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Gluten Freedom's General Gau's Chicken Recipe

Posted by gluten freedom, 09 January 2009 · 380 views

Pursuing a gluten free lifestyle seems to be the popular trend right now. But let's set Hollywood and celebrity diet trends aside. Celiac Disease and Gluten Allergies are serious health issues. Those who pursue a gluten-free lifestyle can begin feeling better physically after several weeks of being gluten free, but they may also begin to experience some social or emotional stresses triggered by a sort of separation anxiety or a period of mourning and grief over losing the food they once took comfort in.

They may start to feel isolated due to the restrictions that "being gluten free" can have. They are limited as to what extent they can participate in one of the most social activities of mankind, "breaking bread" with others.

While they may still attend social events they can't help but feel like an outsider as they pull out their ziploc bag of gluten free edibles or feel self conscious as they provide strict instructions to a waiter along with an abbreviated education on cross contamination, and then there is the indescribable pain & embarrassment suffered when somehow they mistakenly ingest gluten.

It is no wonder depression can come on the heels of such a drastic and permanent lifestyle change. I was hard pressed to discover information on how to best cope with these social or emotional issues that stem from remaining committed to a gluten free lifestyle.

But I made a decision, that I would not be held back or restricted. I was finally feeling better physically and I was not about to let my emotions take one for the team. I was bound and determined that, now that my body was back in the game, that my social and emotional life certainly was not going to sit it out on the bench.

Now, I am no DR but here is what I think...food plays a major role in establishing our habits and patterns of behavior, which in turn sends signals to our brain that something good is about to happen or is happening or happened in the past and we want to relive that experience over and over.

Countless traditions have been unwittingly established with food subliminally anchoring itself in the center. Take the Holidays for example, a time when we gather with family and friends and share laughter about the past over a warm, feel good meal that establishes the joy of the present, while we look forward to what the future has in store.

You see it's not just the gathering together that creates the festive, nostalgic, drama but it's also looking forward to Aunt Sally's stuffing, or Gramma's cookies, or maybe it's Uncle Keith's perfectly roasted turkey.

Whatever the dish, you can bet that there IS someway to duplicate that favorite recipe into a gluten-free dish that EVERYONE will still love as much as, if not more, than the original.

Notice I purposefully used the word duplicate because I do believe that with collaboration and trial and error the same taste or better can be duplicated. Take New Year's Eve for example, I did some research ahead of time to discover how to successfully create some of my favorite gluten-free Chinese food recipes.

The big hit was my General Gau's Chicken. No kidding! No one could tell it was gluten-free! during my "research" everyone loved it so much that even though it was just my test run and I was making extra for the following night's dinner, it was still ALL eaten that 1st night (with the exception of what I had stashed away for my lunch the next day). The following morning there was a big fight before school when one of my boy's discovered that his brother had eaten MY lunch for breakfast, he wasn't concerned of course about my lunch. He was upset his brother had beat him to the punch is all.

*Be sure to continually check in on a regular basis (monthly) with manufacturers to ensure that these items are still gluten-free, as the manufacturer may change their process or ingredients without notice.

This recipe is doubled because I love making 1/2 the day of and freezing the other 1/2 for a quick delicious gluten-free dinner.

Gluten Freedom's General Gau's Chicken:
The Gluten Freedom Sauce:
Ingredients:
2-8 oz jars of Smucker's Pineapple preserves*
1 c. Sherry*
1 c. frozen orange juice concentrate (thawed)
1 c. La Choy soy sauce*
1/4 c. cold water w/ 1/4 c. cornstarch mix thoroughly (should be thick, if it is too thick-water it down 1 tsp at a time)
2 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbls. garlic powder (McCormick's)
1 Tbls. powdered ginger (McCormick's)
1/2 to 3/4 c. Frank's Red Hot buffalo sauce*
1/2 Tbls to 1 Tbls crushed red pepper (McCormick's)
or if you prefer: instead of the hot sauce & red pepper flakes you can use 5 dried hot chili peppers. (I had trouble finding them in my grocery store)

Directions:
Combine the above ingredients and store in a plastic covered food container in the fridge.

The Gluten Freedom Chicken:
Ingredients:
4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs or a combination, cut into bite size cubes.
6 eggs beaten
1 c. cornstarch
1 orange for zest
Peanut or Sesame oil for frying chicken in Wok
or if you prefer to use a deep fryer use veg oil and follow manufacturer's directions for your fryer.

Set aside the ingredients below for use during Step 2:
2 bunches of scallions (chopped)
The desired amt of broccoli crowns (quickly cooked or blanched)

Directions Step 1:
1. Set up your wok on med-high heat with 1-2 inches of oil (350-400 F)
2. Add about 1/2 c. cornstarch to the eggs and mix thoroughly, keep adding the cornstarch until the mixture forms a thick gluey batter. You may need to add more than 1 c. cornstarch to get it gluey and thick.
3. Zest the orange directly over batter and mix.
4. Add cubed chicken and making sure to coat the chicken generously. (if batter gets too thick, spray with just a bit of Pam cooking spray or add a few drops of oil to help separate chicken pieces)
5. Fry the chicken in small batches, do not over cook. Just cook it long enough to be sure the chicken is cooked through.
6. Place cooked chicken on paper towels and let stand. If you decide to refrigerate right away do not cover. If you cover while hot, it will sweat and make the batter soggy.

Once all the chicken is fried and the wok has been cleaned you are ready for Step 2

Directions Step 2:
1. Heat wok on med-high again and add 1-2 Tbls of peanut or sesame oil (the deep fryer can NOT be used for this but if you do not have a wok you can just use a deep or large frying pan and generously coat it with peanut or sesame oil (additional oil may be needed in between batches)
2. Stirfry approx 1/4 of the chicken pieces- as they start to brown...
3. Add 1-2 cups of sauce to the wok and stirfry (amt of sauce depends on how much chicken you are frying at a time) stir until the sauce begins to thicken
4. Quickly add desired amount of broccoli crowns and stirfry being careful not to brown or over cook the broccoli. Just a minute or 2 should be fine. As the sauce begins to caramelize...
5. Quickly add the scallions, stir through once, then quickly remove everything from the wok onto a serving dish
6. Repeat this until all of the desired chicken, broccoli and sauce has been cooked up

Both the sauce and the chicken can be refrigerated or frozen for later use. After Step 1 but before Step 2

Tips for freezing:
Sauce: Freeze the sauce in several ice cube trays or a couple of muffin tins for several hours. Once frozen, place frozen sauce cubes in freezer bags to portion out later on.

Chicken: Make sure that the chicken has completely cooled and been refrigerated uncovered (to prevent sweating) for an hour or so. Portion out a serving of the cooled, fried chicken cubes (6 pieces or so) and place in a zipper sandwich bag. Be sure to remove as much air as possible.
Broccoli: Take a handful of fresh, blanched broccoli crowns and do the same in a separate zipper sandwich bag. Again make sure as much of the air is removed as possible.
Sauce cubes: Now do the same with your frozen sauce cubes; take 4-6 ice cube size or 1-2 muffin size and place in a zipper sandwich bag, again removing as much air as possible.
Place all 3 bags (chix, sauce & broccoli) into 1 zipper freezer bag. Remove as much of the air as possible. Label the bag with the contents and date.

Now you have a gluten-free frozen dinner ready to heat and eat. Just add the fresh scallions and follow Step 2. It's almost like Chinese take out!

If you try this recipe and still arenít convinced that being gluten-free can be a liberating experience, then stay tunedÖ. because one of my recipes are sure to hit that high note with you sooner or later.
If you have any comments or suggestions on how to improve this recipe please feel free to let me know.

If you have a favorite dish that you would like to duplicate into a gluten-free recipe but need some help, then let me know and letís see what we can do together?

I Hope this has been a Gluten Freedom experience for you! :P

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