I just got my April/May edition of Living Without Magazine, and in it was an article about some cooking methods I’ve been curious about lately. I’ve been wanting to try poaching since I had a delicious poached chicken rice bowl at a downtown Gainesville lunch stop last week and then there it was featured in the magazine article – along with en papillote (how fancy does that sound?), braising (a Food Network buzzword) and good-ol-fashioned stir fry.
On poaching, the article says,
Beautiful in its simplicity, poaching involves submerging meat – most often poultry or seafood – in a liquid where it gently cooks on the stovetop.
The chicken I had last week was wonderfully moist, and I can’t wait to try it this week. The article recommends infusing the poaching liquid with green tea and I’m definitely up for the challenge.
Believe it or not, I’ve actually cooked “en papillote” before. It really just means “in a bag.” All you have to do is wrap all of your ingredients – meat, veggies, spices – in parchment paper and cook – everything steams inside the bag and stays incredibly healthful. Here is the recipe they recommend:
This recipe is equally good with chicken breast and other seasonal vegetables, such as sugar snap peas and fiddleheads. Try serving with quinoa.
4 boneless, skinless turkey breast fillets (about 1½ pounds total)
Zest + juice of 1 orange
¼ teaspoon sea salt + more to season vegetables, to taste
¼ teaspoon black pepper
⅛ teaspoon cayenne
1 bunch asparagus, woody ends trimmed, each cut into three pieces
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 medium zucchini, sliced into
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Rinse turkey breasts and pat dry with a paper towel. Divide breasts among 4 pieces of parchment paper.
3. In a small bowl, mix together orange zest, salt, pepper and cayenne. Top breast meat with zest mixture.
4. Toss vegetables with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and sprinkle with salt, to taste.
5. Divide vegetables among parchment hearts. Squeeze orange juice over top of each breast and vegetables. Close packets, place on a baking sheet (they may overlap slightly) and bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before slicing open.
For those who prefer heartier meats, the article recommends braising (quickly searing and then slow-roasting) brisket, oxtail, short ribs, lamb and pork for tender, fall off the bone meat that fills the house with an undeniable aroma. The good news for vegetarians is that braising also amps up the flavor of hearty vegetables like carrots, parsnips and potatoes.
Stir-frying was by far my most oft-used method of cooking when I first started eating gluten-free. Asian food (with GF soy sauce) just seemed like the obvious choice. And the quickness with which everything gets cooked was definitely a plus, as was the one-pot clean-up. Just like braising, it’s good for meat and veggie lovers. Here’s my tried and true 5-step stir fry recipe:
Step 1: Begin boiling white rice in a medium sized sauce pan or rice cooker. The ratio is generally 1/2 cup rice per 1 cup of water per person.
Step 2: Heat a tablespoon ot two of sesame oil in medium sized skillet or wok.
Step 3: While it is heating, cut 1 chicken breast into bite-sized pieces and set aside. Dice vegetables of your choice. I would suggest broccoli, mushrooms and red peppers but anything will do.
Step 4: As the rice cooks on low-medium heat, stir fry the vegetables and chicken together in the sesame oil, adding LA Choy soy sauce periodically. Feel free to use any Gluten-free stir fry sauce you want.
Step 5: When the water has been absorbed by the rice, dump it in the skillet and stir it around until it is brown and coated with the sesame oil and soy sauce.
One of the best things about the gluten-free diet is all the kitchen experiments that are somewhat of a requirement. I encourage anyone to try any of these four methods. You won’t be disappointed.