Category Archives: sulfite free

Crispy Chicken Under a Brick (or Cast Iron Skillet)

I tried this recipe by Tyler Florence tonight, and it was really fun to make and tasted delicious. I was skeptical that chicken on the bone would be able to fully cook in 30 minutes or less, but it did. And the skin was so crisp – it was amazing. The original recipe calls for toasted cumin seeds, which I don’t have. Instead, I simply used ½ teaspoon ground cumin. I was a little intimidated about making this dish, but it turned out to be much simpler and faster than I thought it would be. I will definitely make this dish again!!!

I had never heard of “brick chicken” until I saw Melissa D’Arabian from the Next Food Network Star make it in a challenge (she won the competition, BTW). Instead of using a brick, she recommended using a cast iron skillet. How simple! I just put a little olive oil on the bottom of my cast iron skillet before I placed it on my chicken.

Ingredients:
3 lbs chicken on bone
3/4 cup olive oil
2 oranges, juiced and zested
½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions:
In gallon zipper bag, mix together 1/2-cup olive oil, orange juice and zest, cumin, curry, brown sugar, garlic and parsley. Marinate the chicken in the mixture for 1 hour, covered in the refrigerator.

Place an ovenproof skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes. Put the remaining 1/4-cup olive oil into the hot skillet and wait 1 minute for it to heat up.
Remove the chicken from the marinade, season all over with salt and pepper. Place the chicken halves in the skillet, skin side down. Wrap 2 bricks in aluminum foil (or us a cast iron skillet) and set them on top of the chicken. The weight will flatten the chicken resulting in a very crispy skin.

Cook on the stove top for 10 minutes, then transfer the weighted skillet to a preheated 450° oven. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes. Use a thin metal spatula to pry the chicken from the pan so not to tear the skin.

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Fantastic Herb Marinade

At our house, we have a tight grocery budget, so we don’t eat steak very often. When we do, it is usually the cheaper cuts, and they need a little “love” to make them taste really good.

This is a marinade that I used on last night’s charcoal steak and they tasted fantastic. Actually, fantastic doesn’t do it justice. It was fantastic to the 3rd power. When I grilled my steaks last night, I also tossed a couple of small pieces of firewood on top of the briquettes, which really gave the meat a smoky flavor.

Ingredients:
1½ to 2 lbs steak
the juice from a freshly squeezed lemon
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp salt
½ tsp dry mustard
½ tsp pepper
1 tsp minced garlic

Preparations:
Place steaks and all ingredients in a plastic gallon bag. Seal and shake and massage meat until all ingredients are mixed and cover the steaks equally. Place in fridge and marinate for several hours. Grill to your liking.

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Bravo Brownies





These were really easy and fast to make. Bravo Brownies have a chewier texture than “normal” brownies, but they are a great alternative to the wheat version – and they taste really good, and are very moist. Little Z ate them twice today, and threw a tantrum each time we had to cut him off.

This recipe is from “Bravo Brownie Cut Ups” in Cookies for Everyone! (p. 184)

Ingredients:
1 cup superfine sugar
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1/3 cup white rice flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup applesauce
¼ cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract (leave out if you have a corn allergy, or make your own)
½ tsp baking powder (use featherweight if you have a corn allergy, or make your own)
¼ cup powdered sugar (has corn, you can make your own)

Preparations:
mix all dry ingredients together (except powdered sugar) and add wet ingredients and blend until smooth. Line an 8 by 8 inch baking pan with aluminum foil (extend foil over the sides). Pour batter into pan and bake in a 350° preheated oven for 30 minutes (or until edges are firm). Cool completely in pan (for easier cutting, you can freeze for 15 minutes or so). Remove from the pan using aluminum foil and cut into squares. For a fun twist, cut using cookie cutters.

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Creamy-Without-the-Cream Chicken & Mushrooms Wild Rice

This was pure delight to eat. It reminded me of wild rice soup, and although it had no dairy in it, tasted so smooth and creamy. It was delicious.

Ingredients:
1 cup wild rice
10 oz cooked and shredded boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 large onion
2 cups chicken stock (if you don’t have an allergy friendly broth, use mine)
3 celery ribs, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped into rounds and half rounds (depending on diameter)
8 oz sliced mushrooms
1 bay leaf
¼ tsp crushed red pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil
green onions, if desired

Preparations:
Saute onion, celery, carrots, mushrooms, salt, pepper and red pepper in olive oil. Add garlic and chicken and saute for another minute or two. Add chicken stock and bay leaf and bring it to a boil. Add wild rice, stir, reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for 45 minutes. Top with green onions if desired.

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Lemon-Lime Cilantro Chicken


This was a really nice dinner to enjoy on a summer night. I paired it with Cilantro and Lime Rice, and it was a really refreshing meal.

Ingredients:
2-3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
garlic powder
crushed red pepper
black pepper
salt
the juice from a whole lemon
the juice from a whole lime
A handful of chopped fresh cilantro
oil

Preparations:
Place chicken in an oiled baking pan and drizzle oil over it. Squeeze the lemon and lime juice over it. Sprinkle salt, garlic powder, red pepper and black pepper over the chicken. Rub spices in gently, and spread freshly chopped cilantro over the top of chicken. Cover and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Uncover, and bake another 20-30 minutes until golden and cooked through.

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Just Peachy Chicken

Peaches have been on sale lately, and I just had to figure out a way to use them before they go bad. This is also a great way to use up peaches that have gone too ripe, or have a lot of bruises. The brown sugar, raisins and peaches impart a nice flavor without making the meat sweet.

Ingredients:
3 lbs chicken breast or leg quarters with the skin removed and the visible fat cut off
4 ripe peaches, cut up (peeling is optional)
1/3 cup packed sulfite-free raisins
1 tsp ground ginger
1 T packed brown sugar
3 T oil
salt
salt
black pepper

Preparations:
Place chicken in the bottom of a greased casserole dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix peaches, raisins, ginger and oil in medium mixing bowl and pour over chicken. Cover chicken and bake at 400° for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake another 30 minutes or until no longer pink in the center.

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Spaghetti Sauce – gluten, corn, and Top 8 free





We’ve been trying to rule out a corn intolerance, so I had to rethink and revamp how I made spaghetti sauce for little Z. I used to use store bought canned chili-style or Italian-style tomatoes along with grated veggies and lots of spices, but I still can’t find corn free canned tomatoes (if anyone knows of any, please, let me know!).

I freeze any leftovers in 1 cup portions so that I have an easy and quick meal on hand for Little Z on busy days – all I need to do is boil little Z some noodles. I have been making this for a while, so the measurements are my best guesstimate!

Ingredients:
1 12 oz can tomato paste
3-4 tomatoes, or a pint cherry tomatoes, chopped
½ to 1 cup water (depending on how thick you like your sauce)
2 T oregano
2 T Italian seasoning
3 large leaves of fresh basil, minced
1 tsp onion powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
1bay leaf
½ tsp black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional – have you figured out that we like spice at our house?)
2 large carrots, peeled and grated (this adds a nice sweetness, and helps increase little Z’s veggie intake!)
1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
2 T chopped green onion (optional)
4 oz chopped mushrooms
1-2 T brown sugar (to remove tartness)
salt to taste
olive oil

Preparation:
In a large saucepan, saute ½ of onion in oil. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, water, spices, grated carrot, mushrooms, sugar and the other half of the onion and cook on medium heat stirring every few minutes until it begins to bubble. You can add browned ground beef or turkey at this time, if desired. Turn on low heat and let it simmer for at least 45 minutes stirring every few minutes. Salt to taste.

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