A Roast Dinner Gluten-Free Style, By Karin Joyce – Gluten-Free Resource

By Chris Bennett | 03/07/2012 | Posted in Kitchen, Gluten Free Resource

Here at ‘Home of the House Proud’ we love a traditional roast dinner with Yorkshire puddings (we are based in Yorkshire after all), but what happens if you’re diagnosed with Coeliac Disease? Can you still enjoy a Sunday roast? Well, the answer is yes! Check out our Coeliac ambassador’s (Karin Joyce) blog on the topic, Karin recently made a roast dinner and it was a huge success.

In my new efforts to embrace my coeliac disease, I have tried to focus on doing more cooking in order to not rely on convenience foods. It’s been a challenge turning away from “old reliables” and resorting to takeaways. I had become lazy in the kitchen which has resulted in much poundage being added to my frame and a thin layer of dust on most of my cooking accessories. It became too easy to ring up the hubby and ask him to pick up a pizza on the way home. It was time to stop!

After a full make-over for the kitchen, a thorough cleaning and organising of everything in the kitchen and a lot of research and investigation on my part, I threw myself back into the kitchen to discover the wonders of gluten-free recipes. I’ve really enjoyed it! But it’s one thing to be able to do this in the comfort of your own kitchen and an entirely different thing to expect others to do the same. We visit my inlaws once a week for dinner and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to enjoy the dinners my mother-in-law makes as there’s always a small item in the meal that renders it inedible for me. I know it’s hard for others to understand just how pervasive gluten is in many everyday dishes and items so I thought I would show my inlaws that a gluten-free dinner doesn’t have to be horrible.

I decided to tackle a roast chicken dinner on Sunday. On the menu would be: chicken (strangely enough), roast potatoes, roast carrots and parsnips, mashed potatoes (for the FIL). Playing for the gluten-free side: gravy, stuffing and Yorkshire pudding. I didn’t think pudding was necessary as the FIL has diabetes and ice cream covers the bases for diabetics, toddlers and coeliacs alike. Also contributing to the overall yumminess of the meal was gluten-free organic chicken stock cubes which accompanied the chicken and gravy. It’s easy to forget that a stock cube has to be gluten-free as well.

My secret to a lovely, moist roast chicken is to put butter under the skin on the breast and give the bird a nice old massage with the butter before whacking it in the oven. I also scattered peeled & sliced baby onions and garlic cloves around and under the bird and then topped it all off with 500ml of GF organic chicken stock (Kallo). Place all of this in a covered roasting tin at approximately 200 degreed C and cook for the time listed on the packaging of the bird. Be sure to use a meat thermometer to check the bird near the end of the roasting. Approximately every 30 minutes or so I recommend basting the bird to keep the meat nice and juicy. There’s nothing worse than a dry old bird!

To make my GF gravy I relied on Bisto Best Chicken gravy granules to thicken the chicken juices and stock left in the roasting pan. So sue me! It made a lovely and rich gravy which complimented the meat and other side dishes well. According to the Coeliac UK Food and Drink Guide 2010, Bisto BEST gravies are suitable for coeliacs. This is only for the Bisto BEST range. The juices and stock from the bird were also amplified by Kallo Free Range Organic Chicken Stock cubes which are naturally gluten-free.

For stuffing, which is Little Miss’ favourite, I could have gone totally home-made-y and used a gluten-free loaf of bread and made my own breadcrumbs and then made my own stuffing which is actually super lovely. I wasn’t in the mood for super lovely though and I mainly wanted to show the family that stuffing in a box, like they have, is just as tasty gluten-free.

I chose Mrs. Crimble’s stuffing. It’s the same old, same old that you get in a box of Paxo or Tesco’s own but gluten-free. You even “just add water” and some oil and bake it exactly the same. Simples! Just as tasty and just as edible for me!

And finally for the Yorkshire pudding. Well, there’s just no escaping that Yorkshire pudding isn’t quite the same gluten-free. But ultimately, it’s exactly the same recipe but it won’t rise much. There is another recipe you can use which I found courtesy of Juvela but it involves a slightly different method and is a bit more fiddly. I’m not sure if it rises nice and fluffy but I will find out soon and report on the results.

I use Doves Farm gluten-free flour which is a life-saver. I simply make a batter with Doves Farm GF flour, 2 eggs and milk and mix to a runny consistency. Then heat the oil in the pan as usual, pour in the batter to the smoking hot tin and whack it into the oven for 20-30 minutes. It’s a bit more of a thick pancake consistency and doesn’t have the nice, crispy edges but it tastes the same. Anyone else who knows another solution, let me know. I believe if you use individual muffin/Yorkie tins, you may resolve some of the rising issue.

So, roast chicken dinner Chez Bebe was a resounding success with 3 of the major accompaniments having been replaced with gluten-free alternatives. My inlaws seemed pleasantly surprised and I believe I have made some educational in-roads which is always good. And I’ve proved to myself that I can indeed cook a lovely roast dinner for our family.

My name is Karin Joyce and I am a freelance writer and parent blogger. I am the author of Cafe Bebe, a parenting website where I share my adventures in motherhood, marriage, mealtimes and moi. I am the mother of an energetic and entertaining two year old and the wife of an Englishman who is fully supportive of my coeliac diagnosis. I will be a regular contributor to Morphy Richards ‘Home of the House Proud’ where I will share posts, tips, recipes and reviews.

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