Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Real Food Weekly Recipe: Chicken Alfredo (Grain Free)

Folks, do you remember pasta? Comforting, tantilizing tendrils of spaghetti or fettucine?  If you follow a grain-free diet then I am sure you sometimes miss some of life's little pleasures.  Grain-free doesn't mean you have to deny yourself all Italian inspired delights.....assuming a passable alternative, it is totally doable.  I am always happy with the results of a grain-free Italian dish.  
If you are interested in, or already do follow a grain-free diet a really good cook book is The Everyday Grain Free Gourmet by Jodi Bager and Jenni Lass.  I use it on a weekly basis.  And this where I found Chicken Alfredo.  If you can tolerate dairy, get ready to have your taste buds dance with this rich and delicious Alfredo sauce served over spaghetti squash.  

Ingredients
1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless, chicken breasts sliced in strips for stir frying
2 tbsp butter
3 pinches of salt
2 piches of ground black pepper
1 cup yogurt (made from whole milk*)
1 large egg yolk
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp + 1 tsp honey
*if you can tolerate lactose, feel free to use store-bought yogurt instead of homemade, just make sure the yogurt isn't low fat or non fat

Alfredo Sauce Method
  • Fry the chicken until fully cooked.  Remove from heat and set aside.
  • In another pan, gently melt the butter with salt and pepper on low heat until the butter begins to brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Using a double boiler on medium heat, continuously whisk the yogurt and egg yolk together while the mixture cooks for 10 minutes.  If you don't keep whisking the egg yolk will cook in clumps and you will have a lumpy sauce.
  • Add the parmesan, honey and melted butter and whisk together until thoroughly combined.
  • Pour the sauce into the frying pan with the chicken and toss.  Heat the chicken and sauce until warmed through.  Serve over spaghetti squash, shredded and steamed zucchini or Enoki mushrooms, or a combo of all the above for a delicious meal! 

Spaghetti Squash Method
  • Preheat oven to 375F.
  • Allow spaghetti squash to soften by placing squash whole in uncovered baking dish for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven.
  • Cut off the stem end which will afford you a level end on which to stand the squash.
  • Stand the squash on the level end you have just removed the stem from and pierce the other end with the point of your knife.
  • Carefully cute the squash in half, length-wise.
  • Drizzle olive oil on your baking dish and place the squash meat side down to roast for 30-45 minutes depending on the size of your squash.
  • Notice the color of the squash meat when placing it in the oven. It is light bright yellow. As it roasts, it will become a more golden color and tend toward a softened translucent look. Remove the squash while meat still looks a bit firm. You will get a feel for this once you have cooked your first spaghetti squash. 
  • Remove the squash from the oven and remove the seeds with tongs.
  • Hold the squash in one oven-mitted hand and with the other hand, use a fork to comb the strands across the squash and into a bowl (not length-wise as this will break your pretty spaghetti strands).

Buon appetito!

-Dr. Kate

Reference:
Bager, J and Lass, J. The Everyday Grain Free Gourmet.  2008

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