Saturday, October 13, 2012

Gluten-Free Chicken Hot Pot Recipe

Hello eaters!

With the overwhelming introduction of new blogs and articles about eating gluten-free, I've been rethinking the concept of Eating Friendly. I still plan to review restaurants and bakeries, occasionally, but I've decided that you, my readers, will get more out of my articles if I create recipes using allergy friendly products, such as pizza crusts and cake recipes, and then share my findings with you here, on Eating Friendly. Here's my first recipe: Gluten-Free Chicken Hot Pot!

My GF Chicken Hot Pot has always been a crowd pleaser. It's a perfect recipe for adjusting amounts of certain ingredients, depending on your palate. And it's right on time for the chilly autumn season!

Gluten-Free Chicken Hot Pot:


Rice (or) 100% Buckwheat Soba Noodles (see below)
Avocado (optional)
Chopped green onions

Both versions (rice, soba) serve about 4

Ingredients for soup: 

2 inch ginger root
1 whole spicy pepper or chili (optional)
1 whole bay leaf
2-3 cloves raw garlic
2-4 green onions
Quartered Crimini (or) sliced Shitake mushrooms, about 1 cup (optional)
2-3 whole chicken legs, skin on
1 TBSP olive oil
Salt (to taste)
Water (about 2 cups)

Directions for soup:

To begin, salt both sides of your chicken legs and set aside.

Salting beforehand allows the salt to penetrate the meat. Otherwise it comes off in the pan the moment it hits the oil. 2 legs are enough, but 3 impart more flavor and provide more protein.

Cut your ginger lengthwise and peel your garlic cloves. Rinse and cut green onions in half. Set the greener, more delicate ends aside. Cut the tougher, whiter ends into 2-3 inch-long pieces and keep them with your ginger, bay leaf, and garlic. (The picture below will give you a good idea of how thick you want your ginger to be. You can use more or less ginger, depending on your preference for its flavor.)

In a soup pot, heat the olive oil until it's just beginning to ripple, but not smoke. Brown your whole chicken legs in the oil on both sides. (Below is a picture of the skin after it's been browned.)

After the chicken legs have been browned, fill your pot with just enough water to cover your chicken, and then add your ginger, garlic, bay leaf, pepper, and the "white sides" of your green onions. Salt your water with one or two pinches of salt (or to taste.) Cover and bring the temperature up to a steady simmer, and then turn down the heat to mid-low or low, depending on your stovetop's power. (You want it to be simmering lightly, but not overflowing and not boiling.)

(You can also add mushrooms to the broth about half way through the cooking process. My favorites for this recipe are shitake and crimini. If you forget to add your mushrooms half way through, you can cook them in the broth while the meat cools (see below.)

You just want to cover the chicken with water, and then add your flavoring components: ginger, pepper, bay, green onion, garlic. Then cover with a lid and let simmer.)

Let simmer for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, cut into the chicken to see if it's cooked through. If it isn't cooked through, then let it go for another 10 - 15 minutes.

If the chicken legs are cooked through, turn off the soup, pull the chicken lets out, place them into a bowl, and let them cool. It's a good idea to separate the meat a little, so it cools down faster.

(If you want to put this over rice, now is the time to cook your rice (see below.) This is also where you want to cook your mushrooms if you forgot to add them halfway through the cooking process. If you slice them thin enough, you just need to add them to the hot broth, and they will cook without the need to turn the burner back on.)

After the meat has cooled, pull it off the bone into bite sized chunks, and then replace the pieces in the broth. Remove your pepper from the broth. (I leave the bay leaf and ginger in and let them continue to impart their flavors.)

Directions for Rice:

1 cup sticky rice
1 1/2 cups of water (salted)

Heat water to a boil. Add rice. Turn heat to low. Stir rice. Cover and let simmer for 18 minutes.
Turn off, stir rice.
Serve soup over rice.
Garnish with sliced avocado and sliced green onions.

Serves about 4.

100% Buckwheat Soba Noodles:

I buy these buckwheat soba noodles at New Seasons Market, a healthy grocer located in Portland, Oregon. They are made in Japan, so it's possible that they are made at a facility that also processes gluten containing products, so celiacs and ultra sensitive eaters should either avoid this product, or check to see if it's 100% friendly, and then let us know in the comments box below ;)

The texture of the noodles should come out dense and slightly chewy, and they should impart a nutty, earthy flavor. I love this product, and it's more nutrient rich than white rice.

100% buckwheat soba noodles are tricky. Follow my directions exactly, and you should be successful in this cooking endeavor.

Directions for soba noodles:

1 pkg 100% Buckwheat Soba Noodles
Pinch salt

Bring salted water to a boil in pot.
In a medium to large-sized bowl, add cold water and ice cubes. (This is called an ice bath. Keep the bowl of ice water in the sink, or keep it next to your cooking pot.)
Add a small amount of soba noodles (1/2 inch to 1 inch thick) to the boiling water, and immediately settle into water with tongs. Try to separate noodles without damaging them. Let boil for about five to eight minutes (the cooking time varies), and then pull one noodle out and pinch with fingernails. (You can also bite into it to see if it's to your liking.) If noodle is tender and breaks apart easily, immediately remove remaining noodles and put them into the bowl of ice water.

Keep cooking noodles this way until you have the desired amount.
You can remove cooked noodles from ice bath and place in bottoms of soup bowls while you wait for the remaining noodles to cook.
Serve soup over noodles.
Garnish with sliced avocado and sliced green onions.

Serves about 4, but if you're a hungry group, you should consider having another package of noodles on hand, just in case.

Things to know: The ginger is for seasoning. It is edible, but it's rather shocking if you get a big bite of it. That's why it's cooked in large slices. It's easy to see them and pull them out. The bay leaf should not be eaten, and if you like its flavor, you should put it in the leftover broth and let it continue to flavor your soup. The same goes with the ginger.

Feel free to add vegetables to this dish as you see fit. Leafy greens are a perfect addition, and they are so easy! All you have to do with chard, collard greens, or kale is slice the leaves and add them to the broth while the chicken is cooling. You don't need to turn the heat back on and simmer them more. The temperature of the soup should cook your tender greens without turning them into mush.

Let me know how you like this recipe, and if you would like to see more. And if you have any eureka moments, feel free to share in the comments box below!

As always, my friends. Be well, and enjoy Eating Friendly!

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