Chicken Thermidor (Gluten-Free)

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Decadent. That’s how it looks, and the taste is even more so. Chicken Thermidor may have no similarity to  other thermidor recipes you find. It doesn’t matter. This dish consists of a seafood stuffing flanked by a breast of chicken covered in a creamy besciamella sauce, and topped with bubbly, melted cheese. This is more than comfort food and it’s certainly not for eating regularly. It’s like a crustless chicken pot pie for royalty, and it’s a perfectly romantic meal for two.

Each thermidor bakes in its own casserole dish. I used Simple Truth gluten-free waffles to make the stuffing, and I loaded it with bay shrimp, clams and vegetables all spiced to perfection. For the besciamella sauce, a gluten-free all purpose baking mix worked incredibly well, and almond milk thickened it to a velvety consistency.  Accompanied by succulently roasted asparagus, this is a dinner you will have fond memories of long after it’s over. It’s worth lighting some candles for.

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Ingredients:

2 organic chicken breasts or 4 organic chicken thighs

2 slices Swiss cheese

Stuffing Ingredients:

1 package plain Van’s Gluten-Free Waffles

1/2 cup bay shrimp

1/2 cup minced clams

3 stalks celery, chopped

1/2 brown or sweet onion, chopped

1/2 cup sliced mushrooms

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped

2 tbsp. butter or coconut oil

1 cup cups gluten-free chicken or turkey broth, preferably organic and low sodium

2 tsp. ground sage or fresh sage

1tsp. dried or fresh rosemary

2 tsp dried or fresh Mediterranean oregano

3/4 tsp ground ginger

1 1/2 tsp dried or fresh marjoram

3/4 tsp. dried or fresh thyme

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp. pink Himalayan salt

1 egg

Besciamella Sauce Ingredients:

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp gluten-free all-purpose baking mix

1 cup almond milk

1/2 tsp pepper

1 tsp salt

1 tsp. nutmeg

 

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 425°. Place the frozen waffles on baking sheets or directly on the rack. Bake for 2 minutes on the first side, then turn them over and bake for another minute and a half on the second side. Remove the waffles from the oven and set aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°. Prepare a baking dish with the method of your choice.

2. In a large skillet, place the butter or coconut oil and melt over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and celery and stir frequently until caramelized. Add the garlic and parsley once the onions and celery have caramelized and stir until just heated. Turn the flame down to medium-low. Add the washed and drained shrimps and clams.

3. Break the waffles up by gently ripping them by hand and add them to the pan (or cube them if you prefer), stirring to combine all of the ingredients. You may need to begin adding a bit of chicken  broth to keep the ingredients from sticking. Once the waffles are added to the pan, add the herbs and spices.

4. Begin to add the broth slowly, stirring as you do, to moisten but drench the stuffing. Once you have reached the desired level of moisture for your stuffing, stop adding broth.

5. Add the egg and combine well. Let the stuffing cook in the saucepan for a few minutes until thoroughly warm.

6. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter.

7. Add the gluten-free baking mix and whisk together to create a roux. The roux will be thick and tan in color.

8. Add the almond milk and spices (salt,pepper, nutmeg) and continue stirring with the whisk over low heat until the sauce thickens. Once thickened, remove from heat.

9. Preheat the oven to 350°.

10. Spread a layer of stuffing across the bottom of each individual casserole dish.

11. Place one breast  or one to two thighs on top of the layer of stuffing. (The chicken will shrink considerably as it cooks so use your best judgement as to how much you would like to cook. I always cook more, knowing I can save some for later.)

12. Cover the chicken and stuffing with a layer of besciamella sauce.

13. Place a slice of Swiss cheese on top of the sauce.

14. Arrange both casserole dishes on a baking sheet and put in the oven. Bake 20-30 minutes until chicken is cooked through, and the cheese is bubbling. If you desire, broil the thermidor on high for 1 minute to brown the cheese slightly.

15. Remove from the oven and let cool for five minutes before serving. Enjoy with roasted asparagus and your favorite wine or beverage.

 

Note: If you like a milder taste, add white pepper to the besciamella sauce instead of black pepper. For an interesting twist, squeeze a quarter of a fresh lemon into the sauce.
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