When my son was younger and we were following the full GAPs diet, I found myself giving catchy names to identify the various concoctions that had become our new staple foods. We had spaghetti (which was really just bolognese sauce without any pasta), french toast bread (which was essentially a cake made out of egg yolks, carrots and cinnamon with honey on top), and crunchy chicken to name a few.
Crunchy chicken is one of my go to meals for when my son is having friends over. Kids like it. Reminds me of shake-n-bake chicken from the 80s. Even as our diet has loosened over the years and we are now just Gluten Free/ Casein Free – Crunchy Chicken remains a family staple. We also make crunchy pork and crunchy turkey. The recipe below is just a guideline. You can play around with different combinations of nuts/herbs.
Crunchy Chicken (or you can also make with pork or turkey)
**I don’t give specific amounts to use here… just play around with the proportions based on your tastes and the quantities you are cooking. When cooking for my 3 person family I make around 1 lb of meat (1 Waitrose package) and use 1 egg +maybe 1/2 C coconut milk and maybe 2C nuts – to give you an idea.
- chicken mini-breast fillets, turkey escalopes or pork loin steaks (these are the names of the cuts of meat I buy from Waitrose in the UK… but maybe called something else where you are. Really, anything can be used that you think would be good nut coated and baked in the oven! Just adjust the baking time accordingly.
- coconut milk (the milk I use is called Grace Premium Thai Coconut Milk. It comes in a green TetraPak, is very thick and creamy, and works better than the thinned coconut milk made to be used as a cows milk replacement. But you can use regular milk or cream if you are not dairy free… or buttermilk… or nut milk.
- egg (you can use the whole egg or just the egg yolk)
- ground nuts (I pulse a few times in the Vitamix)
- herbs and spices
- olive oil and/or coconut oil (I use half coconut/half olive)
** I’ve used the following combos of meat/nuts/herb and spices, but feel free to play around with this according to your tastes!
- chicken or turkey with paprika and pecans (or walnuts or a combination of pecans and walnuts… also good with almond meal) – sometimes I add garlic salt – and when Also, Costco’s No Salt Seasoning is good in this and a great way to get some veggies into your kids… as it’s made with lots of dried veggies.)
- pork with walnuts and rosemary, thyme or sage or a combination of the three – sometimes with garlic salt and/or Costco’s No Salt Seasoning.
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F
- Mix up the egg/coconut milk mixture in one bowl (should be slightly thick, rather than runny)
- Pulse the nuts in the blender (or use pre ground) until a bread crumb like texture
- Dump nuts in a bowl and add salt and seasonings and stir
- Add generous amount of oil to a shallow rectangular glass casserole dish or two – depending on how much you are making … or you could also use a stainless steel roasting pan of some sort. If you are using coconut oil, you can stick in the preheating oven for a few minutes until the oil melts
- Set up an assembly line of: 1. raw meat, 2. milk mixture, 3. nut mixture and 4. baking pan.
- Dredge each piece of meat in the milk mixture and then press into the nut mixture and flip to coat on both sides. Place coated meat into the baking pan. Repeat. If nut mixture becomes sticky, fluff it up with a fork.
- Sprinkle any leftover nut mixture around the pan (it’s really yummy to have extra… we serve this with “mushy broccoli” (recipe to come… the only way my son will eat broccoli!) and my son loves the extra bits of crunchy, oily cooked nuts to mix in with the broccoli:)
- Cook in the oven according to baking instructions for your particular cut of meat. I cook for about 18-20 minutes for mini-chicken breast fillets and turkey escalopes. A bit less for the pork loin steaks.
So… there you have it.
Sharing an easy, healthy, family-friendly recipe – one more attempt to help each other, help the world 🙂