One of my favorite special buys is macadamia nut crusted tilapia from Aldi.
Unfortunately, it had some ingredients that fall on my allergy no-no list, so I had to give it up.
Since then, I’ve thought endlessly about how I could create a similar breading for fish and chicken. I make a mean cornmeal breading for trout, or a crispy gluten-free batter breading for – well, just about anything that can be fried – but I hadn’t tried that particular combination.
Once I did, I was shocked at how simple it was to create.
But as I’ve learned, simple is always better when it comes to gluten-free cooking!
Today, I’ll share my secret. It is totally yummy and works great with chicken. I cannot wait to try it on fish.
This recipe is very easy to adjust, based on how much chicken you need.
First, grab some chicken. I normally go for cage-free, but this time, went for Smart Chicken, which is certified organic and certified humane. (Plus, it was on sale and I didn’t have to make a second grocery store stop.)
These chicken breasts were HUGE – which they always are on Smart Chicken and any cage-free chicken I buy.
Dice the chicken into chunks.
Soak in buttermilk at least 30 minutes. I’ve also soaked my chicken overnight. NOTE: If I’m making a lot of chicken, I start with one cup of buttermilk – 1 cup of almond milk and the juice of half of a lemon or 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. If it is just for me, I only make 1/2 cup or less.
Next, get a gallon Ziplock bag and mix 1 cup of almond meal to 1/2 cup of Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Gluten-Free Flour. You can also add any spices you like. I add garlic powder and iodized sea salt. NOTES: I’m a huge fan of Bob’s gluten-free flour. I love the texture and I think it works well for this dish. I have not tried rice-based gluten-free flours with this breading. The consistency is very different – as is the taste. If you don’t have almond meal, you can use a coffee grinder to get a cup. Just grind down the almonds, taking care to constantly move them around. There is a lot of moisture inside of almonds and causes the crumbs to stick together. I REALLY like it with freshly ground almonds. It’s just… fresher.. and tends to stick to the chicken better.
Add one cut chicken breast and shake the bag until coated.
Now, you can deep fry these little babies, or do like me and fry them in a little bit of coconut or canola oil, turning constantly until nicely browned and done in the middle.
Don’t forget, chicken cooks faster than you think! Here is a photo of one of my first batches. It didn’t last long!
Now, you can experiment around and see about the ratio of flour to almond meal. I did try using just plain almond meal and it didn’t stick to the chicken. Below is a photo showing cooked chicken with almond meal only and the almond meal breading mixture. The difference is amazing!
This is SO SIMPLE! I explained a lot above, but let me summarize, to make it easier:
- Use 1 cup of almond meal to 1/2 cup of gluten-free flour in a Ziplock bag. Add any spices. (I use Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose.) This works well for two large chicken breasts.
- Soak the chicken in buttermilk for at least 30 minutes – or overnight.
- Add the chicken to the breading mixture. Shake until well coated.
- Fry it up.
See? Wasn’t that easy?!
What are your favorite breading recipes? Do you do something similar with different flours? Share your cooking adventures below!