Homemade polenta fries and chicken strips

So yesterday I tried TWO new things in one meal, risky I know! Both were thanks to a trip to my local whole foods store… One was polenta fries. Having never tried polenta but always been intrigued I thought why not when I saw it sitting there on the shelf! The second was homemade chicken strips using gluten free corn crumbs. Together they made the best dinner! Even my boyfriend commented that he was taking his time eating it (normally he inhales food) as he wanted to make it last because it was so good! Who needs a McDonalds or a KFC?!

 

Polenta Fries Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 450ml gluten free stock (I used vegetable stock)
  • 110g of instant polenta
  • 50g grated cheese (most recipes use parmesan but I used cheddar and it worked)
  • 15g butter (1 tablespoon)
  • Seasoning (salt and pepper are a must, then herbs, paprika and garlic all work well too)
  • Olive oil or spray for drizzling before baking

 

Polenta Fries Method

  1. In a pan bring the stock to a boil
  2. Once boiling, turn down to a simmer and pour in all of the polenta whilst whisking
  3. Continue to whisk for 2-3 minutes until the mixture thickens to a creamy mash texture, making sure that the polenta is not sticking to the bottoms of the pan
  4. Take the pan off of the heat and add in the cheese, butter and seasoning and mix well
  5. Pour the polenta into a baking tray lined with cling film and even out to the desired height for chips (roughly 1 inch)
  6. Let this cool for 10 minutes then place more cling film over the mixture and place in the fridge for roughly 2 hours to set*
  7. Remove from the fridge and tip out the polenta from the baking tray and cut the polenta into fries
  8. Place the fries onto the baking tray in a single layer and season with salt and drizzle with the olive oil or spray
  9. Bake in a preheated oven (210°C for 30 minutes or until golden)

 

Polenta Fries Notes

  • *Although you get best results if you refrigerate the polenta, if you do not have time for this then let it cool on the side for about 15 minutes or until set
  • The polenta can keep in the fridge for up to 4 days, so you can make a big batch and keep them or make the night before. It can also be frozen!
  • There is no need to turn the fries over part way through baking

 

(Scroll down to find out how to make my homemade chicken strips!)

 

Chicken Strips Ingredients (serves two)

  • 300g of chicken breasts (or two chicken breasts)
  • 40g gluten free flour
  • 1 medium egg
  • 50g of gluten free breadcrumbs (I used corn crumbs)
  • Seasoning (salt, pepper, herbs, garlic and paprika all work well)
  • Oil to drizzle (I used olive oil)

 

Chicken Strips Method

  1. Crack the egg into a bowl and whisk to combine
  2. In another shallow bowl measure out the flour
  3. In a third bowl (preferably shallow too) weigh out the breadcrumbs and mix in the seasoning
  4. Cut the chicken into strips
  5. Place one strip in the flour, then the egg then the bread crumbs making sure that the whole chicken is covered at each stage then place the strip on a baking tray and repeat
  6. Drizzle the strips in the oil and place in a preheated oven (190°C) for 30-35 minutes (or until cooked through), turning half way through

 

Chicken Strips Notes

  • I lined my baking tray with grease proof paper to make sure that they did not stick to the tray
  • If cooking both the polenta fries and chicken strips together, preheat the oven to 200°C and cook the fries for 40-45 minutes and the chicken for 30 minutes (so place the fries in the oven before the chicken)
  • When dipping and covering the chicken, use one hand to cover the chicken in flour and egg and the drop it into the breadcrumb mixture and use the other hand to cover it in breadcrumbs. This way you will save getting messy fingers and clumping up the breadcrumbs. Of course if you have a kitchen helper you can always get them involved and split the stages up with them!
  • You might find that you need to top up the dipping bowls but try the above measurements first to save on wasting ingredients!

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