Gluten-Free Chicken Marsala

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Heather says:

Like many people, I love chicken marsala. If you’ve gone gluten free, no worries, you don’t have to leave chicken marsala behind. This version is a simple variation on the classic, all you need is brown rice flour (This is the one I use) to use in place of wheat. I made this for company the other night and it turned out well. I hadn’t expected the brown rice flour to hold up as well in the sauce as it did. This is also a lower cholesterol version of the recipe -the original called for butter, I only used olive oil to stay within a guest’s dietary restrictions. Modify the recipe as you see fit.

I prefer to serve it with a side of roasted potatoes rather than gluten-free pasta, but it’s a to each their own kind of comfort food. For what it’s worth, mashed potatoes or hasselback potatoes would work wonderfully, too. And if you’re going lower carb just serve it over a bed of quickly sauteed greens like kale or spinach. This will also add some color to an otherwise pale plate.

And yes, I’m totally cheating and using pictures from the first time I photographed chicken marsala. (I was hosting a dinner party and have only just found my 50mm I thought I lost in a move).

If you want to speed up production, you can use two skillets. Since I was cooking for a group, I let the mushrooms begin to cook down in a second skillet while I cooked the chicken. Just be sure to use the pan used for the chicken so you can scrape up all those wonderful bits of goodness produced by the Maillard Reaction should NOT go to waste.

I went with a sauvignon blanc brought over by a friend, which we finished with the meal.

Gluten-Free Chicken Marsala

Chicken Marsala

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup seasoned brown rice flour (add a pinch each of: salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, and dried basil. Stir)
  • Approximately 4 TBSP olive oil
  • 3/4 cup sweet white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 3 cups mushrooms, sliced – baby portabellas, crimini, shittake or even button
  • salt / pepper to taste
  • optional green onions for garnish

Remove any visible fat from the chicken breasts and cover them with plastic wrap or wax paper and pound thin with a mallet, empty wine bottle, or rolling pin. Pro-Tip Pounding the chicken breasts physically breaks down the muscle tissue, leaving you with tender chicken you won’t ever need a knife to cut. Don’t skip that step, go ahead and take out some of the day’s frustrations. It’ll be worth the effort, I promise.

Cut the chicken into manageable pieces. You don’t have to go to bite size, but generally you want pieces people will only need to cut in half. This is a nice compromise between fiddly, fussy cooking and providing a pleasant dining experience. Cut it smaller than in the picture, that’s just to illustrate what the pounded chicken should look like.

Heat your pan over medium to medium high heat. Add 2 TBSP olive oil to the pan. Dredge the chicken in the seasoned rice flour, shake off the excess.

Cook the chicken 2 – 3 minutes a side in the hot pan. Then set aside. You’ll need to cook the chicken in two – three batches to avoid crowding the pan too much.

When the chicken has been browned and set aside, add another small drizzle of olive oil to the pan, then the 3 cups of mushrooms.

Cook the mushrooms until they start to sweat. If your pan starts to dry up too much, turn the heat down a little and cover. When the mushrooms are golden brown around the edges, releasing their liquid magic, it’s time to add the 3/4 cup of  wine.

Simmer until about half the liquid is gone, then add the 1 cup of chicken stock or just more wine, if you prefer.

Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat to medium, simmer for 3 minutes and add the chicken back to the pan and cook for another 5 minutes or so. Return the chicken to the skillet and ensure it has all been coated in the sauce.

Serve and enjoy.

Shared on : Mouthwatering Monday at A Southern Fairytale

Italian Sausage Skillet

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Heather says:

I’m not the only one getting into this whole back to cooking basics idea. Over on the Home-Ec 101 Facebook Fanpage, Home Eccer Lindsey decided to play around with this week’s Simple Philly Skillet and used what she had on hand -smarty lady!- and shared the results. She shared the a whole album of step-by-step photos and I’ve selected just a couple for this post.

The photo and recipe credit goes to Lindsey Mccollum and I am so very glad she was willing to share with us.  Please say thank you, it’s a little bit intimidating to put yourself out there where anyone can be a critic.
Easy Sausage Skillet

: Easy Italian Skillet

: by Lindsey Mccollum

  • 1 pk sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 med onion
  • 1 can Rotel diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans chicken broth
  • 1 box mini farfalle pasta
  • 1 pk shredded pizza cheese (mozzarella)
  • 4 oz Velveeta cheese*
  • Mrs Dash -Garlic & Herb
  • Italian seasoning & dried basil**

 Bell Peppers

  • Take casings off of sausage & brown in a skillet, breaking them up as they brown. Drain & hold in bowl.
  • While sausage is browning, thinly slice onion, and bell peppers. Sweat these until soft.
  • Add rotel, chicken broth and pasta to the skillet. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 minutes until the pasta is tender.
  • Add sausage back to skillet.
  • Stir in cheeses until melted and creamy. Add a little milk of necessary to make a sauce if cheese seems a bit stringy.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time: 15 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 6

Notes from Heather:
*American or provolone will work well as a substitute
**Lindsey had “Dried basil from my garden” since I doubt she wants us tromping through her yard this summer to stock  our own pantries, dried basil from any garden or the grocery store will do.


Thank you, Lindsey!

Pork Chops, Fried

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Heather says:

Fried pork chops are a quintessential Sunday Dinner and depending on the number of minions you are cooking for, they are fairly low effort. They are less touchy than fried chicken and completely company worthy, especially if it’s the kind of company that will hang out in the kitchen and talk while you burn the rice. Oh wait, that’s just me getting distracted by a 9yo making simple sweet cornbread. Multiple cooks in the kitchen = yay, unfortunately to get there we still have to go through multiple novices in the kitchen which is a wee bit distracting.

It’ll be worth the effort. Eventually.

If you’re cooking for more than 4 people, I highly suggest setting your oven to 200°F and holding the finished pork chops on a paper-towel lined plate. Unless of course you’re making roasted broccoli or brussels sprouts, which I strongly suggest as an accompaniment, then just cover the plate to keep them warm.

I had been planning on making onion gravy, like I serve with country-fried steak, but I realized the kids hate gravy of all kinds -weirdos- and I’m the only one I had to please, so I just sauteed the onions in the same pan I cooked the pork chops and well, I was quite happy. If you want to make onion gravy, by all means, be my guest.

*Novice Tip* The exact cook-time is going to be highly dependent on your stove and your cookware. If you have a gas stove and thin cookware, this recipe is going to be extremely touchy and I don’t recommend trying it without a thermometer.

If you have sturdy cookware it’s going to be a lot less touchy.

Fried Pork Chops

: Fried Pork Chops

: Classic Fried Pork Chops

  • 4 – 8 Bone-in Pork Chops, at least 1/2″ thick but not more than 1″ thick
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 rounded TBSP Garlic Powder
  • 1 rounded TBSP Onion Powder
  • 1/2 TBSP Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 TBSP Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 cup – 3/4 cup peanut or vegetable oil *This depends on the size of your skillet. . . as in, use more for a 10″ skillet than for an 8.

 Flour and Seasoning

    • Mix the seasoning with the flour.

Floured Pork Chops

  • Dredge the pork chops in the seasoned flour and set aside.
  • Save any remaining seasoned flour to re-dredge the chops just before frying.
  • Heat the oil to 350F on my electric stove this is just below medium, but it takes quite a while to get there. While you’re waiting for the oil to heat, make a couple of side dishes. Do not turn the burner to high and wait for the oil to smoke and turn it back down. We can get into a discussion about that later. Just be patient.


One Chop frying in a small pan

  • Cook two or three chops at a time, depending on the size of your pan and the size of the chops. Do not crowd the pan.
  • These chops were 1″ thick and took between 8 – 10 minutes, about 4 minutes a side. If you use thinner chops, it will be less. If you have thicker chops, I recommend cooking three minutes a side and finishing in a 350F oven, covered, to prevent them from drying out.


Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 6

Don’t forget it you want to print this recipe, use the Print Friendly button up there on the right and you’ll easily be able to strip out extra text and photos.

Enjoy! (The 9yo called these “Heaven.”)

Shrimp Gumbo Recipe, Cajun Comfort Food

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Heather says:

If you’ve been around here for any length of time, you probably have noticed that I have a strong affinity for Cajun and Creole food. What can I say? I live in the South and I love garlic and shrimp and when they simmer with trinity, then life, at least at supper time, is good.

I didn’t take any pictures of the shrimp gumbo making process, but I do have a decent final shot and since many of the ingredients and steps are similar to that of my shrimp etouffee, which is my eight year-olds favorite dinner, in the “whole wide world, next to Taco Johns,” which he has had exactly once on a trip to Minnesota, but apparently made an impression. You can make your own judgments on his tastes, just know that I try to take that mixed compliment as gracefully as I can. (He also told his grandmother that she makes the best chili ever, while she was opening a can of Hormel’s) I had to leave the room after that little gem.

Now these ingredients are flexible (except for the file which you shouldn’t omit) Sure, you can omit it, but it just won’t be the same.

Everything else, except the roux, substitute to your heart’s content. Got it? (Just keep the liquid to roux ratio the same. Alton Brown, one of my culinary heroes, has a great show on gumbo, in which he demonstrates how to make a roux in the oven)

Good gumbo is a great cool or rainy weather meal, it has plenty of vegetables, so just serve over rice and call it done.  Personally, I find leftover shrimp gumbo even better than the first time around, maybe the flavors meld better, maybe it’s that it’s almost as good as when someone else makes it for you. (The best food is always magically appearing, but leftover gumbo is a close second). As written this recipe will make about 3 quarts of soup, so unless you’re feeding a big crowd, you should get at least 2 or 3 meals out of it.

I highly recommend using enameled cast iron, and you don’t even have to spring for Le Crueset. A stock pot will certainly work to make roux, but you’re going to have to be diligent with stirring to avoid scorching, and a thin pan may invite frustration. If you don’t have a large (6 quart enameled cast iron) and only have a small one, by all means, make the roux in the small pot and transfer to the stock pot to finish. You’ll thank me when your roux doesn’t scorch.

And on to the recipe, yes, you can totally substitute chicken or vegetable stock for the shrimp stock, if you MUST.


: Shrimp Gumbo

: Cajun comfort food

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 pound andouille sausage, cut into coins
  • 2 quarts stock
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 3 ribs of celery, diced / chopped
  • 3 bell peppers, diced – you can go all green if you want, but red ones are sweeter, even if they are so dang spendy
  • 4 cloves of  minced garlic
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 lb okra pieces, I use frozen. . . judge me if you must.
  • 1 tablespoon file powder
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

  • Make roux by heating the oil and flour over medium low heat, when the roux is peanut butter colored, you may stop as you’ll have a good flavor (for a full roux tutorial look at the Shrimp Etouffee recipe). If you really want a more authentic Cajun gumbo, turn down the heat to low and keep on keepin’ on until your roux is brick or chocolate colored. DO NOT USE BURNT ROUX, there is a distinct difference, even though the line from awesome to ruined is thin, proceed with caution.
  • While the roux is working, brown the andouille sausage in another pan (if you’re going to use a stock pot for the gumbo go ahead and use that).
  • Personally, I like to get my roux where I like it and set it aside for a few minutes while I cook the onions, bell pepper, and celery with the andouille sausage over medium-high heat. Alternately, you can cook the roux just under where you want it and finish it mixed with vegetables. It’s up to you, but cook the trinity until the onions are translucent, somewhere in the 7 minute range, a little over or under depending on your pan. Add the garlic and stir to combine.
  • Grab your whisk or favorite wooden spoon.
  • Slowly add the 2 quarts of stock, stir constantly to ensure the stock is fully incorporated into the roux. Turn the heat to low.
  • Add the bay leaves, salt and pepper (I go with about 2 tsp salt, and a few good grinds of pepper)
  • Add the okra, stir.
  • When the stew has reheated from the addition of the okra, add the shrimp cook until the shrimp is nearly done (becomes opaque).
  • Add the file powder, stir thoroughly, cover, and allow to sit for 10 minutes to thicken.
  • Serve over rice.

Preparation time:


Cooking time: 1 hour(s)

Number of servings (yield): 12

Culinary tradition: USA (Southern)


Roast Pork Tenderloin with Winter Greens and Caramelized Onions

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Heather says:

Here’s another recipe from the National Pork Board‘s Good and Good for You Challenge. This roast pork tenderloin with winter greens and caramelized* onions comes together quickly and would make a great weeknight meal. With a little creativity and the right sides, like this morning’s Hasselback potatoes, it’d be good for a healthy, simple company dinner that doesn’t have a huge time investment.


: Roast Pork Tenderloin with Winter Greens

: Recipe courtsey of the National Pork Board

  • 1 pork tenderloin ~ 1 lb
  • 1/4 tsp salt, divided
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced.
  • 1 lb kale or other winter greens, tough stems removed
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 TBSP red wine vinegar

 Roast Pork Tenderloin with Winter Greens Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 425F.
  • Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. If your skillet is thin, do not heat until after the tenderloin is ready.
  • Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and rub the pork tenderloin with 1/8th tsp salt, fresh ground pepper, and the minced garlic.
  • Add 2 tsp of olive oil and then the pork to your hot skillet and brown on all sides (3 – 4 minutes).
  • Remove the pork tenderloin from the pan and place it on the baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the 425F oven and cook until the tenderloin reaches 145F ~ 12 minutes.
  • Add the onions and remaining 2 tsps of olive oil and the sliced onions to your hot skillet. Cover and cook until the onions soften and just start to brown. Add the kale, chicken stock, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and some fresh ground pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is tender, about 5 minutes.
  • If after 5 minutes there is lots of liquid in the pan, cook uncovered until most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the 1 TBSP red wine vinegar and remove from the heat.
  • When the pork tenderloin reaches 145F, cover loosely with foil and allow to rest for 3 – 5 minutes.
  • Slice the pork tenderloin into medallions and serve with the kale and onions.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 15 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

Culinary tradition: USA (General)

Calories: 240

Fat: 8 grams

Protein: 29 grams

*Generally when the term caramelized is used in association with onions it implies a long, slow cook over low heat. The onions in the recipe aren’t so much caramelized as cooked.
This post was sponsored by the National Pork Board, I was provided with recipes and compensated for the purchase of ingredients. All opinions are my own.