I’ve often said “you can work without eggs if you have wheat, you can work without wheat if you have eggs, but what do you do if you can’t have either?”. I spend my days finding ways to bake and cook without wheat (gluten) AND eggs. (and also without dairy, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, fish, and shellfish, but that’s not really relevant here!). I’ve gotten pretty adept at baking without these two mainstays of western baking, and actually delight in baking allergy-free, and vegan. But what about breading for our favorite entree comfort foods? Again, reliant on the wheat/egg duo of binding, and breading for the resultant crunchiness. Well, many years ago, when I was writing my first cookbook, The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook, I discovered that I could make a “mock egg” for breading purposes, by emulsifying olive oil and rice milk. It worked like a charm, and I’ve been doing it ever since. Read on to find out how to make homemade allergy free, gluten-free chicken tenders, the ultimate in kid-friendly finger food. Enjoy!
Allergy Free Chicken Tenders
Makes 4 Servings
A go-to-recipe that is always a favorite with my kids. I return to this one over and over again.
- 1 lb chicken tenders
- 1 ½ cups rice milk
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 cup cornstarch or tapioca starch
- 3 Tablespoons rice milk
- 6 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup Gluten-Free bread crumbs, w/ extra ½ cup as necessary
- salt and pepper
- 3 cups canola oil
- 1 lemon
- Combine chicken tenders with 1 ½ cups rice milk and lemon juice, being sure tenders are completely submerged. Refrigerate for two hours.
- Pour out cornstarch onto a plate or wide shallow dish.
- Pour the 3 Tablespoons rice milk into a second wide shallow dish. Add the olive oil, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking well after each addition, until creamy and beginning to thicken.
- Pour out breadcrumbs onto a third plate or wide shallow dish. Add salt and pepper and toss well.
- Working quickly, remove a tender from the rice milk, roll in the cornstarch, turn in the rice milk/olive oil mixture, then coat with the bread crumbs. Se on a clean plate or platter.
- Repeat with remaining tenders. You may have to wash your hands a couple times during this process if the starch clumps up on them. Do the dipping assembly line style, with left hand for wet, right for dry.
- Heat canola oil in a medium-sized deep sauté pan, or dutch oven, over medium-high heat, until really hot, but not smoking. It should be rippling. Drop a tiny piece of breading in to see if it sizzles.
- Cook tenders, in two or three batches, being sure not to overcrowd the pan, until deeply golden, about 3 minutes per side, 6-7 minutes total. Remove from pan with tongs, and place on serving platter lined with paper towel. Squeeze with a little lemon juice (and sprinkle with a little sea salt) Serve hot, with ketchup and fries! Yum!
Allergy-Free Chicken Tenders
© 2010 by Cybele Pascal
(Please note that all my recipes are completely free of all top allergens (wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, fish, shellfish, and gluten), so as many people as possible can enjoy them. Additionally, all the ingredients are available at Whole Foods, and online at Amazon.com. If you have trouble finding something, let me know and I’ll help you find it.)
SAFETY NOTE: Because each person’s food sensitivity and reaction is unique, ranging from mild intolerance to life-threatening and severe food allergies, it is up to the consumer to monitor ingredients and manufacturing conditions. If manufacturing conditions, potential cross contact between foods, and ingredient derivatives pose a risk for you, please re-read all food labels and call the manufacturer to confirm potential allergen concerns before consumption. Ingredients and manufacturing practices can change overnight and without warning.
For more allergy-friendly chicken recipes you might like, try:
? Gluten Free Chicken and Rice Casserole from The Gluten-Free Homemaker
? Zucchini Noodle Chicken Salad from Heart of Cooking
? Dairy Free Chicken Pot Pie from Go Dairy Free