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xo Gluten Free Lover xo bio picture

my two loves . . .

Hello! My name is Kathryn - a Georgia girl and bona fide bread lover. Well, that is until I met and fell in love with Justin. Let's be real, I still LOVE bread and all things gluten-ful, but have given up that life for a gluten-free one - because now, I am a gluten-free lover.

I have always loved food. Cooking it, eating it, discussing it. I hope you'll try some of the recipes I've posted and you'll see - gluten-free cooking is accessible and delicious!

Indonesian Ginger Chicken

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My love for the Barefoot Contessa is no secret. Her recipes are thoughtful and flavorful and her style of entertaining, elegant. She inspires me on a daily basis. I am thrilled, then, to tell you that I have discovered one of her most delightful yet overlooked recipes. Indonesian Ginger Chicken. It is so simple, you will laugh when you read the recipe. The flavor is strong, salty and sweet, without being over powering. It paired perfectly with the Jasmine rice I made to go alongside. I have to admit, I struggled when deciding on a vegetable. I ended up choosing String Beans with Shallots – always a favorite – but even that was a little off. I truly believe (and this is usually against my rules) that carrots, or Corn, or PLANTAINS! would be fantastic with this meal. As I said, it is usually against my rules to serve rice and a starchy vegetable exclusively with the entree. You need freshness to cut through the meal (assuming you’re entree is something more substantial than steamed chicken or fish). That said, this meal calls for rice and something else…..starchy.

Indonesian Ginger Chicken (from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook)
serves 4-6

1 c honey
3/4 c soy sauce (make sure it is not made with wheat)
1/4 c minced garlic (8-12 cloves)
1/2 c peeled and grated ginger root (about a 4-inch piece)
2 chickens, (3 1/2 lbs each), quartered and backs removed

Cook the honey, soy sauce, garlic and ginger root in a small saucepan over low heat until the honey is melted. Arrange the chicken in a large, shallow baking pan, skin side down, and pour on the sauce. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil. Marinate overnight in the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the baking pan in the oven and bake for 1/2 hour. Uncover the pan, turn the chicken skin side up, and raise the temperature to 375 degrees. Continue baking for 30 minutes, or until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and the thigh and the sauce is a rich dark brown.

*Here’s what I did: The guy at the Dekalb Farmer’s Market chicken counter didn’t speak English well enough for him to understand that I wanted to buy two chickens, each weighing 3 1/2 pounds. So, I settled for one four pound chicken and one – organic – three pound chicken. They were both Bell and Evans chickens (which Ina recommends in her cookbook,  in this very recipe) and I didn’t even know it when I bought them! The Dekalb Farmer’s Market is amazing. It can be overwhelming, but truly, an awe inspiring place. (That’s where I got the miniature roses in the picture!) As the man behind the counter and I are miscommunicating about chickens, I notice a sign: We can no longer cut chickens on request. Sorry for the inconvenience.” Huh. Well, I was going to ask him to quarter both chickens, but I guess not…I’d never done it myself, but I wasn’t scared, you know? I wish J had been around to witness me quarter and remove the backs of two chickens. It was pretty awesome. I’m not going to lie, it was difficult. Not all of it, but getting the spine separated from the ribs – I’m sorry. How about this, if you want to discuss butchering chickens, email me.(I wish I had a video clip of Ina Garten quartering a chicken. I’ve watched her do it so many times, I felt totally confident on my first try.)

Seven pounds of chicken is a lot. I cannot imagine what size baking pan she used! I used 2 glass baking dishes and thought it worked out pretty well. Before cooking the chicken, I left it on the counter for about 25 minutes to come to temperature. (I have what may actually be an irrational fear, that a glass baking dish straight from the fridge will crack, if not shatter, when put straight into the oven. Call me crazy.) Once I flipped the chicken, halfway through cooking, I basted the chicken a bit and continued basting every so often until it was done. Yum. So good, so good, so good. And then there was the Basil Jasmine Rice…

Indonesian Ginger Chicken - Basil Jasmine Rice - String Beans with Shallots

Indonesian Ginger Chicken - Basil Jasmine Rice - String Beans with Shallots

Basil Jasmine Rice
serves 3

1 hearty cup of raw Jasmine rice
1 3/4 c water
pinch of salt
1 T butter or margarine
8-10 leaves fresh basil, chiffonade

Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan. (I actually use a small, bright yellow, cast iron pot that was my Dad’s. He always made rice in it and I do too – it’s perfect for rice.) Add salt and butter and stir in the rice. Lower the heat immediately, cover, and simmer according to package directions. (I’ve seen it as long as 40 minutes and as short as 12, so it depends on your brand.) Cook just until all the water is absorbed and fluff lightly with a fork. Stir in the chiffonade of basil and allow to rest, covered, for at least 5 minutes, or until ready to serve.

I have seen Jasmine rice in Kroger, y’all. It’s not hard to find. Try it – it’s fantastic. It’s rice that has great flavor and doesn’t get sticky! Love, love, love Jasmine rice!

String Beans with Shallots (from Barefoot Contessa Family Style)
serves 6

1 lb French string beans (haricots verts – or the skinniest green beans you can find), ends removed
Kosher salt
2 T unsalted butter
1 T olive oil
3 large shallots, diced
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Blanch the string beans in a large pot of boiling salted water for 1 1/2 minutes only. (About 3 minutes if using thicker green beans.) Drain immediately and immerse in a bowl of ice water. Heat the butter and oil in a very large saute pan (12-inch diameter) or large pot and saute the shallots on medium heat for 5 – 10 minutes, tossing occasionally, until lightly browned. Drain the string beans and add to the shallots with 1/2 tsp salt and pepper, tossing well. Heat only until the beans are hot.

This whole meal was so delicious! I actually think it got better and better with each bite. I’ve made the Basil Jasmine rice several times since this meal and it goes so well with so many things! I have to say, the Indonesian Ginger Chicken was not my favorite as leftovers, so I recommend either making half a recipe or making it for a crowd.

11 May 2010 - 4:35 pm SarahKate - Good on you for cutting the chickens up yourself! That isn't easy! I was given the Barefoot Contessa cookbook as a wedding gift and I've meant to try this recipe since then (4 years ago!) but I've never gotten around to it! I really must, your pictures make it look delicious!

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