will change depending on the size of the tortillas (ours were about 15 cm across). Next, roll the tortilla up and place it seam-side down on the prepared baking dish. Repeat this until you run out of tortillas, the chicken filling or space on the dish.

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Pour over the remaining enchilada sauce – if you feel like you have so much left it will drown the enchiladas, don’t use it all. Whenever we make these, a surprising amount is taken up as we dip the tortillas before rolling but that might not be the case for you.

Sprinkle with the grated cheese and bake at 180 C/350 F for 15 -20 minutes to melt and brown the cheese.

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How inviting does that look?! I can only manage three of them, as cheese fills me up very quickly but I savour them as much as I can… I know I won’t be making them more than once or twice every autumn/winter.

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Top with sour cream, and garnish with some green chives or Italian parsley. Serve with a salad, just to make yourself feel a little better. Skip dessert.

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