Do you ever crave something juicy and yet crunchy? What about gluten and egg free? If you are avoiding gluten, sometimes it is difficult to find both. But these flavorful “breaded” filets will satisfy your craving. Even better, these chicken filets are completely grain-free since they are coated with healthy chickpea crumbs instead of flour or panko. You can find these crumbs at better grocery stores, be on the lookout. I’ve seen them on Amazon but you need to buy a case, a bit too many packages unless you can get a group together for the purchase.
Even if you are not avoiding gluten or other grains, these chicken filets are just plain yummy. You could even turn them into a chicken parmesan. Add some grated parmesan to the crumbs, once they are cooked, coat with a delicious tomato sauce, cover with a slice of melty mozzarella and run under the broiler for a minute. There you go!
I seasoned the crumbs with Toasted Fennel Spice, a mixture from Michael Chiarello’s Casual Cooking. I’ve made this spice mix many times and often give it as Christmas gifts.
Here is a link to the recipe. Fennel Spice is a mixture of toasted fennel, coriander, black peppercorns, chili flakes, and chili powder. It also calls for ground cinnamon, which I sometimes leave out. It’s delicious with poultry, also pork and fish.
When coating the chicken you can dip it into egg first; or do as I did and dip the filets into the liquid from a can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans, it is called aquafaba. Aquafaba is used in many recipes as a vegan replacement for egg whites. It’s amazing stuff! You can make anything from meringues and macarons to marshmallows and more. It acts as a binder, leavening agent, emulsifier, or anything an egg white traditionally does—but without the cruelty or cholesterol. Actually I just learned that the juice from other canned beans have the same properties, great northern are somewhat milder. Anyway, if you are avoiding eggs for any reason, try aquafaba. Use this link and the one above for some ideas.
Anyway, I dipped the pounded chicken thighs in aquafaba before coating in chickpea crumbs, then served roasted chickpeas with the filets. They got a triple dose of chickpeas. All were additionally flavored with Toasted Fennel Spice.
Breaded thighs ready for the oven
Chickpea Crusted Chicken Filets with Toasted Fennel Spice Mix
Chickpea crusted chicken with Fennel Spice
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or breasts)
- 1 cup of chickpea crumbs
- 1 can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans, drained but liquid saved
- 1 tablespoon or more of toasted spice
- Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Parsley for garnish
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, coat one lightly coat with olive oil.
- Add the liquid from the can of chickpeas to a shallow pan.
- Spread the garbanzo crumbs in another shallow pan, season with the toasted spice and salt and freshly ground pepper
- Flatten the chicken thighs or breasts between two pieces of waxed paper using a heavy rolling pin or mallet. You want them to be of uniform thickness.
- Dip the thighs first in the aquafaba, then into the crumbs, coating both sides. Place each on the baking sheet in a single layer. Spritz lightly with olive oil.
- Spread the drained garbanzos or chickpeas on the second sheet, sprinkle with lightly with olive oil and season with more Toasted Fennel Spice.
- Bake for about 30 minutes until the chicken is browned and cooked through, and the garbanzo beans are crisp. The beans might be done before the chicken so check periodically.
- Serve garnished with parsley.
Crunchy crisp chickpeas
I think I will take this one to the Fiesta over at Angies, it’s Fiesta Friday #229 and I am the co-host this week. Come on over, and please add your own link. Make sure to read the directions though so you are included in the voting.
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