“Fried” Chicken

It was snowy, cold and windy today and I put off all my errands and things on my ‘to do’ list. But it wasn’t the snow or the cold keeping me in today. I’d rather trudge in 3 feet of snow than deal with wind of any sort. I can’t stand it when my hair gets stuck in my lip gloss. (This is not a joke!) So, when it’s windy at 30 degrees or at 90 it doesn’t matter. I’ll stay indoors. I kept myself entertained for quite a while with ‘winter’ projects I’ve had on that to do list since … springtime? Not sure. But thanks to the snow, they’re done. I had plenty of time to play in the kitchen today, so I did.

As I previously posted, I’m eliminating grains, dairy, sugar, legumes and alcohol from my diet for 30 days. Why? For fun, why else? Just kidding, I honestly want to see if it makes me feel different (besides hungry) and it has. I have a lot of energy and feel lighter on my feet. I’m not saying I’ve lost weight because that’s really not the objective, a little body fat maybe, but not weight. I just am not weighed down by comfort-carbs as I usually am. =)

Speaking of comfort carbs. I know you remember my favorite dish in the whole-wide-world: pumpkin risotto. Are you rolling your eyes? I only posted about it for an entire month you shouldn’t be sick of it yet! Okay fine, you can but I refuse. I love pumpkin and I love that dish, so much that I made it with ‘cauliflower rice’ tonight. YOU DID WHAT? Yes. I stuck an entire head of cauliflower into my food processor and chopped that baby up into tiny pieces and then resumed my recipe as normal (give or take a few things that I’ll share in a sec) and viola! Pumpkin Risotto without the bad carbs, fat, sugar and the food-baby that causes you to unbutton your pants after eating it. Promise. No food-baby here. I could even call it ‘Almost Paleo Pumpkin Risotto.’ The only part that doesn’t make it Paleo is the 1 cup of wine and 2 tablespoons of butter. I can’t make it without the wine because I actually really like the taste it gives this dish. I could have eliminated the 2 tablespoons of butter, but I haven’t had any in 11 days and thought “eh, what not?”

Now, to the main part of this post. (What? We’re not there yet?) “Fried Chicken.” No. Wait. I should say HEALTHY FRIED CHICKEN. Have you ever heard using all caps is like screaming in the virtual world? Consider yourself screamed at… to.. upon. Whatever. This recipe was awesome and beautiful! I could totally serve it to guests and I shall– soon! Who wants to come over for dinner?? =) My new Paleo friends are so helpful when they post awesome recipes like this. I took it directly from this blog and made it tonight. It was devoured in 2.5 seconds.

Here’s the recipe and then I’ll explain what I did:
2 chicken breasts
4 eggs
4 Cups raw nuts (like almonds)
Salt and Pepper
1/2 Cup your choice herb (I used dill)
Olive Oil
Chopped Avocado to top (if you want)

1. Whisk eggs in a bowl with salt and pepper.
2. In a large food processor using the blade, chop the nuts of your choice until ground finely – but be careful to stop before it becomes a paste. We’re not making nut butter!
3. Heat skillet with about 1/4 Cup Olive oil (you can use less if you’re using think cut chicken)
4. Dredge chicken in egg mixture on both sides and then in ground nuts on both sides, set in pan and brown on both sides for about 5 minutes, or until done.
SO YUM! (Sorry, I’m yelling again)

Okay. So I actually followed the recipe for once but feel like 4 cups of nuts was waaaay too much. I used an entire package- a little over a pound- of thin sliced chicken. (Ahem, Picky Pants hates normal chicken breasts. I always have to butterfly them so to save time, I buy the thin chicken.) You could probably get away with 2 cups of nuts – but then maybe that would be too little? I dunno. I have a use for my extra nuts though, I am making no-oat-meal… out of nuts. It’s tasty, don’t turn up your nose. I can’t handle more than one Picky Pants in my world.

So, thanks to this blog a few suggestions are given for this recipe: Almonds and Dill .. Pecans and Parsley .. Walnuts and Basil … Peanuts (if you’re not Paleo) and … I dunno. What can go with peanuts?

I’ll definitely be making this again. It truly had a great texture and taste, plus the nuts and olive oil give your healthy fats and the chicken, of course, gives you protein.

Okay, on to my fave-fave. Have you ever attempted to make mashed cauliflower and fool your family into thinking it was mashed potatoes? Me neither. But people do it all the time. People also use chopped cauliflower as rice for dishes like Jambalaya, Paella, Sloppy Joes and Stir-fry. I have not tried this until tonight. My Pumpkin Risotto calls for Arborio rice. So obviously I eliminated that ingredient and substituted an entire head of cauliflower. I roasted a butternut squash in the oven and cut it into cubes. You do not have to do this if you make the Arborio Rice version or the cauliflower version. I do it because I love butternut squash and I’ll use the extra for lunch tomorrow.

The recipe for the Pumpkin Risotto is as follows:
1/2 C Olive Oil
1 C Finely chopped onion
1 TBSP Chopped garlic
1 C Dry white wine
6 C Chicken broth
2 C Arborio Rice
1 C Canned Pumpkin
1 Butternut squash (or half) diced
1/2 C Parmesan
2 TBSP Unsalted Butter
Nutmeg to taste
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. In a medium size sauce pan heat oil, onion, garlic. Add rice and continue to stir using a wooden spoon to coat rice with oil.
2. Add wine – cook stirring often until it is absorbed by rice. Pour in enough chicken stock to cover rice completely, about 3 cups. Continue stirring until liquid is absorbed.
3. Pour in 1 cup more of stock and stir until absorbed. Repeat with 1 more cup. Add remaining cup. Most liquid should be absorbed and rice should be al dente. Stir in pumpkin puree and reduce heat. Stir in cheese and butter. Serve immediately.

SOOO, the only things I had to modify are as follows:
Instead of Arborio rice, I used 1 head cauliflower
Eliminated Cheese
I did use 2 TBSP Butter although I don’t think it needed it
I only used 2 cups Chicken broth and it was probably a little too much
I was going to do the math and tell you how many calories, carbs etc. I saved by making my favorite dish healthier, but it got too confusing. I’m a word girl, not a number girl. Sorry!

Do you think we’ll get another snow day tomorrow?? Be safe and enjoy it! Mangia! Mangia!

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3 Responses to “Fried” Chicken

  1. pam says:

    Courtney, Love the receipes!!!! A suggestion that would really help me….please give the total calories in your dishes or fat content. I am trying to eat healthier and watch my calories, if this isn’t too much trouble it would really help….Thank you so much!!

    • igameals says:

      Pam – absolutely!!! Thank you for the suggestion and you’re right, it would be very helpful ;) I’ll start calculating!!!

  2. Thanks so much for the recipes, I can’t wait to try both of them. I really enjoyed your blog.

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