Memories of Bubby’s Chicken

 

In grade 8, when I made friends with the new girl at school, I discovered a culinary sensation.

Every Friday after school my BF Bonnie and I would race to her house and wait in her kitchen for the delivery. Her grandfather Jimmy would pull up in the four-door sedan to drop off the food that Bubby Katy and her sister-in-law Rosie had spent all day cooking and baking. Jimmy would shlep boxes from the car filled with still-hot home-cooked food from the old country covered in tinfoil for Friday night dinner. The women had cooked the meal and it was the same every week: chicken soup, goulash, chicken paprikash, Bubby’s chicken (breaded chicken strips) and Rosie’s squares (a dessert made from ground almonds and chocolate, referred to by those in the know as simply “Rosie’s”—to this day, I dream of Rosie’s). It was his greatest joy to drop off this food for his children and grandchildren (and his granddaughter’s bestie).

Bubby’s Chicken was everything: tender on the inside, crunchy on the outside, flattened and crispy-coated strips of chicken that had been cooked in a vat of oil and then patted dry with paper towel. I will never taste a chicken finger like that again.

Though I try.

 

In university, Bonnie and I made many attempts to replicate Bubby Katy’s chicken.

 

This is my healthier, gluten-free version of the dish. Every time I make it, I think of Bubby Katy and her Hungarian posse, may they all rest in peace.

It’s all about the FEB: Flour. Eggs. Bread crumbs. In that order. And, of course, the love.

My Memories of Bubby’s Chicken has the same pounded chicken breasts (only they’re organic now) and the same acronym (FEB), but the flour and bread crumbs are gluten free. I experimented with store-bought bread crumbs and I tried making my own from gluten-free toast, but neither did the trick for me. And then I decided to throw some cornflakes in the Cuisinart. Nature’s Path Honey’d Corn Flakes, to be specific. Boom. I don’t really have any measurements for this recipe because the amount of flour, eggs and cereal crumbs depends on how many chicken breasts I’m using so I just wing it.

Step 1: Dredge the chicken strips in gluten-free flour.

 

Step 2: Dip them in the beaten eggs.

 

Step 3: Coat the strips with gluten-free bread crumbs (or in this case cereal crumbs).

 

These Honey’d Corn Flakes have the perfect crunch and add a touch of sweetness.

 

Chicken fingers in the raw. Before the dipping begins, the chicken is seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder.

 

Fry the chicken strips lightly on each side in an oil that can stand up well to the heat (I use grapeseed), pat them dry in paper towel like Bubby Katy used to do, and then bake at 350°F for 20 minutes.

winter essentials

 

WINTER ESSENTIALS

Our list of 11 must-have products to keep you going all winter long. All are GF, of course! And all except for one are made in Canada.

(Clockwise from top left)

READ IT
GFF (Gluten-Free Forever) Magazine
. The gorgeous winter 2017 issue has six delish soup recipes to warm you up. We could eat up every issue of this quarterly magazine. gffmag.com (get $9 off the $35 subscription price with code winter17)

SAVOUR IT
Chocosol Traders
Luscious Coconut (70% cacao). Because chocolate and coconut. This stuff is the real deal. chocosoltraders.com

 HEAT IT UP
No.7 Mexican Hot Sauce.
Spice up your food and clear your sinuses with habanero or a variety of other hot numbers. no7hotsauce.com

 DRINK IT
Chaiwala Chai
Original Masala Chai. Boost your immune system and ease indigestion with this 100% natural chai blend of fresh ginger root, ground spices and organic honey. Learn how to make a hot chai latte at chaiwalachai.com

 SHOOT IT
Greenhouse Juice Company
Flu Shot Booster. This mini cocktail of immunity-supporting plants (oil of oregano, lemon, echinacea) and tinctures packs a flu-fighting punch. greenhousejuice.com

 RUB IT IN
Giddy Yoyo
Raw Love Butter. Slather on this body butter from head to toe to keep your skin soft and supple. Oh, and it’s edible and tastes like chocolate. shop.giddyyoyo.com

SEAL IT WITH A KISS
Sudsatorium
Great White North Lip Balm. Kiss cracked lips goodbye because this balm is the bomb. As per the packaging: “Heal lips the Canadian way with maple syrup, eh!” sudsatorium.com

 SPRAY IT
Beekeeper’s Naturals
Propolis Spray. A few spritzes a day keeps the doctor away—for colds, coughs, sore throats and inflammation. I swear by this stuff. beekeepersnaturals.com

 EAT IT
Bunner’s Bakeshop
Supersonic Cookies. The cookies that helped launch Bunner’s! Loaded with chocolate chips, cranberries, pumpkin, sunflower and flax seeds, these GF vegan wonders are a must-eat any time of year. My fave mid-day treat with a cup of hot tea. bunners.ca

FACE IT
Aromacentric
Face It Oil. Just a few drops of this liquid gold hydrates and nourishes your skin so you shine. With essential oils neroli and jasmine, you’ll also smell divine. aromacentric.com

SIP IT
The Honest Leaf
Serene Tea. Make way for sweet dreams with this caffeine-free mint tea that takes the chill off and calms your mind and body. honestleaf.com

 

 

Vegan pasta salad

For vegans....

This pasta salad is perfect for vegans and vegetarians.

 

The Ultimate Vegan Pasta Salad
Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 10 minutes | Makes: 8 servings

Ingredients
1 cup (250 mL) diced red peppers
2 zucchinis, halved and sliced
1 cup (250 mL) cherry tomatoes
2 Japanese eggplants, halved and sliced
¼ cup (60 mL) Italpasta Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and pepper
1 box (340 grams) Italpasta Gluten Free Penne Rigate
½ cup (125 mL) chopped parsley
¼ cup (60 mL) chopped basil
1 tbsp (15 mL) Italpasta White Wine Vinegar
1 garlic clove
3 tbsp (45 mL) toasted walnuts
Pinch chili flakes

Instructions
Preheat a grill over medium high heat. Toss red pepper, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and eggplant with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and salt and pepper in a grill basket. Arrange basket on the grill and cook until charred and softened, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, about 6-8 minutes.

While the pasta cooks, purée parsley, basil, white wine vinegar, garlic, walnuts, chili flakes and season with salt and pepper. With the motor running drizzle in remaining olive oil.

In a large bowl toss together cooked pasta, grilled vegetables and pesto dressing, serve warm or room temperature.

 Italpasta is a Gold sponsor of Gluten Free Garage.

Fries before guys

Serving up some attitude with a side of fries.

Serving up some attitude with a side of fries.

 

Flashback to Gluten Free Garage in the fall of '14 with gluten-free girl Lily and her pal Axel going to town on some Hero Burger fries.

Flashback to fall 2014 Gluten Free Garage with gluten-free girl Lily and her pal Axel going to town on some Hero Burger fries.

 

This year Gluten Free Garage is hosting an unprecedented number of vegan and vegetarian vendors. But we know that there are many gluten-free carnivores out there who will be asking: “Where’s the beef?”

Enter Hero Certified Burgers.

You know what my beef is with Hero Burgers? Their french fries, which themselves are gluten free, are made in a shared fryer, so there is a risk of cross-contamination. Hence, my daughter, and everyone else with celiac disease, cannot have them. Which is a bummer, because Lil loves fries.

But I appreciate that Hero Burgers is very clear about this in their communications, because it keeps people with celiac and gluten intolerance safe. Also on the plus side, most of their proteins (except for the hot dog) and condiments are gluten free and they have gluten-free buns from O’Doughs that are warmed in a dedicated toaster. And, most recently, they added gluten-free naturally smoked beef bacon to the menu.

Click here for a full list of the gluten-free offerings at Hero Burgers.

Back to the fries. You may wonder why Lily is eating them in the above photos. Is it an act of gluten-free child rebellion? No, she knows how much it sucks to get glutened. It’s because at Gluten Free Garage the Hero Burgers food truck serves up fries—and poutine!—made in a dedicated fryer with fresh, clean oil. So Lily and her fellow celiacs get to order a side of fries with that!

GFG sponsor Hero Burgers / Photo: Lewis Mirrett

Keep on truckin’ / All photos by Lewis Mirrett

 

Hero Certified Burgers is a Silver sponsor of Gluten Free Garage.