Monday, April 4, 2011

Rookie Cooking: My first (sort of) Disaster

So I got in the kitchen and I made up my own concoction. I didn't even pretend to follow a recipe. I definitely proved myself to be a rookie cook.

The thing is? It was delicious. It was spectacular. I made BBQ Chicken Fingers, and I loved them. I made plenty and ate them over several days, and each day I felt more ill than the last. I knew the culprit was gluten.  

"Where could I be getting gluten?!" I wondered, I'd been so careful! I decided to scour ever ingredient of everything I'd eaten and checked one of the ingredients that I'd used for this recipe - which, yes, I am still going to share - when I discovered the word MALT.

Malt, my friends, is a secret ninja gluten enemy. It is made from barley, and makes me very very sick. That means I can't even have my favourite chocolate bar anymore - the Snickers with Almond.

So if you are gluten-free, do not eat this! 

But if you could go either way, then this was a fantastic success and I'd love to hear if you liked it.

The Supposed to be Gluten-free (but not!) "Breaded" BBQ Chicken Fingers

What I used:
  • Chili Sauce (I had half a jar sitting in the fridge I wanted to use)
  • Franks Red hot Sauce
  • Tabasco
  • 1.5 cups of corn flake crumbs (My nemesis supposed-to-be-gluten-free-but-wasn't ingredient!)
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp basil 
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • ground black pepper
  • Beware the evil Malt!
  • 4 chicken breasts cut into thin strips 
What I did:

I really just wanted to re-create that awesome breaded spicy chicken meal that I hadn't been able to find gluten-free in over a year, as well as use up some stuff that we had in our refrigerator. I went ahead pre-heated the oven to 350 degrees. I mixed half a jar of heinz chili sauce (around 1-1.5 cups) with one cup of Franks Hot Sauce (hey, I said spicy, so use less if you can't handle it) as well as a light sprinkling of tabasco. I put this all in a long and shallow glass dish.

In another long shallow dish I mixed the corn flake crumbs and spices. Now, I've used corn flake crumbs in other recipes to acheive a fake "breaded" taste and texture because I had been told that boxed crumbs were safe - while the breakfast cereal wasn't safe. Looking back, I cannot remember if I checked it myself before ever using it, but I paid the price and it reminded me to check every box before I dive in!

I cut the chicken breasts into strips, placed them in the first dish and coated them in the prepared sauce. I then moved them into the second dish, coating them in crumbs and spiced before placing them in a greased pyrex dish (I used olive oil for this) tight like little sardines. Some people prefer to shake their chicken in the crumbs using a ziplock bag, but I like to minimize my trash.

I put them in for 45 minutes and they came out perfect. Perfect and delicious and, for me, gluteny poisonous. Gloisonous.

My first Rookie Cooking Disaster. And I didn't even use Mrs. Dash this time!


  1. I just did a quick search and found that Fruit Juice Sweetened Cornflakes and Mesa Sunrise Flakes are gluten free!

  2. The Nature's Path fruit juice cornflakes are my fave for breakfast thes days! Next time I make these, I'm going to use my own gluten-free bread crumbs, I've been saving all the crumblies from each (rare) loaf I buy. I've also seen panko style gluten-free bread crumbs at the store.

  3. You'd think that something made of CORN would be gluten free. MISLEADING!!

    Those chicken fingers sounds spicy-licious. Yum Yum. I breaded fish in Panko on Friday - but that's just breadcrumbs crunchified.

    I read a recipe for TaterTots breaded in POTATO CHIPS - maybe that's a greasy delicious solution to your chicken finger recipe. The recipe calls for flour, probably to hold the potatoes together, but I'm sure some type of gluten free flour would work here... I dunno i'm just guessing.
    here's a link to the tater tots:

  4. I've given you the Versatile Blogger Award because your blog is amazing! I'm so glad you found me!

  5. That is a hilarious comfort-food recipe, Maria! Thanks for sharing. I'd love to make poutine with those tator tots... but then I'd have to eat nothing but celery for weeks! (Just kidding, I refuse to diet. Food is too delicious)

    Darlena - Thanks for the award! That is just awesome.

  6. Nice smoosh of the words at the end there!!! Rock Star Mamma

    Favrah MWAH