Winter Warmer: Quinoa, Chicken & Broccoli BakeCaroline Fenton
QUINOA, CHICKEN & BROCCOLI BAKE
Another delicious one to add to your repertoire from the wonderful Stacey at Champagne & Gumboots.
It’s cold and rainy outside, the fire’s warm and welcoming and all you want to do is sit down with a big bowl of something delicious (but healthy!) for dinner. You want something the kids will eat without complaint. That the hubby won’t complain about (what’s this keeenwaaa rubbish? I hear him say) and something you’ll enjoy without having to spend hours in the kitchen. Well, drum roll… enter my gluten free Chicken, Quinoa and Broccoli Bake.
I must admit this recipe was inspired by a fantastic “Southern Belle” of an American blogger. I have to admit, they certainly know how to cook! Sadly, I could never make it exactly as she did as the spices and flavour mixes she uses just aren’t available here. But I made do! In fact I did one better, and used an easy to get blend of spices to really elevate this dish. Best part? It’s totally customizable. No not in a “let’s get cheffy and make this up ourselves” way, but more of a “What the hell is in my pantry that I can use tonight” kind of way. So don’t feel stressed if you don’t have the exact spices on hand, just use whatever you have!
‘WHAT THE HELL IS IN MY PANTRY THAT I CAN USE TONIGHT?!!’
They’re the best kinds of recipes don’t you think? The kind that you can just kind of use whatever you’ve got lying around. It always makes me feel soooooo…… lazy? No, no. Environmentally friendly? OK I actually don’t know how it makes me feel. But way better than if that head of broccoli was left to go limp and sad in my crisper.
So if you don’t feel like doing too much. Or you want to use up some ingredients, get the kids to actually eat (and shock horror, ENJOY!) broccoli and you want to shut the husband up. Get this into your oven for tonight’s dinner! Best part? It makes killer leftovers too.
Oh, and if you’ve never successfully cooked quinoa before? Or are too scared to try? This is also for you. You don’t actually need to do any of that!! Check it out below and see what I mean!
Quinoa, Chicken & Broccoli Bake
Serves: 6-8 (it’s really filling!)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 40 minutes
2 Cups Salt Reduced Chicken Stock (Be sure to check it’s GF. I love the Vegeta brand)
1 Cup Skim Milk
2 tsp Chicken Seasoning *see notes below*
½ Cup Plain Flour (Use GF here if need be)
500 grams Chicken Breast, thinly sliced
1 Cup Water
1 Cup Uncooked Quinoa, rinsed
1 tsp Smoked Paprika or Cayenne Pepper for more of a hit
1 tsp Dried Thyme
1 tsp Dried Oregano
2 whole Broccoli heads, broken into florets
¼ Cup Cheese, grated
Chicken Seasoning comes in many shapes and sizes but all are essentially a similar blend of spices and herbs. The thing to note is that not all are gluten free, so definitely be sure to check the labels first. Masterfoods Chicken Seasoning is gluten free and adds a lovely flavour to the dish. However I honestly love the G-Fresh Smokey BBQ Seasoning sprinkled over the chicken. It adds a glorious depth and can be used in so many dishes. The whole G-Fresh range is GF too! Ultimately it’s up to you what you use or what you have on hand.
- Preheat your oven to 200° Celsius and grease a large lasagne tray with a good tablespoon or two of olive oil. This dish will stick quite a bit up the sides, so drizzle the oil in and then using your hands rub it around the base and up the sides of the tray.
- In a medium saucepan bring the chicken stock to a boil, add the milk and whisk to combine. Now add the flour a little at a time, whisking the whole time. Cook for a minute or so, and you should now have a beautiful creamy sauce. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Dice your chicken into thin strips and while still on the chopping board sprinkle with your chicken seasoning. Toss lightly to coat every piece roughly.
- In your lasagne tray place the uncooked quinoa, the water and the creamy sauce and mix together. Sprinkle the chicken pieces over top, followed by the paprika, thyme and oregano and give a brief mix to incorporate.
- Transfer to the oven and bake for 30 minutes uncovered.
- Whilst this is baking you can lightly cook the broccoli. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and place your broccoli florets straight into it. Leave for 2-3 minutes or until they just slightly start to soften. Immediately pull off the heat, drain and set aside.
- Once the quinoa chicken mix is cooked remove from the oven and give a good stir to break it up. The quinoa would have soaked up most of the juices and cooked (you can tell quinoa is cooked by the way it looks. The kernels will look like they’ve broken open).
- Add the broccoli and stir to combine. If your mixture is quite thick add a little extra water (1/2 cup or so) and mix it in. Sprinkle the grated cheese lightly over the mixture and pop straight back into the oven for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
- Remove from the oven and serve steaming into bowls. Now sit back and enjoy the silence as the whole family digs in. Bon Appetite!
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